Slush Pile

On an ordinary winter morning, a savvy New York City editor’s assistant, in fashionable Prada glasses and armed with discerning eyes, sits before a massive pile of unread query letters. Her job is to cull through this slush pile: the heap of unsolicited manuscripts that have been sent to her editor. Piece after piece, she reads the first sentence, groans, and tosses the paper off into oblivion. It’s a dramatic scene: she is the gate-keeper.

For any writer who wants to craft for public consumption, the ultimate is charming/energizing/alluring this gatekeeper.

As a writer, once you have the courage to admit that what you’ve written has some credibility – you realize that you’re competing with a large, bloodthirsty mass. Being prepared for a steady stream of rejection (having your work tossed off into oblivion) is healthy.

Writing is amorphous; what you thought was informative and carefully crafted today seems ridiculous tomorrow. Reminding yourself of your unique voice is a constant task. Praying too – is the other task at hand – praying that some savvy, Prada-wearing editor’s assistant reads the first sentence of your writing, and joyfully exclaims to the Heavens, “I’ve got the next big thing!” Or least, “Hmmm this looks interesting.” That will do!

© 2008 J. Dana Trent


1 thought on “Slush Pile”

  • This opens the eyes of those who do not write for publication.

    Well done. Roulette wheel anyone?

    And the wheel turns round and round… and your writing submission – On the floor? In the editor's in-box?

    Write, and keep writing. That wheel has to stop somewhere, doesn't it?

    You can do it!!

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