Monday, December 17, 2012

Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Caged Birds

There is a brand new Das Kolumne ready for you over at Tin House. You can read it HERE. It will tell you what gifts to buy your pets for the holidays. After all, just because they are your terrified prisoners doesn't mean they don't deserve presents. 

I also want to encourage you to check out the Das Kolumne Archive, which is being maintained at the taxpayer's expense HERE. In the archive you will find my worldly and aggressively thoughtful advice on such topics as:


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Update? Update!

Well, it has been two months since I have posted anything here. But I don't want you to think it's because I've forgotten you, my dear Seth-heads. No, no, no. It's because I've been deliberately negligent.

Anyway, some things:

-There are two new installments of Das Kolumne ready for your perusal 1) How to Write Erotic Fiction and 2) 5 1/2 Writers Under 11. Both are important and well-written.

-A story I wrote called The Frenchman is now available online over at The Barceonla Review.

-Oh, and also: THAT'S IT.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Electric Literature's Recommended Reading

I have a brand new story up over at Electric Literature's Recommended Reading. It is called The Adventure of the Space Traveler, and you can read it for free here.

You can also check out this single sentence animation for the story, animated by the blisteringly talented Sarah Bodil and scored by the no less blisteringly talented David Rogers-Berry:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Das Kolumne: How To Get An Agent

The Open Bar
Looking to get an agent? I tell you how in my potentially award-winning new column over on Tin House's blog. CLICK HERE.

Monday, June 11, 2012

3 Books You Should Read Before You Turn 3

Flavorwire currently has a list of 30 books you should read before you turn 30. That is an interesting idea for a list. Though, unfortunately for Flavorwire, it is not nearly as interesting as my idea for a list: 3 BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ BEFORE YOU TURN 3. See below.

1.) Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

As a baby, you have a lot of spankings ahead of you. This book could very well help you learn to enjoy them.

2.) The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

Using Machiavelli's basic principles of leadership and manipulation, you can avoid potty training well into you mid-20's.

3.) The Real Frank Zappa Book by Frank Zappa

At this point, your knowledge of experimental rock from the last century is most likely limited to what you see on Yo Gabba Gabba!. This book will give you the inside scoop, along with more fun anecdotes about Alice Cooper and Captain Beefheart than you'll know what to do with.

Lie Down And Die

A young filmmaker named Kyle Sanderson has made a brilliant short film based on Lie Down and Die, a short story of mine which originally appeared in McSweeney's and is included in my debut short story collection, The Great Frustration.

Sanderson's film was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival. It was also selected for CBC's Short Shots 2012, and Air Canada EnRoute Film Festival 2011. The last is probably my favorite in that it involved the above film being shown to passengers on Air Canada flights. While you watch this film about people unceremoniously getting their tickets punched, I suggest that you try to imagine you are on an airplane. Based on that, you should be able to extrapolate how apparently edgy and awesome Canada is.

Sanderson has done an incredible job adapting a story that I would have assumed was more or less unfilmable. What's more, he did it while preserving the spirit of the story and making everything look great. So crack open your in-flight cranberry juice and join me in toasting Sanderson's immense talent.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Show, Don't Tell

The results are already in for my new Tin House column: It's a dud! This does sting a little, since I've always been such a big fan of Anonymous. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight totally changed the way I look at pentangles. But for those of you who haven't read this month's Das Kolumne, I would like to remind you that Milk Duds are delicious. You can check it out here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Hark! A Vagrant Book
I humbly suggest that you check out the comics of Kate Beaton. In addition to being a quality ginger ale, Canada Dry is soon to be your favorite style of humor.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The New Yorker: I.T. Department

I have written a very serious and important piece on technology for The New Yorker. You can read it here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

As Requested By @sharndhah, Here Are 30 Adjectives That Rhyme With Mary And Are Superior To "Contrary"































Thursday, April 26, 2012

Animalcula Wins Pushcart Prize

Put on your good news helmets, kids! I just found out that an excerpt from The Great Frustration, which originally appeared in The Kenyon Review, has been selected for a Pushcart Prize.

The story is called Animalcula. You can learn more about its appearance in The Kenyon Review here. This is my second Pushcart win, the first being for Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre in 2011.

Both Pushcart stories are included in The Great Frustration, along with several other stories which have not won Pushcart Prizes and which should therefore be ignored or, even better, RIPPED FROM THE BINDING.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Importance of Being Affected

The Open Bar
It's time for the second installment of Das Kolumne, my monthly feature for Tin House. This month I look at the important history of writerly affectations in an essay that is very serious and well-written.

Other topics covered:

-The two types of polygamy
-Cosmetic back braces
-Owl urine
-Robert Frost's bee sting addiction

 Read it here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

First Annual Seth Fried FUN-raiser for Funds

Being Seth Fried has always been a service that I have offered to the world completely free of charge. This is something that I have been more than happy to do. After all, with the exception of my monthly bath, being Seth Fried is lots of fun. However, it is also not without its costs. Every day I have to struggle under the financial burden of paying for food, shelter, clothing, and my obsessive desire to crash rental cars.

That is why I am excited to announce my First Annual Seth Fried FUN-raiser for Funds. This is a chance for all the people who actively enjoy me to show their appreciation. Participants can choose from the list of donation levels below and then send me the money using whatever electronic transfer service they prefer.


