word west aims to publish exciting new works of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and whatever else we feel like. from the best authors in the west and beyond.
no good for digging: stories
by dustin m. hoffman
december 3, 2019
"Few writers working today care as deeply for their characters as Dustin M. Hoffman. In these stories, it is possible to be both dignified and kind of a mess, to make terrible mistakes for the noblest of reasons, to find yourself in troubles whose causes you know you should barely let yourself understand. These stories are deeply human, keen to the everyday wonders of romance, family, and work." — Matt Bell, author of A Tree or a Person or a Wall
“In No Good for Digging, Dustin M. Hoffman blends the blue-collar Midwest with the magical and surreal. These stories explore the lives of postmen, salesmen, kids attending punk shows, and teenagers watching planes take off, as readily as they liken interstates to intestines and hairlines to crop fields. Hoffman’s collection is at once humorous, poetic, poignant and wistful, and an ardent love letter to the Midwest.” — Anne Valente, author of The Desert Sky Before Us
"These stories are brutal, beautiful, and full of heart. Hoffman feels like a Sherwood Anderson for our time, a writer who not only understands our secret sadnesses and longings but who brings them to the surface with an unwavering sense of compassion."
— Seth Fried, author of The Municipalists
"An elegy to the theory and practice and meaning of work, these are stories not afraid to get their hands dirty. By turns solemn and puckish, desperate and playful, with perfect tone and details, No Good for Digging brings to life and honors (and sometimes betrays) those whose lot it is in life to dig, to hammer, to tear down, to build up, to dream, to fly. Dustin M. Hoffman evokes the quiet need, the deep grace, and the steady hope we all have to find something transcendent in our labors." — William Lychack, author of Cargill Falls
"No Good for Digging" is further proof that Dustin Hoffman is a writer who deserves our attention. With stories focused mainly on working class people struggling in a Michigan hit hard by the Great Recession, the slightly surreal quality of many of them remind one of a cross between Steinbeck and Barthes, a perfect way to approach the strange, frightening atmosphere of our politically unstable times." — Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time & The Heavenly Table"
Dustin M. Hoffman is the author of the story collection One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist and winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. He spent ten years painting houses in Michigan before getting his MFA from Bowling Green State University and his PhD from Western Michigan University. His stories have recently appeared in Baltimore Review, The Adroit Journal, Washington Square Review, Witness, and The Threepenny Review. He is an associate professor of creative writing at Winthrop University in South Carolina. You can visit his site here: dustinmhoffman.com.
secrets of the wild
by dustin m. hoffman
november 5, 2019
“I love the scrappy patriarch of Dustin M. Hoffman’s Secrets of the Wild. As the owner of an alternator repair shop, he takes pride in his ability to fix broken things that most people would just replace. His idealism is the crux of many of his struggles in this trilogy of off-kilter stories in which he takes his family to a roadside wildlife museum, a zoo, an art museum, and Take-Your-Family-to-Work Day. With Hoffman behind the wheel, these excursions are surreal, funny, and terrifically endearing.” — Michelle Ross, author of There's So Much They Haven't Told You
“Hoffman doesn’t just bend genres, he twists them into balloon animals, creating blue-collar surrealism that melds strangeness with soul, gallows humor with heart. For all the wild beasts mentioned in these stories, none is wilder than the one inside the Everyman, desperate for peace and prosperity in a world gone quietly mad.” — Adam Schuitema, author of Haymaker
by chloe n. clark
Chloe N. Clark holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Environment. She teaches multimodal composition, communication, and creative writing. Her poetry and fiction has appeared such places as Apex, Bombay Gin, Drunken Boat, Gamut, Hobart, Uncanny, and more. She writes columns for Nerds of a Feather, and can be found on Twitter @PintsNCupcakes. Her chapbook The Science of Unvanishing Objects was published by Finishing Line Press and her debut full length poetry collection, Your Strange Fortune, was published by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. She has a poetry chapbook, Under My Tongue, forthcoming from Louisiana Literature Press. She is also founding co-editor-in-chief of Cotton Xenomorph.
completed manuscripts only. queries are ok (and welcomed) as long as they are representative of a “completed” work. that said, we don’t have any length restrictions. so if your completed work is a 30 page chapbook, great! we’d be happy to look at it. our goal is to find exciting literary work we love and get it out into the world no matter what shape, size, or form it comes in.
what we like?
we tend to like work that’s dark, sad, funny, surprising, surreal—things that make us look at the world in a new way. the truth is, we don’t always know what we’re looking for. our mindset at this stage is to remain open and ready for the unexpected. so what does that mean? we don’t necessarily have any genre restrictions. we’re probably not the best place for fantasy or sci-fi, but give us vision and great writing and we’re willing to go anywhere.
ps: we have a soft spot for the weirdo, offbeat stuff that traditional agents and publishers wouldn’t even touch.
we do not charge reading fees.
our current turnaround is approximately 3-4 months. we’re trying our best to stick to this; we’re writers too, and we know how frustrating the waiting game can be—but keep in mind we are a small team and the timeline could vary depending on the volume of submissions. so, thank you for your patience. if you haven’t heard from us after 4 months, feel free to reach out: email@example.com
simultaneous submissions are ok as long as you notify us if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
due to the volume of submissions, we regret we are unable to give detailed, individual feedback re: each submission. if this is something you’re interested in, please contact us about our manuscript consultation services.
while we are certainly interested in writing coming out of the west, especially from perspectives not as often represented, we are not limited in any way to stories or authors specifically from the western usa.
At this time, we can offer our authors an advance upon acceptance and 15% royalties on print sales and 35% on ebook sales, to be paid out quarterly.
please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions.
thank you so much for trusting us with your work. we look forward to hearing from you!