I’ve been doing some slush pile reading for a literary magazine that shall remain nameless, if only because I don’t want to advertise that I’m doing slush pile reading for them, hence people trying to find out if I read/passed their work on to the editors in charge.
The magazine publishes short stories of 4,000 words or less, and flash fiction of 1,000 words or less. And it’s been a great experience to see what other people are creating, especially since I’ve been so non-productive/cowardly about getting my own fiction writing out there. These writers truly inspire me and I hope that they’ll influence me to get working.
Having said that, I’ve seen some things that, if the writers in question would stop doing them, would vastly improve their chances of getting past my slush pile and on to the editors’ slush pile. Some are obvious, but I keep seeing them (and have been guilty of doing them myself). So do what you will do with these suggestions (including completely ignoring them) and good luck! Continue reading