Letters to my Editor

To The Editor,

Thank you in advance for your consideration of my enclosed fiction submission for publication in your magazine.

To The Editor,
Last week I submitted a story for publication in your magazine. A closer reading of your online submission guidelines has brought me to regret the tone of my initial email. You are not looking for stiff-necked writers who stand on formality nor do I fit that description. I write today to inform you that I am, in fact, too “out there” for two of my uncles who stopped coming to Thanksgiving years ago. They were boxed in by hegemonies, anyway. I know your magazine is looking for real writer’s writers who break molds and then make jello in ashtrays instead. I am your man. My story is titled Vacation from Hell.

To The Editor,
Today’s the day! It has been exactly two to three months since I submitted to your magazine. (I will probably get your response when the mail comes today.) In way of celebration, please find enclosed two important appendices to Vacation from Hell. The first is a picture of me for publication alongside my story. Please note my unorthodox attire considering I am pictured attending a bris. The second document is a companion reader to my story. Titled “Critical Essays on Judson Merrill’s Vacation from Hell” it offers a more complete examination of my fiction than your staff may have the time or expertise to provide. Please pay particular attention to the chapters “Giraffe Imagery” and “Autobiographical Influences.” I look forward to working with you.

To The Editor,
Thank you for your kind attention to the following apology for any letters I may have written to your magazine between midnight and 3 a.m. this morning. I was celebrating the newest draft of Vacation from Hell (enclosed). I imbibed too freely and, inadvertently, made a blood pact with a man named Woody that I would write hateful things to the person(s) who is most important to me. I assume I wrote to you. I have foggy memories of typing the phrases “Faulknerian idiot-man-child cum editor,” “long standing literary giraffe bias,” and “blood on your hands.” If any of this sounds familiar, I am most sorry.

To The Editor,
Last winter I submitted a story titled Vacation from Hell. Frankly, the length of time it has taken to reply to my submission is an insult. If I had gotten you pregnant back in January, instead of simply submitting a story, we would have already packed a bag for the hospital, mapped out our route, et. al. The big day would be upon us. So, if that’s all I am to you, a fake pregnancy you have no intention of pretending to deliver, than I need to know. And I need to know yesterday.

To The Editor,
I have hired a private detective to find out exactly what happened to my submission Vacation from Hell. Since my writing is my (potential) livelihood I need to keep careful track of it. My detective’s name is Gregor Freed and he is currently breaking into your office to retrieve any and all copies of my story from your offices and computers. Also, I have authorized him to leave fresh copies on the desks of all your editors, in the bathrooms, and in the pair of galoshes he found by the door.

To The Editor,
Thank you in advance for your kind attention to the tunnel I have excavated underneath your house. I have been living here for a week and enjoy your musical taste. I am writing to invite you to visit me any time to discuss my recent fiction submission, Vacation from Hell. I have previously been in contact with your staff and was under the impression my story was being considered. Nevertheless, I did some detective work on my own and discovered that at least five copies of my story were discarded before there was possibly time to read them. I knew you would want to know of this neglect which is why I am writing you personally. Again, my name is Judson Merrill and my story was titled Vacation from Hell (enclosed). I have recently placed copies in your coffee cup and Basquiat DVD case (that seemed to be the artiest movie you own). I also tucked a copy into your daughter’s sheets when she was at school today. I think she will appreciate its dark humor and, since she is family, I know she would be a trusted reader.

To The Publisher,
Thank you in advance for your consideration of my enclosed prison memoir, Giraffe Pen, for publication by your imprint. I believe you will find it haunting and visceral. I look forward to working with you.

Judson Merrill lives and writes in Brooklyn. He’ll release an e-novella, The Pool, this summer. A few things can be found at judsonmerrill.com.

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