EDITOR’S NOTE: Submissions will temporarily close on July 22, 2019. 

 

The Airgonaut’s primary concern is for narrative excellence — the actual story being told. More than any other statement on what fiction should be we think this statement from master short story writer Etgar Keret is the best guideline anyone could possibly have for writing stories:

 

“In America, where writers are preoccupied with the craft of writing, I always try to introduce this concept of the badly written good story. Turning the hierarchy around and putting passion on top and not craft, because when you just focus on craft, you can write something that is very sterile. It looks beautiful, but soulless. So I warn them that, often in writing programs, articulation and clarity are more important than what you actually say. Sometimes you have, like, New Yorker stories—there’s a couple, they’re on a cruise, he’s becoming senile, he doesn’t want to acknowledge it, when the woman mentions it to him, he becomes really angry, but in the end he admits it and they sit on the deck, she closes her eyes. And you say, “It’s so well-written, but who gives a fuck?” For certain, the guy who wrote it doesn’t give a fuck. It’s not something that has to do with his life; it’s just something well-written and illuminating, and writing is not about that. The best stories you usually hear are stories that people feel some type of urgency about. Nobody else in the world would look at writing as craftsmanship—it’s totally this Protestant hardworking ethic. You go into this kind of infinite space of imagination and you fence yourself in with all kinds of laws. Why do we have to keep playing this strange game?”

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Send one (1) previously unpublished story of no more than 2,500 words as an rtf., doc., or docx. attachment (though 1,000 words or less would hit me about right). Please follow these three small formatting requests: Times New Roman 12 point font, single-spaced, block paragraphs.

Send submissions to theairgonautship AT gmail DOT com. Include with your submission a short, third-person bio.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let me know immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere. Also, please wait one month after hearing back from me before submitting again.

I cannot pay contributors. It is very likely I will never be able to do so. Might as well be honest.

If any of the general guidelines above are not followed in the received submission, that submission will not be considered or responded to at all. We’re serious folks. If you can’t read the guidelines and follow a few basic steps, we honestly don’t want to see what you can’t do with a story. Those are the breaks.

 

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