Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No Genre Fiction!

I like a challenge. I like to be challenged and I like to challenge others. It helps our brain come alive, our creativity become fresh again and most important it keeps us moving forward.

I've been trying my hand at poetry. Now I'm not a poet. I write cute little rhyming poems. Nothing major or deep thinking about them, but one of the poems I have started writing, has challenged me to turn it into a children's picture book, along with my own illustrations (I'm not an illustrator either) But for me it's a challenge.

Anyway...I write romance novels and started thinking of short romance stories to submit to magazines. So I googled "submitting stories to magazines" and I found a few different sites that list magazines that take unsolicited submissions.

Here's one list for the UK http://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/short-stories/magazines/

And then there is this one US  http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html

And this one http://www.christopherfielden.com/short-story-tips-and-writing-advice/short-story-magazines.php#ShortStoryMagsUSA

Now what I've found, is that quite a few of the magazines say they only accept "No Genre Fiction"
Now I must not be the brightest person, because I had to google to find out what they meant by "No Genre Fiction"
I guess I should have paid more attention in my English 101 Story Composition class in college, But at that time I had never thought about writing and two weeks into the class my brother passed away unexpectedly and for a minute there, I almost dropped all of my classes, but I knew my brother would want me to finish. It was the last semester I needed to graduate. So I ended up writing all my stories for the class, about my brother as a dedication to him. In fact one of those stories is published in Patti Roberts book titled
"I Believe" (My story is titled "Do you believe") And you can pick up "I Believe" for free here on Amazon

So what exactly is "No Genre Fiction" Well my understanding of it is, it is a fictional story with NO romance, mystery, zombies, ghosts, no paranormal, no sci-fi, no...What! How do you write a "No Genre Fiction?" Better yet what do you write about? And some of them even say they accept stories with up to 10,000 words!
I might be able to come up with a paragraph or two, maybe even a page, but 10,000 words? Yikes! Your stories have to be things that happen in everyday occurrences. Things that could actually happen and yet they must be fiction.

   Well, I've come up with a few ideas that might work with those guidelines.

How about;
Shopping for a new dress.
My son's baseball game.
Or maybe
Working in the yard on a beautiful day.

   These are just some off the top of my head. 
What kind of ideas can you come up with, that you think would work great with, "No Genre Fiction?"

   Have you ever written "No Genre Fiction?"
Could you challenge yourself to do so?

You can read some "No Genre Fiction" stories for free at Carve Magazine.
Just click on the link http://carvezine.com/fiction/#.UcBs7-e-2uI

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment!


  1. I don't know about "No Genre Fiction". Seems like it might be rather boring. Not only would I have a difficult time writing it (as I like to immerse myself in my stories), but I would have a hard time reading (for the same reason).

    Curious to see how it plays out for you..

    1. I'm going to try a short one and post it on here in a few days and you can let me know what you think :-) I am always up for a challenge, so we will see what happens.

  2. Hmm..interesting indeed. Sounds like quite the challenge.

    1. Have you ever challenged yourself to do something different with your writing? I know we challenge ourselves all the time to write, but I'm thinking such as, write in the 1st person POV when maybe you only write in 3rd person POV. Or write a different genre? I have one on my other blog, check it out here http://karensdifferentcorners.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/a-challenge-interested/#comments

    2. Ugh! I keep forgetting links don't work in comments, I'll have to figure out the settings for that :-) I'm sorry you'll have to Copy and paste the link into your browser

  3. Replies
    1. I guess that's where the challenge comes in! I'm going to try a short one and post it on here in a few days. I'll keep you updated! :-)

  4. No Genre Fiction. The way I read it: it is a story, perhaps like To Kill A Mockingbird, or any story that doesn't delve deep into one subject(genre). I'm sure you can do it, Karen. I'm a genre hopper and it's quite good for me. I've written in first person-- difficult to do, but it keeps you thinking.

    There are many book written in a no genre style, but in the end you must pick one so they usually become literary fiction.

    Good, dear.

    1. Hi Dannie
      I never thought about the genre of "To Kill a Mockingbird" But now that you mention it, to me it has a bit of mystery. Writing in first person is hard for me, but I like to dabble and try new things.

  5. Sounds like what would just come under the "mainstream fiction" banner. In general, I consider everything to have some genre or other. For example, your son's baseball game would come under sports fiction.

    Personally, I love a challenge. I don't think that any writer can consider themselves a real artist unless they try to push the limits of their craft.

    1. Hi Chris
      I was thinking that everything would fall under some type of genre, also. But then again, what some say No Genre Fiction is, is a fictional story that tells a story about something that can happen in everyday life. One story that I read a part of on another website, had a man sitting in his car watching a road crew fix potholes in the street. Now that seems kind of boring, but could it be written so it would be entertaining?

  6. Karen, I believe both my "Immortal Relations" and "Immortal Relations, Love and War" are first person as is my third title, "Immortal Relations Coming Out" (which I'm finishing now). As for "No Genre' Fiction," I guess having a stone on the bottom of a river bounce along "running into" other stones as the current moved it along might qualify, ditto a seed from a plant being blown along on wind currents. But maybe I'm wrong...as for boring, I guess it would depend on the conversations carried on by the stones or seed with the items it passes or lands on. Good luck with the project!

  7. I thot only 2 genders existed
    on earth, dear: m 'n f; you N
    i know for a fact only 2 genders
    exist in Seventh-Heaven, missy.
    And dat juss d'troof.


Leave a comment. I'd love to hear your viewpoint