Zoe Aline Howard
Bonus round for favorites: Patti Smith, Girls Can Kiss Now, Lot: Stories, Heavy, Swamplandia!, Sadness is a White Bird, Kevin Wilson’s “A Room at Madame Terreur’s,” Pam Houston, Binchtopia podcast, Troop Zero, Empire Records, 1970s rock, Jacqueline Woodson, Ali Smith.
In nonfiction, I’d love to see writing about the relationships between people and their places, and CNF that blends research with personal narratives. I especially love pop culture, music, internet culture (women on the internet!), essay collections, etc.
More in fiction: joyous LGBTQ+ characters. Contemporary, literary takes on the Western that critique genre tropes. Speculative/magical realism elements that are grounded in the “real” world (think Nothing To See Here, The Pisces)
I’d love to see subversive, sexual, queer women gone rogue (Melissa-Broder-type characters who are shamelessly off-putting, and have not only rejected gender roles, but all social expectations entirely)—Think: Sedating Elaine, The Pisces, Otessa Moshfegh
In fiction, I’m craving characters that are *so* possesed by their wants that their behavior takes a drastic turn—and alternately, melancholic characters who know that they can’t have what they want (and want it anyway).
On the religious/spiritual side, I’m looking for well-researched subversions of what we expect about religion, and deep dives into how people live their religions, into death practices, what it means to "believe," and how religious backgrounds affect character decisions.
Other topics! Send me writing about: material culture—our objects, histories of *things*, consumer culture, religious relics, and so on. Para-social relationships: celebrity obsession, internet culture, codependency.
Across the board, I’d love to see: region-specific writing (southern writers on the coastal and “convenience store” south, the Western US, or international narratives), especially underrepresented voices from these regions—
I’m always drawn to writing that lingers—on language, on character development, on the subtleties of character relationships, in one place, on the memory of a place, on a niche subject—and makes those details pop.