bear parade

the blog


a lesson on editing for web publishers and people who waste giant bags of money

i'm listening to dance music and editing tao and ellen's book into .rtf format. i have not changed any of the words, or made any alterations to what they originally sent me as their book, i am just reformatting the book into the format that i usually write in, so i can read the work easier, and get a better idea of what the book should look like. i am an editor.

as an editor, i read the work, and accept the work, and accept the writers and what they do, and then i think of the best way to present their work, which is always, in theory, a way that i am almost inexistent as an editor. it is impossible for me to be nothing, but if it was possible, i would be that.

modern editors want to shape taste, and i do that. except i found a way to do that without being an asshole and deleting words or removing passages or inserting my own ego.

here is how i "shape taste": i accept authors when i accept their work, and i let these authors, like tao and noah and ellen and ofelia, help themselves, and shape things whatever way they want to. these are people that know what they are doing, and i am a person that knows that they know what they are doing. i can not tell them anything they do not know about writing. my skill is designing websites, and i can only help them with that. if they have a suggestion, i use it to influence my own direction and what i need to be doing.

being an editor requires no power or ego. it requires knowing how to print material and checking for grammatical errors (which i don't spend too much time on, because i can always change things). being an editor requires trusting the skill of the people you work with.

i'm sure paper books are different and have all sorts of political implications and money issues. but fuck paper books. i accomplish a similar goal, reach a similar amount of people, and spend around $300 a year doing so. in order for someone to bankroll bear parade (maybe 8 books a year), they would have to work at mcdonalds or subway for a little over 60 hours. in order for someone to bankroll one printed book for a paper publishing house, they would have to work something like 5,000 hours at mcdonalds or subway.


i go on a small tirade

it takes me a while to respond. this is not because we have so many submissions that it's impossible for me to make it through them all quickly, and it is not because i take so much time to study each submission and make sure it is something we can or cannot use. it is because i am not anxious to make myself an asshole, crusher of submission hope.

bear parade is small, and doesn't need to get any bigger. if you are already reading it, you are good. you were able to find it, and you like honest writing that is not full of shitty and cliched extended metaphors and words and phrases that have little or no actual meaning.

read politics and the english language by george orwell. apply it to all of your writing, even if it is not political.

most of the people that submit honestly to bear parade are not untalented writers.

the "bad" submissions i get are from people who send out blanket submissions to multiple publications. fuck these people.

if you are one of these people, i will not reply with anything nice or informative. fuck you, dick. you do not read the site.

bear parade publishes books. if you do not submit a book, fuck you. you do not read the site.

while i'm on my tirade, fuck you, also, people who want off the mailing list. you do not read the site.


submission notes

submissions are closed for the next bear parade book. the next bear parade book is coming soon, and will be the most graphically enhanced yet. five or six colors. graphically enhanced .gif content. colored text. graphically enhanced colored text.

submissions are open for the book after the next bear parade book. there is an electronically advanced submission process, and a unique reply for every submission.

miranda july blurbed tao. she should submit a bear parade book. it's hard to find free writing of hers on the internet, so i have no idea what her writing is like, even though i think i have read something of hers before. i am aware of her video art.

there are currently six submissions in the bear parade inbox. i just read one by ben myers, and i don't know how i'm going to reply yet.

usually, i throw in a curse word when i reply to submissions to let folks know that i am "with it".


ben lerner

we asked ben lerner to submit to bear parade a few weeks before he was nominated for the national book award

he said he didn't have any poems available but would think of us in the future when he had more poems