Monthly Archives: February 2019

Welcome to the Slush Pile

So, a few weeks ago, I saw a post on Every Day Fiction, looking for a volunteer slush reader.

Now, I’ve read that slush reading is a great way to improve your own writing, and you know, all that power – does this story get a 1, does this story get a 5? Yay or Nay? So I applied. And for reasons unbeknownst to any but they, the good folk at EDF accepted my application.

A couple of hundred stories later, I’m caught up on my backlog…

(Me: I don’t see any stories for me to slush read yet.

Editor: No worries, I’ll assign you a few.

Me: * looks at 102 stories in queue* Okay, then)

…and I’m finding this really interesting. Not just reading the stories but also seeing what the other slush readers and editors have to say about them. Perhaps my tastes are a little bit… odd? unusual? screwy? because I’ve noticed some quite dramatic differences between some of the ratings I’ve given a story, and the ratings given by others staff. It’s true what they say, you can see this (often intangible) different between the ones that are good to go, and the ones that aren’t – it just turns out I don’t see it in quite the way everybody else does.

No accounting for taste, right?

And the lesson learned: write anything, write everything, play with it, experiment, send it to someone. You never know when you’ll run into an editor with some really odd taste in literature.