A N N O U N C I N G , C A L L I N G , &
S M I L I N G , S M I L I N G , S M I L I N G
Yankee Pot Roast is ready to take that next big step: Print.
It is with smug self-importance and euphoric rapture that Y.P.R. announces “Graphology: A Handwritten Journal of Good Things to Read.” What? Yes, we wrote “Graphology: A Handwritten Journal of Good Things to Read.” Can’t you read? So turn off your computer, throw out your IBM Selectric or your Brother 2000, see what eBay can get you for your Smith-Corona, smash your Dictaphone, fire your secretary, and pull that pencil out of the bun in your hair. It’s writin’ time, not typin’ time!
Do you dot your lowercase i’s and j’s with hearts or smiley faces or something mawkish like that? Hey, Y.P.R. does not judge. Do you scribble naughty cartoons in the margins? Great. Do you cross your
7s and your Zs because you are European and/or pretentious? Splendid. Are you are a skillful calligraphist, graffitist, cartoonist, doodler, graphologist, signature forger, Morse code encoder, writer of a language with a nifty non-roman alphabet, like, say, Hebrew or Russian or Greek or Japanese or hieroglyphics or Middle-Earth runes or your own wacky made-up cryptography employing squiggles and blots that is only decipherable to you and your imaginary talking (and reading!) dog, Mr. Nickels? Hey, that’s freakin’ awesome. And if you’ve just got plain ol’ boring handwriting, that’s O.K. too. The goal here, obviously, is to preserve within the text the distinct character and personality of the author that would otherwise be sacrificed to the cold conformity of Times New Roman or Courier New or that wretched Garamond. Fonts are useful, sure, but each writer’s real writing-writing is wholly unique, like one’s D.N.A. or thumbprint or secret fantasy. Like, maybe, the dream of one day writing, directing, and starring in a little off-Broadway show set in Hollywood, during the explosive summer of 1969... there's Woodstock and the war and the counterculture revolution surrounding the backstage turmoil on the set of "Bewitched," and we ride along on the soul-splitting emotional roller coaster that drove Elizabeth Montgomery to the brink of madness as her beloved Darrin Stephens transforms from Dick York to Dick Sargent. That is the dream: “I’ve Got Two Dicks: The Musical.”
Submissions may be any format: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, rebus puzzles, whatever. We do not discriminate by “labels.” Experimental, non-classifiable mutant pieces are often the most interesting anyway.
While the work that appears on the Y.P.R. Web site is generally silly, stupid, satirical, sarcastic, and sophomoric stuff, submissions for the journal needn’t be so. Maudlin personal essays overflowing with angst and torment are nice; so are gritty, pulpy crime stories. We’d sincerely love to see a smart, sexy piece of erotica that’s scribbled with really wide loops and a slant that doesn’t quit.
Any medium is acceptable -- pen and ink, mechanical pencil, crayon, Sharpie -- but keep in mind the journal’s pages will be printed in black and white. (What do you think, we’re rich?) As for materials, anything 8½” x 11” or smaller is good. It needn’t be plain white typing paper; three-hole punched college- or wide-ruled loose-leaf paper is fine, so’s a brown paper bag or the back of an I.H.O.P. placemat or a cocktail napkin that reads "Gary's Bar Mitzvah." Anything so long as it’s able to fit in a scanner. (Also, it’s probably a good idea to leave some safety room near the edges of the paper. We’d give specific margins, but, really, we’re learning together here.)
Drawings, doodles, scribbles are O.K. -- heck, encouraged -- but please, no photographs,* and nothing cut-and-pasted, unless you’re sending us a ransom note, and if so, you should know that Y.P.R. does not negotiate with ransomers.
If you must erase, Wite-Out, or scribble over a blunder, that’s O.K. All God’s chil’n’ make mistakes. But keep the thing legible, dammit.
Word count is unimportant here –- if you're that guy in Herald Square who writes tourists' names on grains of rice, more power to you (and if so, you probably had great cheat sheets in school) –- but page count should be under four or five, tops. One to two pages is probably best. Half a page is cool, too.
So, after that lengthy call for submissions, here’s how you answer that call: send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know who you are, and what you plan on submitting (content, format, length, etc.) If you’ve got a sample, or if you feel like typing the whole thing first, send that as well. Anyway, we’ll respond, quickly, and divulge the top-secret mailing address of Y.P.R. HQ, so that you may mail the actual handwritten work (with a S.A.S.E., if you want it returned). Or, if you'd like to scan, upload, and e-mail it, you may do that too. Send a JPG file, scaled to actual size.
We hate deadlines, but how's November 30 sound? Good.
All work published in "Graphology" remains, of course, the intellectual property of its authors. If in the future you’d like to republish your piece someplace else, especially if it’s someplace that pays its contributors, by all means do so. We only ask that you include a credit someplace that reads something to the effect of “This marvelous piece of literature was first enjoyed by the sophisticated, good-looking readers of ‘Graphology.’ When we say “someplace else, especially if it’s someplace that pays its contributors” we are gently letting you know that there will be no payment from Y.P.R. in the form of cash money (at least not at this time, but perhaps in the future, if this venture turns out to be a whopping success and Y.P.R. isn't in the red), although there will be intangible rewards in spades: great heaping bushels of adulation and praise, the admiration of your peers, and the chance to be a part of something slightly interesting. Also, a sandwich will be named after you; hey, why not?
Well, what are you waiting for? Write. Submit.
Vaya con dios.
* If you really need to submit a photograph because (like the results of our Cheap & Stupid Body-Writing Stunt) you plan to write on your face or on a cantaloupe or on the flesh of a potbellied pig or something, shoot us an e-mail, let’s discuss. Otherwise, just words and doodles on paper, thanks.
*BEA SHIRT! BEA SHIRT!*