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…
The bookmark is the part that I keep coming back to, perhaps because I think that it is the thing about the whole incident that says the most about me, the only thing that means anything. The exact placement of the bookmark, the way that I precisely, if quickly, wedged it into the book so that the bottom edge cleanly revealed a line of text and its top edge protruded out of the book at its customary surplus of about 1.5 inches.
I was reading in the park, engrossed in a world very far from my own, but one in which I was reading a highly coincidental passage about a car accident. I’m sure that it means nothing that I was reading about an accident, but when I heard the bang of the collision, it was a shock to my mind as much as my ears. It was as though the life of the pages were playing out before me, and as I looked quickly up at the car accident coming to a stop only yards from the bench, I became very confused.
I was already in action of course, as the papers went to great lengths…
Morris was not at the hospital to witness his wife’s last breath, but no-one there was surprised. Not his daughter, Samantha, not his brother, Reg, nor his mother-in-law, Madge. They assumed Morris was drunk because he was a great drunk: great for missing great moments like his own church wedding—held a week later at the courthouse—like Samantha’s birth, and now Dolores’ passing.
Reg found Morris at home, asleep on the kitchen floor. Reg slapped his brother’s face. “Dolores died,” he said.
“What?” said Morris.
Morris took hold of the kitchen counter and pulled himself to his feet. “So, I’m a widower,” he said. “I need a drink.”
“Don’t you dare,” said Reg.
“If I accept your dare and succeed, what prize do I win, Reg? Your respect?”
“Too late for that, brother.”
“How are the others doing?”
“Samantha’s a mess. Gloria’s mad at me for coming to tell you. Madge sends her spite.”