Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

Monthly Archives: June 2013


We were very excited to receive your submission for issue #6 of ‘Face Grinder’. It was edgy, contemporary, and sharp. Everybody in the editorial office read it and we all enjoyed it. I think we each drew something important from it, and not just in considering its innovative narrative mode, vivid characterisation, and page-turning story.

The character of Jason particularly struck a chord with Viv, our marketing manager, whose son suffers from bi-polar disorder. Viv showed your story to his son’s therapist, who has used the narrative arc of Jason’s recovery to devise a new way of looking at the son’s condition. It really seems to be working. The son has stopped gambling excessively and harming himself, and has an interview lined up for a job as a reporter with the local paper. This could be the start of a new life for him.

Alison, our trainee editor, applied your pared-down, skewed style of dialogue to her novel that was recently rejected, and has re-written it as a radio play. This has been accepted by BBC Radio 4. They have commissioned her to write another play next year. The University of Kingston, Jamaica has also booked her to deliver a series of seminars for emerging writers, entitled, ‘Saying the Unsaid’.

The complex set of plot threads to do with the android who conducts experiments in molecular biology were studied assiduously by Dave, our admin assistant, who is waiting to start his PhD at Edinburgh. He has spoken to his supervisor-to-be, and they have agreed to change the title of his thesis. The supervisor seems to think that the project might secure a big breakthrough in the fight against cancer. He seems really excited about the forthcoming experiments, and has mentioned the possibility, not just of a big batch of publications in prominent journals, but a Nobel prize as well.

We were also very interested and impressed to hear that you had managed to sell all ten copies of issue #5 that we sent you. Thanks for dropping off the money. Thanks also for managing to put out that fire that Dave had unwittingly started in the wastepaper basket after his cigarette break. I checked after that incident and, through some ghastly oversight, our buildings and contents insurance had not been renewed. Without your timely intervention, we would have lost our entire business, apart from any possible loss of life. I hope you have been able to use your time in the burns unit to do a bit of writing. I hear there are writers who can produce just as much with those eyelid-operated keyboards as most people can typing normally.

Unfortunately, the editorial panel felt that your story did not quite gel with the rest of the issue, and so we cannot publish it. Good luck with your future career, and we look forward to reading more of your excellent work in future.

P.S. Is it OK if we send you another ten copies of issue #5 to sell? We’re a bit stuck with them.