At one time, our submission guidelines specifically said not to send
anything involving dentists, or by extension, dentistry, even if it’s historical
I really like the cougar
urine early on and would like to read a story about how someone figured
out that cougar urine works wonders in terms of turning away varmits from
one’s garden. Think about that—it’s crazy—how do ya figure something like
that out? An excellent idea for a story: part serious historical research,
part insane character, part cougar. Write it and I’ll read it posthaste.
Otherwise, “rots rats guts from the inside out” seemed like a phrase that
you enjoyed writing too much for a reader not to stop and think that the
writer enjoyed writing it a lot. “Spelunked” should be avoided in terms
of rooting through garbage, though it’s fine for eating chocolate chunk
ice cream or rooting around in one’s mouth with one’s member? “Princess
Leah” ain’t right—it’s Leia. But otherwise, the story just didn’t have
the right sort of vibe for what I’d like to vibrate Eyeshot’s readers with.
Sorry! But thanks and please send me a story about the provenance of cougar
Thanks for sending something but it’s really just not the sort of thing
I’m looking to post. I’m really more interested in psychopathic overindulgence
that’s nevertheless innocent and doe-eyed and charming and like totally
Thanks for sending this. It reads really clearly and cleanly and crispy
(and all the other above-board C words that are components of the word
CLARITY). Which is real good. But I guess the problem for me is that it
makes me want to shout WHITE GIRL IN AFRICA! WHITE GIRL IN AFRICA! over
and over until the words lose meaning and the scene on the bus transforms
into something that might interest a reader beyond the literal evocation
of the initially intoned WHITE GIRL IN AFRICA. Lots of people submit “stories”
(scenes, really) that could be called My (Sort of) Interesting Experience
in an Exotic Land. I’ve traveled some and have had some blatantly interesting
experiences and some really subtle ones, too, but I think it’s important
to maybe use the sketch or scene or sensation for some larger narrative
or character or thematic purpose? Anyway, also, re: Eyeshot’s hopes and
dreams: I’m really mostly looking to post pieces that are sort of benevolently
effed up (as the kids say) that are funny and dense and unpredictable and
maybe begin exactly as your story starts but end up underground, feeding
blood oranges and mythologically loaded pomegranates to a subterranean
orangutan porn star. Or something like that.
Thanks for sending this but I don’t really think I’m going to post it.
I hope that’s ok with you. You seem like a good human being from what I
can tell from your story. Sorry for not going into much detail re: the
rationale re: this rejection. I am a bad human being. Forgive me.
To the writer,
This dies when you start talking about smooth skin. You’re sort of setting
something up but then you just drop it and start talking about chest hair.
Tom Selleck = not funny.
Thanks for sending this to our “magazine.” (Why would you call a site
a magazine? Makes me question the depth of your “love.”) Regardless, thanks
again for sending this, but its meta-ness didn’t really do anything except
maybe sort of irritatingly stall a story that wasn’t really a story but
honestly seemed sort of like an exercise in metafiction my undergrads might’ve
done when I taught such things? Thanks again for sending it though and
good luck with this and other submissions elsewhere—and I hope you continue
enjoying the Eyeshot magazine.
Honestly, this reads like you were stoned and had some fun dashing something
off and then sent it. Sober, on my end, it’s frustrating to read. It’s
not funny. It’s pretty much juvenile. It’s absurdist for the sake of, well,
nothing. It’s not controlled. It’s nothing, really. These are only things
I thought while reading, of course—other sites might think differently.
But I bet you can do way better. Raise your game, Sir.
Eyeshot doesn’t traffic in subtle realizations. A character realizing
something about herself is not the sort of thing I tend to post. Unless
she realizes she’s something surprising, most likely unhuman, if not necessarily
First, right away, the simile “could smile like mountains” threw me
off—it’s overblown and makes no sense really. What’s it seem to mean? A
big choppy smile with ever-receding snowcaps? It’s actually a sort of hideous
cartoonish image. A reader is just trying to see something clearly but
you’re trying too hard to provide something to see that you’re getting
in the way of a reader seeing “Erin’s” existence. You have an admirable
ambitious instinct but it gets in the way of simple/clear communication/creation
of an intelligible image at this point.
Naw, dawg, but like yo how’m I gonna show this to my mama? Look, mama,
look at what I’ve posted about Chris Garvey’s pennis! It’s . . . Wha, Mah?
I’m sorry, Mah . . .. Yes, ma’am. I should really grow up, I know . . .
. I will do my best to post more mature works about motes of dust in afternoon
So I guess I want to thank you for like sending this submission. And,
yeah, but “cracking witticisms” felt like it was like a little off phrase-wise.
So I guess what I mean to say is that, other than the conversational voice
that I’m like sort of dubious about unless it’s done by DFW, I guess I
was sort of like maybe thinking this is like not quite right for this site
I sort of edit. And so but then like I was maybe thinking that you might
not respond to this totally quick response from me ”fuck yeah” but something
else more like FU or worse, and so I like decided that maybe the best way
to like ameliorate shit right away and in like advance was to like maybe
let you know that like whatever I think about this submission’s boundness
for the site I like edit, I nevertheless totally bet you’re the total shit
and I wish you well now and well beyond T-give.
First, I guess that despite this being a little denser formally, content-wise
it’s not really in the same area code—or time zone, really—in terms of
what I tend to post. Formally, there were two hurdles I couldn’t jump in
the first part: one was the repetition of “She felt” in two early sentences.
