May 16, 2014
Submission guidelines for other restaurant chains interested in publishing short stories
by Kirsten Reach
Eating fast food alone is boring. Jonathan Safran Foer noticed this recently while he was eating a burrito without a book in his hand. He wrote directly to Steve Ells, the CEO of Chipotle, and they came up with a cure for his burrito boredom.
Short stories by Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and Michael Lewis will join Foer on the surface of cups in Chipotle stores. Other fast food joints will inevitably make a grab for the business, so here are your guidelines for submissions to other fast food chains.
1. Roy Rogers — We’re roundin’ up stories no more than 2,000 words with Old Western themes. Stories must include appearances by both a golden palomino named Trigger and a German Shepherd named Bullet. Accepted submissions will be printed on french fry holsters. Rejected submissions will be taken out back and shot.
2. Burger King — It’s OK if that story is a Whopper (TM), we have plenty of space. Submit epic poems between 2,000 and 5,000 words to be printed in script on the back of paper crowns. Poems about breakfast or the power of monarchs highly encouraged.
3. In-N-Out Burger — Seeking fan fiction of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” for the Crossed Palms imprint. Word limits aren’t worth listing — if the quality is high enough, you can send your work any way you like. (Unpublished works by J.D. Salinger are printed on the back of our secret menu, but you’ll never see them. Don’t even bother submitting.)
4. Five Guys — Send us your memoir of your favorite restaurant times with your family, 5,000 to 10,000 words. We need some text on the side of our nostalgic boxes of peanuts (still in the shells, just like old times!), decorated with red and white checks. Here, why don’t you take some on your way out?
5. Wendy’s — Calling all fiction that stars a friendly, red-headed girl to print on our hamburger wrappers. Any work titled “Where’s the Beef?” will immediately receive a form rejection letter.
6. Shake Shack — If you’ve been to an MFA program, you can drop off your short stories in the Bee Line. Must be on 8 1/2 x 10 paper, double-spaced, all caps, and in Neutraface font.
7. Taco Bell Pizza Hut — Submissions must include positive mention of Cool Ranch Doritos (TM). All genres will be considered.
Kirsten Reach was an editor at Melville House.