We want your best full-length prose manuscript (including, and not limited to: novels, novellas, memoirs, lyric essays, story collections, prose poems and/or flash fictions). Our open reading period is during June of every year. Prepare to submit!
Winner of The Lit Pub's 2nd Annual Prose Contest, Lena Bertone's LETTERS TO THE DEVIL tells a story of heartbreak, manipulation, evil, and grandeur. In these epistolary recollections, a fairytale villain is stripped of her power and confined in her ex-lover's underground house. As she begrudgingly cares for his child in his absence, she rages and mourns in her letters to him, remembering the exquisite ugliness of their doomed relationship, describing the sweet pain of love and desire, and documenting the power of one person over another to make life a hell worth living. . . .
"In letter after letter, Lena Bertone's narrator accuses, questions, begs for affection, her voice riddled with obsession and disgust, longing and passion. Here is an unconventional and unforgettable voice, one I hoped might continue sending her missives long after the last page."
-Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods
"A fugue of revulsion, Letters to the Devil is a spiraling spine: delicate, intricate, urgent. The loneliness of despair eats at the reader, our bodies cramping with sorrow and optimism."
-Lily Hoang, author of The Evolutionary Revolution
"These Letters to the Devil are by turns formalist, funny, raw, wicked, fantastical - but always throbbing with longing. Lena Bertone has created something here that's wholly original - a genre wrapped in itself and topped with a sinister, sideways bow".
-Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies
"This is a beguiling work of archetypes and contemporary sensibilities both, conjuring and filling out myth while putting it closer into the current imagination and experience. The evolving sense and feel of dialogue, so plaintive, so simple, pushes us on our strange way in pursuit of the narrator’s pursuit. We are in this together, even as the narrator is so uncertain. These words are compelling as they construct, in a new way, their curious story."
-Alberto Ríos, Poet Laureate of Arizona and author of The Dangerous Shirt