I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you’re an aspiring author and want to really improve your chances of being published, slush-editing for a good market is one of the best things you can do. Slushing for Apex was a great learning experience for me, and sparked the SLUSH LESSONS I’ve reposted here since they first appeared on the old Apex blog.
In brief: 30-60 submissions a month is essentially 1-2 stories a day, so while it’s a volunteer position (as was Apex’s), it’s pretty easy to keep on-top of. In exchange, it’s 1) a great learning experience if you’re a writer to see why X story gets pushed up and why Y story gets rejected outright, and 2) it’s a great way to build personal relationships with great authors and editors.
I slushed for Apex for almost five years, including under Lynne and Michael, and it was one of the best experiences if my career thus far, personally and for how it helped me look at my own fiction. I joined up with Apex originally for the love of short fiction, and to get to read some really great stuff, and to better understand the industry from the inside. Through that position, I got to attend several conventions (for free!), talk about slushing and working for a small press on panels, and meet a ton of amazing authors and fellow editors in the pro rooms. It also led to working as an interviewer for the magazine, and to a paying gig with Apex Book Company as a book formatter.
Since that day when I submitted my application to Apex, I’ve never looked back. If you get a chance to get in in the ground floor of Uncanny, do it! I’d apply myself if the Little Guy wasn’t already stretching my time too thin. So take a look and see if this might be for you!