Usually I’m against the old “show don’t tell” thing because people tend
to say “show don’t tell” when they mean “dramatize—don’t summarize—action,”
and that’s something I wholly disagree with and can cite a billion canonical
precedents for support—but I do agree with “show don’t tell” when it’s
used as a suggestion about relaying a character’s emotions. Maybe it’s
better not to say, for example, that a character is impatient—instead have
her almost curse out a total stranger taking too much time in a crosswalk.
The second thing I had trouble with is that you have way too many compound
adjectives—each one felt like a cactus that kept snagging my attention
as I ran down the screen in search for water (maybe each time you use a
hyphen like in mocha-colored try to think up a better adjective or a different
way of describing her brown hair. But thanks again for sending this and
good luck and all. I guess I think overall that Eyeshot might not be the
best spot for the stuff you’ve already written but might be a home for
new stuff one day, maybe, assuming you write new stuff. Anyway, thanks
and sorry and good luck.
Maybe because this one sort of just lobs the exclusive Country Club
stereotype in the air, expecting it to do more than momentarily float before
obeying the law of gravity, this one won’t work for Eyeshot. Jokes re:
rich folks and Botox aren’t for us. Jokes re: mischievous gophers at Country
Clubs is way more on target (ie, a piece composed solely of Caddyshack
references). Also, Thanksgiving was last week. Also, the third- and fourth-to-last
paragraphs seemed a bit too meaty to get through.
I like the honest-seeming spirit of it. It’s sort of melodramatic and
simple, with the language occasionally straining to create images—a believable
impression of a lightly afflicted sixteen year old. I wrote similar stories
when I started writing: a story about a disturbed young man (DYM) whose
reflection wasn't there in the mirror (cleverly entitled “The Empty Mirror”),
and a little later a story about a DYM walking from the outskirts of a
city to its center to deliver a letter, all the while imaging all sorts
of alternate letters he was sending and describing everything (EVERYTHING)
he saw in great metaphorically significant, sad detail. After a while I
tried to lose the DYM and write more about myself as I really was, with
a sense of humor and a little more bounce to my step, or about other people
and the actual world they lived in. I tried to tell stories, too. Actual
stories -- not abstract textual vessels loaded with loaded details. Not
saying that what you sent isn't a story, just that for Eyeshot at least,
I'm not necessarily interested in posting DYM stories, unless DYM can fly
or transforms midway into a bowl of pasta his pop's about to sprinkle grated
I liked the bookstore setting and the mystery about the book at first
(why would guy flip it off? Why’s everyone buying it?) and then I liked
the repetitions, but then it sort of fell apart, got metafictional about
metafiction, and ended with anguish and anger that seemed to come from
nowhere (it wasn’t earned as creative writing dipwads might say, in an
italicized way). So I guess I’ll thank you again and say I was right there
with you for about 60% of it and then felt the carpet slide out from under
I managed to read this one from beginning to end (a compliment!) and
I should say that it's not every day that I receive readable submissions
involving Goth robot vampire communist assassin sluts. I sort of like how
ridiculous it is but then again it’s ridiculous in a way that maybe felt
a bit too cartoonishly gumshoe to me? How else could it feel though? Not
sure. Not sure about the erotic stuff either. I don't think I’ll post it,
ultimately, but I’ll wish you luck and totally look forward to what you
Is this a plagiarized excerpt from a James Bond book I never read? It’s
really not right for the site, regardless. Sorry. But thanks for sending
I guess what I should say is that this story, while totally readable
and not annoying etc, isn’t what I’m looking to post on Eyeshot right now.
If I were to post it, I’d be flooded with similar stories by dudes about
going to see bands etc. My life would not improve. I would not smile more.
I would probably not post any of these stories, either. Instead, I want
to post stories that make me laugh or at least smile, that are odd and
move unexpectedly and are maybe a bit dense (not as dramatized with dialogue
etc), and that would make others momentarily happy to have come to Eyeshot
and read some strange, funny, well-done story that might not find a home
at respected journals and sites etc. Plus, the more strange and funny stories
I post, the more of those stories people will send, and my life will improve
through the winter (as Gil Scott Heron sang, it’s winter in America).
I’d say it’s pretty much a primo example of something that’s perfectly
amusing yet not necessarily “funny.” The title makes it seem like it was
probably a McSweeneys.net submission at one point, and the execution is
perfectly clear and all, but I didn’t hear myself laugh. I did like the
stuff about Buddha at the end, though. You see, I’ve recently learned quite
a bit about Buddhism (eg, it’s an ancient fancy religious term for flat
affect and single-quote 'detachment'). I’ve learned all this via Tao Lin.
That’s a totally snarky editorial response unrelated to your submission.
Sorry. I’m a terrible editor. But I thank you again for sending this and
I wish you well with this bit of writing and other stories and stuff related
to the first tenet of Buddhism (all life = suffering). Anyway, please have
a sufferingless new year and send again whenever.
Thanks and sorry. I totally suck for passing on this, so please send
again whenever, and keep at it, never give up the good fight, and read,
read, read. Sorry, and thanks, and may you live a life of well-received,
restless production and consistent good health. Take care. Goodnight!
Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/rejections10.html
A longish history
of Eyeshot. Here's the archive.
Here are favorites posted
over the past 10 years. Here are the defunct submission
guidelines. Here are some good books