Which of these novel fragments do YOU think deserves to be ghostwritten in full by our team to become the next Great American novel? Tweet your choice with the hashtag #MarchMadness to cast your vote!


Untitled Journal No. 1

By L. Burch


Author’s Note

A truly great novel—a novel that demands and rejects and maims with quick sure strokes, that drags you to the edge of existence and pulls a stone idol out of the nothingness there—can of course only be written by a truly desperate man. Something inside you must break before you can break something of the world’s. 

Chapter One

First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary. I know what it says on the cover, but if Mom thinks I’m going to write down my “feelings” in here or whatever, she’s crazy. So just don’t expect me to be all “Dear Diary” this and “Dear Diary” that.


In The Shadow of a Roar

By J.C.S.Eldred


What is noise but an incoherent silence? Noise bothered Silas Greene, but when all the waves anti-aligned perfectly, cancelled out to nothing, that new noise which they call silence bothered him too. Not that Silas Greene was an all too disagreeable person. He liked many things: his dog, his wife (different), and the smell of a chocolate croissant on a Thursday morning. (The bakery washed the sidewalk Wednesday afternoons. All other days, the smell of piss mixed disharmoniously with that of the croissants. Not that he held anyone in contempt for it—he walked his dog down that street himself.)

And it was on this particular Thursday morning that he had left his 13th story apartment (14th if you asked the elevator buttons; Fuck you if you asked the mailman) without his dog or his wife, planning to buy and then eat one such croissant at the Green-awninged café two blocks down Broadway… 


Moby-Dick: A Whale’s Tale

By M. Kuo


First off, it’s Mobius Richard, which is already an unfortunate name to have. People are always trying to shorten it, and there’s no good option. What kind of nickname is Dick, anyways? Where does the D come in? I’m Mobius Richard, Mobie Rich if really you want to keep it snappy. Get that through your thick human skull, which I can instantly crush with my 1,000 baleen plates. 

Second, everything I did was in self-defense (besides the part where I felt a little cranky and ate a couple humans). This Ahab dude tries to strip my blubber for ambient lighting, and I’m not supposed to fight back? The fact that he nicknamed me—dare I say, violently—Moby Dick was honestly my last straw. 

At that point, hell yeah I was down for revenge! I did what I had to do. But hey, at least I’m not that iceberg that hit the Titanic. 


The Grapes of Wrath

By W. Cramer


To the red country and part of the gray country of Sonoma, California, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. The plows worked the fields, guided by farmers who had no idea what they were in for. Across the vineyard, greenish-purplish fruits murmured to one another. Today was the day everything would change, for the worse. Because these grapes were not happy. These grapes were angry. Like, super angry. They were riled up for real this time. These grapes weren’t going to hang around and just take it anymore. No, these grapes were so upset and vengeful, they were about to start the Great Depression.