That is a very good question. My definition of a misfit document is a text that doesn’t easily fit into any genre or category. It’s not quite a poem or short story or novel excerpt or essay. Or if it is one of those things, it doesn’t quite qualify as “literary” or sci-fi or mystery or memoir or whatever. Or maybe it’s all of those things and more. It’s something you wrote that you believe is amazing, but you have no idea what it is or where it belongs in the world. It’s something that when people read it they say, “What the hell is this?”
It’s something that doesn’t really have a label, or at least not one that is widely used.
Lots. I want to be surprised and delighted. I want to read things that are nothing like I’ve ever read before. I want to scratch my head. I want to struggle trying to describe it.
I don’t want to narrow what would fall under a category called “Misfit Documents” because I’m not ready to rule anything out. At least not yet.
I lean towards work that is quirky, strange, fucked-up, etc., but my tastes do run fairly eclectic. Some of my favorite authors: Leonora Carrington, Alice Notley, Joyce Mansour, Bhanu Khapil, Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, Joy Williams, Rikki Ducornet, Fanny Howe (especially her essays), Kim Hyesoon, Frank O’Hara, Harryette Mullen, Marie-Louise von Franz, Lindsay Hill, Helen Oyemi, Flannery O’Connor, Marosa Di Georgio, Hannah Weiner and Amy Gerstler.
I’m not saying I want work in the vein of any of the above authors, just giving you an a sense for some of the styles that I’m drawn to. Not doubt I’m drawn to others as well.
Obviously, I’m looking for texts that are well-written, interesting, compelling and work as stand-alone pieces. Misfit doesn’t mean throw away or unfinished. I’m not looking for leftovers.
Not sure if what you have is right? Just send it. The worst that will happen is that I’ll say no thank you and you’ll say (TO YOURSELF!): That moron wouldn’t know a true misfit document if one fell out of the sky and danced on her face!