Are You a New York Writer or an LA Writer?
Do you drink black coffee or almond milk matchas?
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
You go to a coffee shop in order to focus on your craft. What do you order?
A. A black coffee.
B. An almond milk matcha.
What is your critically acclaimed debut novel about?
A. A man getting stuck on a subway train and revisiting the weight of all of the mistakes he’s made in his twenty- four years of life.
B. A sweeping family drama about migrants crossing the border and the brave white man who meets them and has the guts to tell their story.
What do you eat for breakfast?
A. I don’t, because I’m distracted by the hustle and bustle of the world outside me. I’m constantly on the move, engaging with strangers and enemies, friends and lovers.
B. I don’t, because gluten before noon muddles the mind and destroys the body. Actually, gluten at any time. Actually, all food.
How explicit are your sex scenes?
A. I describe the curve of her breast.
B. I describe the curve of her [CENSORED BY THE EDITOR FOR PUBLICATION].
What’s served at your local cocktail parties?
A. Microbrews and cocaine.
B. Cheese and cocaine.
What are you dressing as for Halloween this year?
A. I don’t dress up for Halloween because it’s a holiday for children and crass consumer- ists. So either that or Maxwell Perkins.
B. A serial killer, but one who hasn’t been caught yet.
If you answered mostly A’S
You are a New York writer. Your best work will be done in a notebook while standing on a subway platform, waiting for a train that may or may not ever arrive. The rats that have burrowed beneath your nonfunctional dish- washer are probably just a metaphor for your grandfather’s sins.
If you answered mostly B’S
You are an LA writer. Your best work will be done by dictation while you’re waiting in traffic. Your blog posts about the lighting in Tarantino films will one day have upwards of eighty views. Enjoy pretending to call yourself a novelist while you’re really just waiting for the right person to read your screenplay.
(The above is an excerpt from The White Man’s Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon written by Dana Schwartz and illustrated by Jason Adam Katzenstein.)