My to-do list is like that interior hallway from the novel House of Leaves: it grows, inexplicably and paradoxically, larger than the structure that’s supposed to hold it. Each time I think I’ve regained control of the list, it somehow expands into a deeper, darker abyss.
So what is it that gets the slush reader excited? What exactly are we looking for?
Most slush readers are writers themselves and therefore have moments of extreme guilt about rejections. This is especially true for me when the story is close to ready or when I recognize something of my own work in it, when I realize that a problem with a submitted story is one of my own writing habits or tics.
There’s no right or wrong way to write a cover letter, and I’ve never heard of a story getting rejected (or accepted) just because of its cover letter.
I imagined a job where I could read all day, where I could help shape the work that gets published, where I could be part of the careers of other writers. Now I have that job: I read slush.
New South is proud to announce our nominations for the 2014 Pushcart Prize!
The theme for New South 8.2 will be “Select One’s Own Escapade.” The original theme was “XXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX,” but we received a very kindly worded cease and desist letter asking us to cut that out.
The judges for the 2015 New South Writing Contest will be Roger Reeves (poetry) and Rebecca Makkai (prose).
Jenny Mary Brown on New South’s theme issue and 2015 contest