Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ten Most Wanted

Speaking of queries...

If you think selling short fiction is tough, the process for novel-length work contains its own novel-sized problem.

The snarky yet hilarious
post on Tumblemoose puts query writing into perspective. Cops style.

Monday, August 3, 2009

4,000 to 1

Other imprint's slush pile
Originally uploaded by Katertot
First, something fun.

National Public Radio is hosting another writers' competition. This one has to do with writing titles. In honor (well, kind of) of the late Robert Ludlum, NPR is asking listeners to tweet their attempts at the worst possible title for a spy movie. In order to read the entries, go to Twitter and enter #AbsurdSpyMovies in the 'search' box. Some of my favorites include: The Carradine Complication, The Freudian Fling, and "Live and Let Tie-Dye". I'm also proud of mine: The Gordian Nautilus.

# # # #

Okay, onto today's real topic. Slush.

No one likes to think about slush piles. Not editors, not agents, and certainly not writers. The very idea of a slush pile can make hardened writers tremble and turn gray. Today's blog title, "4,000 to 1" is actually a statistic that was posted on Mike Resnick's recent article Slush. This is the odds of a new writer being accepted by Asimov's magazine. And the picture for today's post? You guessed it - it's a slush pile.

Over the next few posts, I hope to help you improve your slush-pile odds. But let me be clear: I cannot guarantee that you will be accepted!! I am speaking as a somewhat newbie writer myself (though, I will say that I have a dozen or more publishing credits!) Certainly, I suffer from slush and rejections as much as anyone.

But even though there is no magic formula to success, there are concrete things that you, as a writer, can do to help your manuscript the best it can be and - hopefully - make it to the top of the slush pile.