Our fiction editor for September and October is Gabrielle Bellot. Gabrielle, who has also written under J. Bellot, holds an MFA from Florida State University, where she is currently a PhD Candidate in fiction. She has contributed work to Guernica, Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, Small Axe’s sx salon, The SouthEast Review, and other journals. She grew up in the Commonwealth of Dominica, where she has worked as a member of a committee for the Nature Island Literary Festival. She is working on her first novel.
Talking submissions: Do you have a defined call for fiction for this issue?
For Issue 5, I’m looking for fiction about boundaries–stories that push boundaries, that investigate where boundaries are, that show what it’s like to live on the edges or margins or in an in-between space. These boundaries can be almost anything: sexuality, gender identity, nationality, race, class, politics–or even literary form, meaning that I’m also willing to look at more experimental work that pushes at the borders of what we call fiction. Send me the work of yours you love, but might have been afraid to send somewhere else.
Why be an editor for The James Franco Review?
I like knowing who I’m reading; so often, I want to be able to connect the trail of an author’s texts and life into the lives and texts of others, and so names have always mattered to me. Yet it’s easy to forget that, aside from scholarship, aside from trails of crumbs and ink, names have power over us; we can be so easily spirited away, Miyazaki reminds us, by the theft of our name.
Transitoning into the woman I always knew I was entailed a loss, and gain, of a name–and what power a name can hold, even as it can easily hold too much. The James Franco Review does something great, to me counter-intuitive, and powerful by its missions, and it is an honour to read for a journal like this. ‘They seemed far closer than when their names had stood between myself and them like a clear barrier,’ Ursula Le Guin has her narrator say in ‘She Unnames Them,’ and I agree. I do wonder about the day Mr. Franco will himself submit, under his true name.
Send your stories about boundaries to Gabrielle starting August 31 on Submittable.