Not an hour ago, I finished another novella and sent it on its brave little way to the first slush pile at the top of my list. Minutes later, I came across this brilliant article about slush pile submissions at edittorrent. If you’re still waiting with crossed fingers for that first acceptance call from an editor or agent, Tales from the Slush Pile will give you reason for optimism.
According to this editor-blogger, 88% of submissions are rejected without even really being read. Hold on, before you think this is a depressing rather than a happy fact, listen to edittorrent’s reasons for rejection.
- 3% sent the manuscript to the wrong person.
- 10% submitted a manuscript in a category the editor doesn’t publish.
- 20% submitted fiction, but not a genre the editor publishes.
Of those left:
- A third have serious grammar and spelling issues beyond the occasional, inevitable typo.
- Half don’t understand the basics of telling a story.
Let’s presume that you: a) aren’t sending out manuscripts blindly to anyone with an email address, b) have read the submission guidelines and know romance is accepted, c) religiously use spellchecker, and d) know stories require a beginning, middle, and end. Maybe I exaggerate, but the point is, if you’ve made it past the beginner stages, you’re already nearly nine-tenths of the way there!
Check out editorrent’s blog to find out what happens to the other 12% of manuscript submissions in the pile.