I’m one of the authors contributing to a new anthology of transgressive fiction from Outcast Press coming out later this year called “In Filth It Shall Be Found.” For those of you who know my work, you know that transgressive fiction is a genre that’s near and dear to my heart.
There’s a small, but marginal market for transgressive fiction novels. However, for short story writers, the market is almost nonexistent. Outcast Press hopes to change that. They strive to always pay writers a fair price for their pieces, but the biggest challenge is cash flow.
For the new anthology, Outcast Press has put together a Kickstarter campaign to ensure every writer is paid fairly for their work. If you’re interested in donating, even putting $5 toward this campaign gets you an ebook of the published anthology + your name in the dedication section.
You can find more info here:
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT
And if you’re reading this and asking yourself, “What the heck is transgressive fiction?” you can check out a couple of articles I’ve written on it to get a better idea:
The Big Lie About Transgressive Fiction
On Writing Transgressive Fiction: A Feminine Perspective
Thanks so much everyone, for your curiosity about this topic, and your support.
Lauren Sapala is the author of Between the Shadow and Lo, a transgressive novel based on her experiences as an alcoholic battling her alter ego in Seattle in the early 2000’s, and its sequel, West Is San Francisco. She is also the creator of Intuitive Writing, a six-step online video course for intuitive writers who struggle with writing. You can SIGN UP HERE to join her newsletter and get your free copy of the e-book Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers.
Most writers in the mainstream writing scene today don’t know what transgressive fiction is, have never heard of it, or immediately think of it as something disgusting, twisted, or perverse. Even the writers who write transgressive fiction oftentimes don’t know what they’re writing, or that other people are writing it too, or that readers exist out there who would be interested in reading it.
Being a writer who writes transgressive fiction, or is even interested in exploring this kind of creative territory, can be a lonely road to travel. Because if you only scratch the surface of transgressive fiction it’s easy to get the idea that it’s filthy, or obscene or lewd, or that people just write it for shock value alone. It’s easy to see all the reviews on Goodreads from people who call it “trash” or “not even worthy of one star” and believe that it’s not worthy at all.
But that’s a big lie.
One of the most distinctive identifying characteristics of transgressive fiction has to do with how it treats descriptions of the human body, specifically the processes and functions that are not often discussed in polite society. Sometimes this treatment is exaggerated and hilarious, as is the case with much of Chuck Palahniuk’s work, and sometimes it’s chillingly precise and realistic, as with Bret Easton Ellis. Either way, it’s almost always just plain gross. The willingness of the author to test the reader’s limits by being what I would call “exquisitely disgusting” is how you can tell that the writer is purposefully exploring the territory of the transgressive. In other words, it doesn’t happen by accident.
Different strains of transgressive fiction experiment with how to ignite the greatest level of recoil in the reader in different ways. Transgressive fiction that falls into the genre of crime/thriller/suspense will most often detail the gory reality of what it takes to dismember and dispose of a human body, while transgressive fiction that is more fantastical or experimental might describe murder or massacre with vivid beauty, painting it as an artistic scene. What I have noticed though, is that most transgressive fiction explores the theme of violence when the author begins to experiment with the power of repulsion and what it can do to a brave reader.
Most transgressive fiction, it should also be noted, is written by men.
I got an email from a writer the other day asking about transgressive fiction. She had seen my previous article, What It’s Like to Be a Female Author Who Writes Transgressive Fiction, and she was curious about a couple of things. Number one, she wanted to know how I fueled my ideas to write in this genre, and two, she wanted to know how I handled the reactions of my friends and family members. In particular, did any of my friends and family think I was just writing about my “twisted fantasies”?