The editor wants nothing more than to read something so fresh and powerful and polished there is no question it must be in the journal.
Instead the editor, having read 17 things this morning, keeps going, thinking: A run-on sentence in the first line! Oh no, another story with the character waking up hung-over and getting a phone call. Why must they flash back before anything interesting happens? That isn’t really funny. We don’t publish travel articles. Does no one read the guidelines? This one gets good in the middle, but then the character just sits down and thinks about stuff. Wonderful minor character but the main one is self-pitying. Almost. Good scene. Pretty good. Not quite. Please can’t somebody just dazzle me so I can pick something and stop this?
via What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines | The Review Review.
This post rocks!
Excellent: Read it.
Then read it again, especially the part about following the guidelines.
This was helpful dg–thanks for posting.
This was a much more helpful reminder among a multitude of similarly-themed articles. I’m a lowly slush reader and I echo the sentiment of Lynne Barrett: There is no joy, whatsoever, in rejecting stories — especially story after story after story. It’s tiring and makes me want eat tubs of ice cream (more than I already do). I root for submissions to the very end — I want nothing more than to find stunning stories.
This was a great read. Thanks for posting it on NC!
For VCFA students who either weren’t at Patrick Madden’s lecture over the winter or aren’t aware, we have access to a vast amount of digitized lit journals through the Gary Library’s website. To log in, all you need is the last 4 digits of your ID number and the last 4 digits of your SSN (as a password). Sure, it isn’t the same as having the copy in your hands, but it gives us all opportunity to read more than we might be able to normally afford (’cause journals ain’t cheap!).
For those who aren’t current students, you may be able to access digitized journals through your local library. I know that the library I work at in CT subscribes to multiple academic search engines that carry some great lit journals.
Now, let’s all get something published!