As we've been discussing, the slush inspires some mixed feelings. For some people (persistant, talented people), it pays off. And for other people it's hay-baling time.
So at the risk of aiming a post at people who don't read this blog, I'd like to point out some instances of slush-related correspondence in which the answer is no:
- You found a typo on page 76, and here's the corrected page. Could we just replace it in the manuscript you sent us last week? No.
- Whoops, you moved. Two months ago you sent us a manuscript, and here's your new address. Could we just tuck this notice in with your previous package? No.
- You air-mailed your aged grandmother to the slush (her rocker was too big for the envelope), and you're starting to worry that she might expire while she waits to be evaluated. Could we give her this bottle of water and kit of emergency rations? No.
But hunting through the slush just to fix some small thing for you is the kind of pointless that makes old editors look back on their lives and weep bitter tears for their wasted youth. Even considering that it would be editorial assistants and interns doing the hunting, it makes me weep bitter tears for the time they could be spending writing my catalog copy or requesting my contracts.
The occasional typo we don't care about.
New address? Submit again.
Grandmother? Our submission guidelines clearly state that we are not responsible for the health or longevity of any materials sent to us.
There are a few editors and a number of ex-slush readers who seem to read this blog (for companionship, I think). Would anyone like to start a list of the stranger things they've found in slush? I'll start:
- a crate of tangerines
- a wool stocking full of jellybeans
- a hand-made hand puppet that really farted (mini whoopee cushion)