4 Tips to Escape the Slush Pile


This is one of those posts we should print out and tape to the wall beside our writing spot. Much good advice and valuable perspective.

Memoirs of a Time Here-After

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to write a guest post at Write-On Sisters that I never got around to sharing here.

As a slush reader for a semi-pro SFF magazine, I read a lot of stories, and over the last year, I’ve begun to notice a pattern, not just in my own judgments of the stories I have read, but also from my fellow cohorts in the pile. Four reasons that most stories might be rejected out of hand. So I shared them in a post.

Here is an excerpt of that post:

The reasons why [a story might be rejected] are numerous: the author failed to check our magazine’s genres before submitting, I’ve read (and accepted) far too many stories with similar characters and theme (yes, zombies and vampires are still a hard sell), the story was not well-edited, etc.

While I don’t want to…

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “4 Tips to Escape the Slush Pile

  1. Having read slush for a small press mag, I would have to agree with these points. In fact, I would heartily concur. And I might add a few that I’ve heard the editors of major magazines complain about: (1) Death threats will NOT make a friend of the editor or gain you a sale; (2) Neither will marriage proposals; (3) Refrain from putting perfume or cologne on your cover letter or ms.; (4) Do not include photos of yourself in the package, especially if you are (a) armed, (b) an infant, or (c) naked. You’d think that no one needs to have any of those pointed out, but you’d be wrong!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alex Hurst

      Got a good chuckle out of all of those…. though really, death threats?! That takes it further than a lot of what I’ve even seen on Slush Pile Hell. :O

      Like

  2. Alex Hurst

    Thanks so much for the reblog, Lilian! Such a huge compliment, too! I’m all giddy now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read Alex’s post when it was published on Writeonsisters. Truly a great one and one with insight and a personal position. I particularly apreciate her position about the hook 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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