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.
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.