Black Lawrence Press

Fiction Consultations with Tracy DeBrincat

During the month of December, Black Lawrence Press author Tracy DeBrincat is on board to critique your in-progress works of fiction. Tracy, who won The Big Moose Award with her novel Hollywood Buckaroo, has also authored two short story collections — Troglodyte and Moon Is Cotton & She Laugh All Night.

The fees and parameters for Tracy’s consultations are as follows:

  •     Flash fiction, (one piece) up to 2 pages in length, $25
  •     Short stories, (one story) up to 20 pages in length, $50
  •     Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $195
  •     Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $325
  •     Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $450
  •     Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $700

All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is December 31. Tracy will complete her work and respond to all participants by January 31.

Space in this program is limited, so please be sure to submit your work soon!

Note: Please do not send manuscripts that promote hate speech, are intended to harass or bully a specific person or group of persons, or include glorified sexual violence.

Click Here to Submit

Statement of Purpose

No one really wants to read your stuff.

Unless, of course, the first sentence—whether by word choice or structure or simple statement of fictional fact—makes them think about the world in a new light.

Unless the first paragraph hints at such an intriguing set-up that it’s absolutely clear not reading further would be a mistake.

Unless the first page has opened that intriguing set-up to include a familiar emotion, compelling character or indelible image.

Unless subsequent pages grab the reader by the throat or the heart, the brain or guts, with exquisite scenes delineating compelling events.

Unless the ending suggests that the life of the story itself is never ending.

These aren’t rules, merely suggestions. As a reader I’m looking for the story that won’t let me stop reading it, the story that invites me to devour its sentences, to create a movie or a dream in my head, to dive into exciting new worlds or gain surprising insight into familiar ones.

I’m looking for – and am constantly striving to create – stories that allow the reader to be more intimate with its characters than we are with our families, than we dare to be with ourselves. Stories that inspire us to love or hate the mirrors those characters create, and that reflect truths about ourselves we never knew.

Stories that twist us with surprising turns, that conjure images that shimmer with subtle revelation. Dialogue layered with truth and emotion, yearning and humor.

Stories that make us read more slowly to forestall the inevitable, the climax where we hold our breath, the resolution that lets us breathe again, the ending finally having its way with us, until we are reborn as a person who’s been moved by something that never really happened.

Except: something very important happened indeed.

Whether they’re flash fiction, short stories, chapbooks, collections, novels or novellas, these are the kinds of narratives I love to read. They’re the kinds of stories I want to help you create.

By Tracy DeBrincat

Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

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Upcoming Consultations

Stay tuned! More great consultation programs are in the works for 2020.

Tracy DeBrincat

Tracy DeBrincat’s short story collection Troglodyte was awarded the 2012 Elixir Prize and published by Elixir Press in January 2014. Her novel Hollywood Buckaroo was awarded the inaugural Big Moose Prize and published by Black Lawrence Press, and the short story collection Moon Is Cotton & She Laugh All Night received a prize for innovative fiction and was published in 2010 by Subito Press (University of Colorado Boulder). She has published prize-winning short stories and poetry in literary journals from Another Chicago Magazine to Zyzzyva and authors the blog Bigfoot Lives! ( She is a freelance creative advertising consultant in the entertainment business and loves living in Los Angeles.

DeBrincat Author page