There is an article in New York Magazine that discusses James Frey’s recent business adventure in literature. Allegedly, he is recruiting young writers to help him produce new, high income-generating fiction, but is pushing the participants into brutal contracts with little return to the authors. If this is even remotely true, I’m personally very disappointed. Both A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard are two of my favorite books. I also got to meet James on one occasion and had a brief email correspondence with him years ago, right before his ascent to fame (and then notoriety) began. He seemed like a very solid, caring guy, he never struck me as someone who would exploit young, naive writers. So my hope is that this story is either inaccurate or at least blown out of proportion.
In the spirit of exploitation, I too am asking writers to produce works of fiction for me, after a listener to our radio show (with the great Ben Corman) asked him and me to each take a crack at producing very short fiction. Since I’ve never attempted writing in this format before, I thought it best to take down anyone else who is willing to expose their writing flaws as well. So if you are interested in working on your writing, email your 850 words or less short fiction piece to RDobrenski@aol.com. Please send the story in the body of the email as opposed to an attachment. No topic restrictions whatsoever, just make it fictional, mind the word count and get them to me by Wednesday, December 8th. The stories that Ben and I really like will be discussed on the podcast, posted here and/or linked to if you have your piece on your personal blog as well. And, of course, no one other than you will get credit for the work.
One twist: in truly sinister mode, I am not even offering the paltry sum of $250, as James Frey is accused of giving for a completed book. Other than praise and perhaps increased traffic to your site for your short piece, you get NOTHING (insert maniacal laughter here).