So this year we thought we'd do something a little different for our Cafe Aphra November Challenge... a touch of tongue-in-cheek, a pinch of parody, something to make us smile in these dark and shortening Autumn days.
Ever wondered whether your favourite classic novel would get published nowadays?
Well now's your chance to write that imaginary rejection letter from the publisher sent to the author of a famous classic, explaining exactly why their manuscript is unsellable, unpublishable or unreadable.
Or, if you'd rather, you can try and 'pitch' your classic manuscript to a sceptical modern-day publisher and see what he or she has to say in response.
It doesn't have to be long, and you can either make it obvious what the classic in question is, or you can keep us guessing.
Perhaps this all sounds a little confusing... A parody of a rejection of a pitch?! What on earth does that look like??
Well if you want an example of what I mean, here is one from l…
June was an unpredictable month of little storms. At three o’clock, a pale Caribbean sun came into view and the girls begged Beatrice to drive them to the sea for an afternoon dip. They missed the salty heat of coral beaches and the iridescent waves.
When they arrived at the deserted beach, the ocean was a cloudy colour. Seagulls sailed in the wind that carried the pitiless odor of seaweed. The girls sighed at the brown sea, and vented to their mother. After ten minutes of lying beneath an overcast sky, everyone retreated to the car and brushed the sand off their feet. Secretly, Beatrice was glad for the rain. A change in climate was auspicious for a dry island lashed by the long rays of a mercurial sun. But the rain also consoled her. It helped her sleep. Most nights, she would toss and turn on the bed and it was only the clamor of the rain on the galvanized tin roof that could soothe her. Tonight, she lay awake waiting. There was no need for a fan. The trade winds blew through the pal…
Overhead, they swoop and soar, chirp and chatter, but Axel doesn’t seem to hear. His defences strong, resolve weakened, he protests his plight in that way of teenagers. His old head on young shoulders says he was destined to be caged.
My heart breaks to see him, happy in his own skin, with eyes black as the crows, but never to be free as the birds. I told him, ‘Accept nothing, Axel; challenge everything.’ He slants his eyes at me as if to say, ‘Don’t be ridiculous; it’s the way it’s always been.’ His chair squeaks with each slow wheel rotation but when he’s in a playful mood he’ll make it whir like a rotor that might lift him up to swoop and soar in the blue sky and billowing clouds. ‘I figure it’d be pretty cool up there but I guess I wouldn’t last long,’ he says. ‘Probably,’ I reply. I don’t want him to tell me he’d prefer to be up there. He’ll be there soon enough. I cannot imagine my life without him, empty of his squeaking and whirring, but I swallow, smile and open the door. He pr…