It’s all you’ve come to love and respect about the grit lit CJ puts out. Our intention is to take our best stories and authors with book projects and bring out some of the best grit lit paperback reading you’ll find today.
COWBOY [kou-boi] (def.)
1. American plains animal herder who tends cows
2. one who is reckless or ignores risk, i.e. "cowboy attitude"
3. tradesman with questionable or atypical practices, i.e. "cowboy plumbing"
4. fast or careless driver on the highway, i.e. "slow down, cowboy"
5. slang for "outlaw"
JAMBOREE [jam-buh-ree] (def.)
1. a large celebration or party, typically boisterous
2. a carousel of noisy merrymaking
If your fiction, creative nonfiction, vignette, flash, or photography merges any combination of the two definitions above, we're probably gonna dig it. Not everything we accept for publication looks the same. That said, words that describe stories we tend to like might include rural, hardscrabbled, rough-hewn, pulpy, noirish, western noir... and, of course, GRITTY.
In short, we're a Grit-Lit magazine focused on the rural working class and revisionist western writing. We are not a traditional western magazine. Western stories we accept tend to stray from archetypes of females as damsels and cowboy gunslingin' heroes. We're generally not interested in historical western characters, no matter how fictionalized. We like nontraditional western stories that, just like the rural grit lit we tend to accept and promote, blends working class and literary language to explore characters and places that find themselves on the hardscrabble rather than heroic side of life.
In other words, our cowboys are more likely to jump off a '71 Maverick than rope a bull.
We do like old western movies. Hank Williams is one of our favorite writers. Used boots are better than new sneakers. At Cowboy Jamboree we believe all that. If it is nontraditional western, western noir, new south, bluecollar midwest, folk, or rural, it is our kind of writing, fiction or non-.
Some grit lit and rural authors we love and that inspire us are: Larry Brown, Harry Crews, Donald Ray Pollock, Barry Hannah, Brad Watson, Breece D'J Pancake, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Dorothy Allison, Ron Rash, Bobbie Ann Mason, Billie Letts, Wiley Cash, Sheldon Lee Compton, Stephen Graham Jones, Erika T. Wurth, Frank Bill, and Jared Yates Sexton. Beyond that, "classic" authors we dig vary and are certainly not contained to the following list, but these are some : Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Charles Portis, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, Raymond Carver, Jim Harrison, & Elmore Leonard.
We've always got a soft spot for cowboy, country, western, folk, Americana or rural music. If that finds its way into a piece, we're likely to be bias readers (don't mean we'll take it, just, you know, it'll tickle our fancy). Townes van Zandt, Hank Williams, Mississippi John Hurt, the Delmore Brothers, the Carter Family, Old Crow Medicine Show, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Justin Townes Earle, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan reign supreme here.
We also love anything that looks like a carny story. Insert your favorite old school wrestling fiction here...
Risks and challenges
The biggest drawback to indie press startups in the past has always been print runs. How many do we print? How many will sell? How can we start another book for publication if the first book run doesn’t sell? Fortunately technology and on-demand printing have made these a problem of the past. A book can be ordered on Amazon and printed and shipped that very day. We certainly need funds to kickoff and market and put the best grit lit paperbacks out we can. Beyond that, our printing options are vast and our creative team will take full advantage. Without the distraction of figuring printing runs we have way more time to put into our authors and books and getting them into the hands of readers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)