@Old Hack: Thank you Old Hack as an upcoming writer, I have a lot of questions to ask. I honestly had no idea what slush pile is and for some reason it made me think of a slushy lol. I been on a lot of forums (not just writing) where they were very mean and nasty. Basically internet bullies and trolls. Thank you for being patient and understanding with me.
@bearilou Thank you, it was getting pretty lonely under there
@Cyia: AH!!!! Don't vacuum us up!
"The good thing about telling the truth is that there's nothing to remember."--John Ford Noonan (playwright)
"Falling on your face is still moving forward."--Ron Maranian (comedian)
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The slush pile can also mean short stories submitted to a magazine. Who stole the term from whom I don't know XD.
For the record, yes, I consider everything that comes in unsolicited (which is almost everything) to be "slush" -- and I read all my own slush. I just don't trust anyone else to know the weird things that will appeal to me - since I don't even know them until I see them!
LOL, I just had a vision of the poor agent walking down the hall a la Curt or Rachel, when the mean football team appears and throws a couple hundred MSS in their faces.
I can also attest to the idiocies of the slushpile. For example my publishers' last Open Door Month specifically requested traditional medieval-type epic fantasy of 100k+ words, as they have little of that in their line-up, and yet they got sent everything from excellent novels that they're considering signing, down to a Batman fanfic novella (I kid you not)!
I'd be afraid to turn down a Batman story. If anyone could crotch-punch you through the fiction/reality divide, it's Batman.
Working on a monology.
Things seem to be the same in the Netherlands:
here, the slush pile is also handled by interns and assistants, sometimes by editors.
If they like what they see, they pass it on to their colleagues.
And yes, there never seems to be enough time for slush pile reading....
Same goes for the junk issue (which goes to show that writers being delusional isn't culturally bound):
a publisher told me once they get 3 manuscripts a day, about 1000 a year (the Netherlands is a really small country, so the submission rate here is lower).
Of that 1000, only 1 or 2 really stand out and are considered worth publishing.
Which is 0.1 percent...
And it still has to be good/great work, of course.
Skipping the slush pile doesn't automatically means you get published.
However, I think knowing someone in the publishing business helps speed things up tremendously.
I had work ending up in the slush pile like everybody else's, but also work that got read immediately because:
- a published and rather accomplished writer said I should send work to her publisher (mind you, this writer hadn't even read my work, we'd just met, by coincidence)
- I had a student in my writing class once who used to work at a publishing house and told me I should send my work to her former boss (and again, this student didn't even know my work, I was just lucky)
- I met an editor on a book fair, and she'd remembered our meeting (to be honest, we only saw each other from a distance; I only spoke to her assistent b/c she was in a meeting at that moment)
Again, your work has to be good, but networking does help (it didn't always get me a publication btw, but in some cases it did, and it also left me with very helpful contacts > and I mean that literally: editors and publishers actually reading my work and giving me some really solid advice).
I wonder if the ease of submitting electronically is increasing the number of out-of-genre submissions. If I can submit to twice as many agents/publishers without expending twice the effort or incurring twice the cost, I have less than half the motivation to make sure I'm submitting to an agent/publisher who handles the genre I wrote in.
"Everybody must get stoned" --Medusa
The number of submissions has increased hugely now that it's possible to email them in, without cost or significant preparation. And yes, the majority of submissions are in genres the agents and publishers don't work in.
Sadly, the number of good submissions hasn't increased so much.
Hi! I'm a new writer and I'm just trying to figure out why it's taking so long to get an answer about the manuscript I sent to a publisher - I thought it might have something to do with the 'slush pile'.
I sent a query letter and two page synopsis to the editorial assistant back in August 2011. Received a reply January 2012 asking me to send them the first three chapters of my novel. August 2012 I asked for a status update. December 2012, the editorial assistant asked to see the entire manuscript. I sent the complete manuscript to them December 2012 and was told I'd hear back in January 2013. Then February 2013 I was told I'd hear back shortly and my manuscript was with 'the team'.
Who actually is 'the team'? Are those slush pile readers? Is that why it's taking so long to hear back?
At first I thought the 'team' might be either junior or senior editors - but I wasn't sure what it takes to get a manuscript that far 'up the chain'. So now I'm not really sure if editors are reading it or slush pile readers. I don't really know anything about the publishing business so I don't know if this is par for the course.
Thanks in advance
I'm not entirely sure what's going on with your manuscript, but you could always ask for clarification.
At this point, then, I'd assume that it's a no, and move on.
Thanks for the insight and inspiration (it sounds like submitting to a slush pile isn't that hopeless if you have any idea what you're doing)
That's a classic example of rejection for the wrong reasons, and that kind of thing inflates the self-importance of people who were accurately rejected.
Almost everything good was rejected somewhere before it was accepted. C'est la vie.
WormHeart, I've edited your post.
Please don't single out examples of poor writing like that: it's unkind, and not constructive. Thanks.
Please don't worry: it's so tempting sometimes, isn't it? I didn't edit your post in the spirit of punishment, more in the spirit of helpfulness, if that makes any sense at all!