According to the FedEx website, my laptop is on the delivery truck in CA, on its way to HP. Waiting waiting waiting. I don't like waiting.
With The Town Drunk opening to submissions yesterday, I got my first taste of slush reading. And y'know what? I liked it! How twisted is that? It might be the giddy flush of an exciting new project, but I'm finding it to be both an enlightening and enjoyable experience--no doubt due in great part to the awesome submission system britzkrieg set up. I can understand how slushing could be overwhelming, as I only went through around half a dozen manuscripts yesterday before deciding I wanted to switch gears, which is a pretty small number compared to what folks like JJA or Douglas Cohen doubtless wade through on a daily basis. But I'm all fresh-faced and eager now.
Reading slush is different from reading to critique or review, or reading for pleasure for that matter. With critiques, I'm trying to analyze what worked and what didn't, and suggest fixes, often reaching into the "what Eugie would do if she'd written this" bin. When reviewing, I'm again focusing on the what worked/didn't work aspect--without the fix suggestions obviously--and dissecting the story's component pieces in an effort to convey to an audience the rationale behind my impressions. When I'm reading for enjoyment, I try to distance myself from the mechanics and assorted elements of a story and strive to immerse myself into the tale. If I do pause to consider the technical aspects, it's usually to admire, appreciate, and catalog them for my future writing consideration. (If I'm picking out what's wrong with a story I'm reading for pleasure, it's usually a sign that it's stopped being pleasurable and I'm about to put it down.) But slushing sort of falls between pleasure reading and review reading. While it's either a "yes, I liked this" or "nope, pass," I'm also evaluating whether I think a story will be enjoyed by a larger audience and if it fits into a market's mission statement/goals. And I've begun to have "this writer shows promise even though this story didn't float my socks. I wonder what their next submission will be like?" thoughts flit through my head, which is pretty cool.
I was wondering when you were going to mention your new editorial hat! Congratulations!
The thing I like best about editing is I finally understand what editors mean when they say something like 'we liked it, but it's not for us'. We've had a few of those at DKA. So, who writes the rejection letters at Town Drunk? ;-) (We get to foist that off on our Managing Editor. :-D )
"So, who writes the rejection letters at Town Drunk?"
With the submission process currently in place, all the slush editors can reject along with britzkrieg. I actually don't mind that part either. After receiving so many rejections myself, I sort of think I've got a pretty solid feel for what counts as industry standard in that area. 'Course I haven't received hate mail yet. It'd be nice to avoid that aspect of slushing . . .
The latest editing foray is indeed interesting. I shall have to look at the link to town drunk just in case it's a venue for any of my babies. My only worry is that we so often disagree on what's worthwhile and I'm usually wrong. Oh dear! But since my batting average has recently improved somewhat, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Eugie's Fourth (or was that seventh?) Rule of Writing: You can't win if you don't play.
You should definitely submit something! I think you write funny extremely well, which is exactly what TTD is looking for. And I wouldn't be slushing your stories, regardless, due to conflict-of-interest issues. There's enough submissions editors that we don't have to deal with the potentially sticky situation of reading friends and/or writers group members submissions. Whew.
That no conflict thing sounds good. Don't forget I'm "Louise Herring-Jones" on stories, but I always use my real name for checks. :>) I'll have to look through the remaining items in the closet and see if I have something not out that's potentially humor. Thanks for the tip.
On January 4th, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Um, Eek. That market sounded like something up my alley, although at this point, I don't think I have anything under 5K.
I am, however, used to the anonymous editor/slush reader on the other end. It would be rather...odd...knowing Ms. Eugie might read my story. Yowza!
Heh. If it makes you feel any better, The Town Drunk has a conflict of interest policy in place so that that us slushers don't have to/get to read submissions written by friends and/or writers group colleagues. Therefore, if we buy something of yours, while I would love to wink and get your undying gratitude for my nepotism, it would be undeserved. Likewise, if you get rejected, I didn't do it!
Submiiiit! You know you want to!