Neutral Acquaintance

Stranger With Kind Eyes





Friend With Benefits

Pretend Uncle

Pretend Uncle With Benefits


Unstoppable Robot Pontiff

Seth's Angel

Seth's Golden Angel

Demoniclops The Angel Crusher

Godzilla's Father

Sex Genius


Platinum Colleague With Benefits

Higgs Boson

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Das Kolumne

The fact that I am now writing a monthly column for Tin House is one of those rare instances of something being both awesome and VERY awesome. The column is called Das Kolumne, and it will serve as a record of my deepest and most important insights about life, which no it won't actually. It will include words like "barf" and fake anecdotes about Edgar Allen Poe biting editors. Click here, or here, or here to read it.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots

A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a book titled Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots. It was an old, stuffy-looking book that seemed like it would make your heart explode from sheer boredom if you ever dared to flip through it. However, once my friend started reading some passages aloud, I realized at once that Plotto is one of those rare volumes that is both indispensable and yet just crazy enough to make you pray for the author's loved ones.

It contains hundreds of amazing conflict situations like these:

-B, attacked by a huge snake, suffers a psychic shock.

-A hopes, by a surgical operation on his skull, to be made immune from the “master passion.”

-A, obsessed with a fear of burglars, places a wax figure in his bed at night and sleeps in a locked closet.

I knew the book had to be mine. Unfortunately, it was no longer in print. The copies I found online were all fetching sums that were roughly equal to what I tend to pay for a blazer. But just as I was processing the psychic shock that came from being attacked by the giant snake that was Plotto's absence from my bookshelf,  I learned that the good people at Tin House were going to be releasing a new edition of Plotto at a far more reasonable price (about what I pay for pants).

You can grab it here.

In order to celebrate the re-release of such an amazing book, I have come up with a few of my own conflict situations. Enjoy:

-An inventor, B, is attacked by D, who is a tickle monster.

-X, a man named Z, and Y, a man named T, are both addicted to punching.

-W is a genius cheese maker whose cheese is prohibitively expensive. X is a cracker maker whose crackers are affordable but bad-tasting. The two never meet.

-G, a pterodactyl, thinks it’s funny to use public restrooms without flushing the toilet.

-L, a karate champion, falls in love with B, who is against karate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day? More Like Stupid-Booger-Fart Day.

It’s that time of year again, folks. Valentine’s Day. It’s time to pick out your sexiest outfit, stuff it with crumpled-up newspapers, and then put it in your bed so you don’t have to sleep alone. It’s time to dim the lights, take out the good silverware, and then eat a Hungry-Man dinner across from a framed photo of Glenn Close. It's time to drink half a box of wine, eat some ice cream with your bare hands, and then wander around town paying panhandlers to say the words "I love you" while giving you eye contact.

In short, it is time for the single grimmest holiday of the year. Or rather, the grimmest holiday of the year for singles.

For people in committed relationships, Valentine’s Day is just another fun reason to go to Applebee’s on a Tuesday. But for single people, it is a day of intense and focused hatred of other people's happiness. All the things about Valentine’s Day that couples enjoy (flowers, handholding, scented candles, movies in which Reese Witherspoon and/or Paul Rudd almost don’t get to be with a person of equivalent attractiveness but then do, hot tubs, cookie cakes shaped like hearts, back rubs, smiling, doing it, etc.) serve as painful reminders for a single person that he or she is alone, grotesque, and unlovable.

So for all you single folk looking to celebrate this holiday in a manner that reflects your actual mood, why not read a book that explores the theme of frustration and solitude in a cathartic, uplifting way? Instead of crying your eyes out while watching Something's Gotta Give on TBS, why not feel comforted in your solitude by stories like The Misery of the Conquistador, The Scribes' Lament, Lie Down and Die, and Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre? Drown out all the trite happiness of your couple friends with 190 pages of gleeful, existential havoc. That's right, it's the perfect time of year to read The Great Frustration.

Anyway, that's definitely how I would plan to spend today, if it weren't for the fact that I'm going to be making out in a hot air balloon with my fiancé Natasha.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Søren Kierkegaard wants to tell you about some of my upcoming events...

If you go see Seth Fried read at NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House on Thursday, February 9 at 7pm, you will regret it. If you do not go see Seth Fried read at NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House on Thursday, February 9 at 7pm, you will regret it. If you go or you do not go, you will regret both; whether you go or do not go, you will regret both. If you partake of the free wine and cheese, you will regret it. If you do not partake of the free wine and cheese, you will regret it. If you do or do not partake, you will regret both; whether or not you do or do not partake, you will regret both.

If you go see Seth Fried read at PowerHouse Arena on Wednesday, February 15 at 7pm for The Milan Review release party, you will regret it. If you do not go see Seth Fried read at PowerHouse Arena on February 15 at 7pm for The Milan Review release party, you will regret it. If you go or you do not go, you will regret both; whether you go or do not go, you will regret both.

If you go see Seth Fried on NPR’s Selected Shorts on Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm, you will regret it. If you do not go see Seth Fried on NPR’s Selected Shorts on February 22 at 7pm, you will regret it. If you go or do not go, you will regret both; whether you go or do not go, you will regret both. If you download the episode as a podcast on your ipod, you will regret it. If do not download the episode as a podcast on your ipod, you will regret it. If you cast the episode on your pod or you do not cast the episode on your pod, you will regret both; whether you cast or do not cast, you will regret both.

This is the sum of all practical wisdom.