(This was originally published on the Apex Magazine blog in April 2011.) How do you measure your success as a writer? Is it the number of times you’ve been published? Or the quality of the publication your work appeared in? Is it how much you’re paid for your work? Or is it the number of… Continue reading SLUSH LESSONS: Delusions of Grandeur and Other Pitfalls
(This was originally posted on the Apex Magazine blog in October 2010.) Life happens. That’s something I’ve learned day, by painstaking day, since I decided to pursue writing fiction seriously. Something is always getting in the way. During my senior year of college, it was the substantial strain of classes, thesis work, finals, getting engaged… Continue reading SLUSH LESSONS: The World is Not Enough: The Challenge of Fitting Writing into an Already Busy Schedule
(This was originally posted on the Apex Magazine blog in 2009.) Just like every other writer out there, I’m always on the look out for things that will improve my fiction. Whether it be advice in a writer’s magazine, inspiring tips in a how-to-write book by a favorite author, or a variety of websites, critique… Continue reading Slush Lessons: What I’ve Learned About Writing From Slush Editing
I’ve seen it over and over again, not only in my own stories, but in the slush pile: the tale begins as the main character wakes up. Be it in bed, in a suspended-animation tube, in a hospital, in a dark room—wherever—these beginnings are always the same. I know other editors who hate these beginnings… Continue reading SLUSH LESSONS: What? Where am I?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been playing around with an odd idea. Some of you may have read the first SLUSH LESSON (9/6/09) about an element of cover letters. Some of you may have even read the original SLUSH LESSON article I wrote for the APEX blog. Here’s the situation: As an amateur writer… Continue reading SLUSH LESSONS: Introduction
There are plenty of instructions on how to write a cover letter, but one of the issues I occasionally see is rarely addressed: don’t down-talk yourself (or your story) in a cover letter. From the editor’s seat, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should I? And yet from time to time I see this… Continue reading Slush Lessons: Cover Letters 101 – Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot
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… Continue reading Uncanny Magazine’s Looking For Slush Editors!
SLUSH LESSON #3: Surprise!: The good idea is at the end! It was one of the first lessons I learned when I started slushing for APEX last year: surprise endings don’t work. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good O. Henry story—in fact, I’ve got a book gift certificate I might just spend on… Continue reading SLUSH LESSON #3: Surprise Endings
At last, it’s Friday! Which means I get a second shot at having a relaxing weekend. I’m not sure quite what happened last weekend: I think it started with a very late-night viewing of Inception (quite interesting) on last Friday night, and after getting to be no earlier than 2AM, I was thrown off my… Continue reading On Getting Enough Sleep, and Relaxing, etc.
Oh, by the way! My latest SLUSH LESSONS is up on the Apex Blog! It actually went up on Wednesday, but this week has been absolutely insane busy-wise, so I didn’t get a chance to post the link here. You can read the SLUSH LESSON here!