I guess I got to quit thinking of myself as a "genre" writer since, (in their own words) they bill them selves as:
"mixer's mission literary genre"
is to break down the arbitrary boundaries between genre fiction and "literature." This false distinction misleads many to believe that literature does not work within its own generic forms and conventions, or that "literary" fiction is not meant to entertain us by creating "overt" sensations. Not surprisingly, this belief unfairly shackles writers from working in many of their favorite genrese.g., horror, romance, science fiction, or noirby privileging a frigid, overly formulaic, clichéd, and ideologically neutered (i.e., safe, i.e., conservative) realism as the only literary alternative.
Rejecting this narrow thought, mixer embraces genre and seeks a playful middle ground between entertainment and art by publishing stories that are subtle and sensational. Our stories are not frigid or anti-intellectual; they are not afraid of human emotion or theory. Whether our stories subvert clichés like the realist epiphany, the misogynist gaze of horror and noir, the patriarchal subtext of romance, science fiction's utopian (i.e., enlightenment) vision, or poetry's endless idealization of anything polytheistic or pastoral, they have fun playing with formula without being formulaic. Provocative and profane, fabulously defamiliarizing, mixer stories map out a new literary landscape that we call literary genre.
In General, What Makes a mixer Story? What Is Literary Genre?
The most traditional starting place for the division between literature and genre is at the level of language. Genre typically features clear language that uses clichés so that plot/story can be emphasized. In genre, writers don't want to burden the reader with deciphering symbols and subtext, so ambiguity or subtlety are not valued. We can also extend this clichéd/clear use of language to other elements of genre fiction: character, plot, point-of-view, etc. Therefore, a genre piece that excels or experiments with these elements--language, subtext, symbol, plot, point-of-view--is a possible mixer story.
Mixing Formula or Genre...
Since genre fiction is defined by a strict adherence to formula, any mixing of traditional formula can be considered a possible mixer story. However, although some stories may mix genre or formula, unless it's well done or, at the very least, pretty interesting, we're not going to publish it. mixer is open to a wide range of possibilities: slight deviations or major. For example, a story may parody the conventions of Romance--mainly be a satire--but we'd still publish it in the Romance section because it's playing in the milieu and is a part of our ongoing literary conversation.
A Final Shot: Literary Genre vs. Straight Genre, or The Subtle vs. The Sensational...
mixer defines literary genre as a work that transcends genre while also playing within it (a mix of art and entertainment); straight genre is focused more on entertainment than innovation, experiment, or subtlety. Think of it this way: if literary genre can be defined by a mix of the sensational and the subtle ("the literary"), then straight genre cares more about sensation. In terms of genre, for example, a straight horror story cares more about scaring us than does literary horror, which may be more concerned with exploring epistemological gaps in human perception, or experimenting with language or point-of-view. A straight romance story would care more about making the reader feel various sensations of love (romantic, erotic); and so on (Noir, Science Fiction). While mixer is more interested in literary genre than straight genre, we plan on publishing the best of both.
Payment: $25-$100 for online (i.e., Website) publication, depending on length and quality; $25-$100 for print publication, based on the same standardsome stories will be online only while others will be chosen for online and print publication; and at the end of each year, an additional $500 will be paid to the story that best represents mixer's aesthetic of literary genresee our mixologist page for more details."
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