Ends on

During the month of August, Jenny Irish is on board to offer feedback on mixed genre & hybrid manuscripts. Jenny is the author of the hybrid poetry collections Common Ancestor (Black Lawrence, 2017) and Tooth Box (Spuyten Duyvil, 2021),  and the short story collection I Am Faithful  (Black Lawrence, 2019). She teaches creative writing at Arizona State University. Jenny is accepting everything from short pieces (up to 2 pages) to full-length manuscripts (up to 200 pages). The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:


 • Short pieces, up to 2 pages in length, $25

 • Folios, up to 7 pages in length, $55

 • Extended pieces/chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $225

 • Short manuscripts, up to 90 pages in length, $350

 • Long manuscripts, up to 200 pages in length, $525


All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is August 31. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by September 30.


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Jenny Irish's Statement of Purpose

Foundational to my engagement with any manuscript is the understanding that it is a work-in-progress: a space of possibility. Rather than approach a manuscript as a flawed object needing to be fixed, my first priority is to understand the goals of the writing, how those goals are currently being achieved, and then determine how my feedback can help to more fully realize them.

Writing isn’t formulaic, so it’s vital to treat every piece as unique and meet it on its own terms. For example, a non-linear, fragmentary novella is very different than a linear sequence of micro prose pieces. Each unique piece will receive the most benefit from feedback that encourages that particular manuscript to be the strongest version of itself. Working together, our objective is to strengthen, not to “correct” your work.

I don’t seek to primarily draw an author’s attention to what is “flawed,” so much as I read to identify areas where the writing could benefit from more, less, or different. More, less, and different are macro concepts that can help generate useful questions about a piece. Where would the writing benefit from more? This could involve the foreshadowing that makes a revelation feel like a discovery for the reader, as opposed to a manipulation, or, could be about the groundwork for thematic concerns a piece of writing wants to engage, or, an absence of clear motivation. Asking where more is needed can help with cohesion and clarity. Asking where less is needed, can help point to areas where authorial strategies are perhaps being overused, or, a recurring image that appears more than is needed, diluting its effect, or, a situation where an author has written their way into a narrative that actually begins on the third page. Different, can help a writer think about an element that isn’t achieving what it intends, and encourage the consideration of alternatives. This might apply to the relationship between content and form, or the ordering of a sequence.

As well as engaging with a manuscript on a macro level, I will be reading and responding to it on a micro level: at the level of the line—not line editing—but speaking to language and image, the texture and flow created by diction and syntax.

As a writer, I am interested in the vast possibilities for movement and the accumulation of meaning in different structures. My work is narrative, often moves associatively, and draws on a range of genre influences including fiction, poetry, and the essay. I do love a striking sensory detail. I love sound and texture on the page. As a reader, I am often drawn to works that challenge easy genre classification. I enjoy a wide range of aesthetics and read broadly. Some of my recent favorites are The White Book by Han Kang, Spectacle by Susan Steinberg, Many Restless Concerns by Gayle Brandeis, and Not Merely Because of the Unknown that was Stalking Toward Them by Jenny Boully.

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