by Michelle Hogmire
Dedicated to all those brave souls who are preparing to graduate with a humanities degree in May.
Dear Sinopaca Drug Cartel,
I’m writing in response to your grant writer job posting, which I saw today on jobs.com. As a recent MFA in Fiction candidate—now graduated—I believe I’m an ideal applicant for this position.
I have written (and been awarded) multiple grants from various arts organizations, including the NEA and the IRA, mainly to maintain print runs for literary journals and to hold literacy-related events.
Securing a grant for a play production would be a new direction for me, but I have already completed preliminary research for the project—so I come with a plan in mind.
Just to make sure I have this straight: Your drug cartel wants to perform a hit on a family, because their patriarch screwed you over on a dope deal. In order to do so, you want to produce a play and invite the family to attend as audience members. And you need grant money to produce said play. OK…
First of all, we want to ensure that the family will be present at the production, without a doubt. I’ve done some digging around online (mostly Facebook-related), and it seems like your main target is a big Nick Cage fan.
Hear me out here: I propose that we seek grant funding for a play adaptation of the film Adaptation, based on the Charlie Kaufman screenplay adaptation of Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief, with the genders of all the characters reversed (i.e.—social/political commentary). Not only would this theme and subject matter draw in the family, but (secondly) we’re also definitely going to be able to get grant funding for something that convoluted and pretentious. Without a doubt. As you can tell, I’ve given this some serious thought.
I normally wouldn’t involve myself with drug cartels, but I greatly respect and admire your appreciation for the arts—an appreciation that, sadly, most of the world today generally lacks—and I know I can help secure the necessary grant funding to really pull this project together.
Plus, I seriously need this job. Like, any job.
p.s.—“Oh, no! Not the bees! Not the bees!” Get it? God, I hope so…
p.p.s.—Also, will you offer any insurance benefits? I desperately need new glasses.
Michelle Hogmire is a literary agent assistant at Barbara Braun Associates and the Business Manager for Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She grew up in West Virginia and has a BA in Creative Writing from Marshall University. She currently attends the MFA program at Columbia University and lives in New York City.