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!
Aimee Bender's The Third Elevator walks you step by step through everything that made your childhood wonderful, but tempers its fantasy with the hard truths of contemporary adulthood. In these pages a swan and a bluebird fall in love despite the backward-thinking decree of a pet-keeping queen, and the consummation of their affair produces an ineffable heir; a cloud hatches from a speckled egg and disappears into the stratosphere. The swan's desperate attempts to reunite with his lost child serve as the impetus for a foray into a world of troublesome, melodramatic loggers, exclusively subterraneal miners finding destinies in the sky, and richly painted surrealistic settings accessible by wooden, gold, and feather elevators that serve as the backbone for the “local economy.”
The Third Elevator effortlessly encompasses the sweeping vistas and plain-stated wonder of a fairy tale, kleptomaniac doves, and career-changing tradesman exclaiming, “What in the goddamn God Damn?” Bender is a singular storyteller; she delivers both biting humor and a richly fulfilling ending, one that will leave you eager to continue “looking and breathing and looking.”
Aimee Bender is the author of the story collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Willful Creatures and the novels An Invisible Sign of My Own and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.
* This title was printed in a limited edition for AWP 2012 and will re-release in October 2012.