Greasy Spoons: Essays on Bottomless Coffee, Homefries, Pie, and Other Things We Love About Roadside Diners (working title) is looking for submissions.
Whether you’re restaurant owner, former server, or a truck driver or avid road-tripper who has been fueled by daily specials and bottomless coffee, we want to hear your story. What memories do you have about your local diner, an eatery you stumbled upon during your travels, or friends and family members who put their blood, sweat, and tears (not literally) into operating a cherished greasy spoon? Whether your tale is from the booth or from behind the counter or along a desolate highway or smack dab in center city, we want to hear from you!
We’re not just looking for a rundown of you what you remember, though: we’re looking for stories with a narrative arc, deeper meaning, and universal truths: essays that move us, humor us, and leave us wanting seconds. Submissions should be set in a diner or revolve heavily around greasy spoon culture. And, given the topic, we’re looking to fill our menu with rich and flavorful stories that drip with detail like au jus on a daily blue plate special. We must be transported into that diner with you; you’re requesting a table for yourself—and a swarm of hungry readers.
Finally, diners are indeed a staple of Americana, but our call for submissions has no geographic boundaries. No matter where you hometown is, we bet there’s a place for unforgettable homestyle cooking and camaraderie.
Please note: We truly are only interested in local diners; please no stories revolving around chains* or restaurants that require reservations, would balk at flip-flops, or use cloth napkins. We’re looking to highlight those special places that keep their ketchup on the table, have that one booth where the vinyl is a little too torn, where the eggs are served all day, and where everything is made better with butter.
Word count limit: 5,000 words
Deadline: extended to May 15 (Note that we will not begin reviewing submissions until close to the deadline, so our typical turnaround time will be extended for this project.)
Compensation: $40 + 2 contributor copies upon publication; special pricing on additional bulk purchases.
Submissions not selected for the print anthology may also be considered for either an online extra or for publication in Hippocampus Magazine, both of which will have different terms.
As a thank-you for their interest in this project, everyone who submits, regardless of outcome, will receive a special discount on the anthology when its ready.
Reminder: this call is for essays or memoir excerpts, not for short works of fiction.
*We’ll make an exception on the chain thing in some cases, as many brands often have humble origin stories; so if by chance your piece reflects upon a then-start-up, we may consider it.