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…
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.”
Today is the second thousandth time I must attempt to forget, but instead I will build you a temple On the wallpaper of an aging soul. Don’t go coughing again in the middle Of a night when all sleeps, travel to Dreamlands, neighborhoods so far away Don’t you dare scream again at the boy. You knew how to smile once, yesterday still I saw you laugh with a stranger and his lettuce A world yours, where no one was welcome But pain, scars, punches never held back. I want to make you laugh, long to see you Smile behind, within, and outside all that skin No matter the deep grooves and dried up pores You must believe that you too deserve it a little. You hold it to yourself like it’s yours to keep Don’t you know you are not allowed And the universe demands you share it all For you too can only earn from borrowed time.