CHALLENGE to New York!

empire state

We’re pleased to announce an ongoing Challenge! to any New York City literary journal– but especially to the most prominent New York journals, Paris Review, Electric Literature, and nplusone magazine. We challenge any or all of them to engage with us in a reading contest.

Each side would put forth the best short story of theirs, whether recently published, or accepted and in the pipeline. We’d post both stories online and invite general readers to decide the question: Which is the better story?

(Our likely candidate would be a brand new story by NPL’s own Kathleen Crane.)

This would be more than a contest of Detroit versus New York. It would be a test of styles– pitting status quo “literary” writing against our new “pop lit” model. Obviously, we’re confident that we’ve come up with a better product, and wish to display that. At minimum, the match would be fun, maybe exciting.

The New York publications should have every belief they’d prevail. Odds strongly favor any one of them. After all, their journals are backed by  plutocrats and large publishers. They’re hyped by the enormous Manhattan media machine. They have ready access to the cream of Ivy League writers– elite graduates from the most prestigious universities on the planet outside Oxford and Cambridge. By contrast, we’re lowly upstarts operating out of America’s most beaten-down major city.

We’ve tossed down the gauntlet. Will any of New York’s courageous literary intellectuals take up the challenge? Let’s see!

(This is part of our new “Democracy in Literature” project.)



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