(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 back in December 2010.) This is your brain: “I’m going to write that story I’ve had on my mind all weekend! It’ll be so fun!” This is your brain on “inner editor”: “Wow, this is terrible. Is that even a word? There’s too much description, here.… Continue reading SLUSH LESSON: Voices on My Shoulder: The Inner Editor Vs. the Inner Critic
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!
(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
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
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
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?
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
SLUSH LESSON #4: ERR: Why Edditing is Imortant, Sometimes I think the same people who don’t read guidelines are the same people who blatantly cast off the most rudimentary of writing basics. Time after time, I get submissions in the slush that look like the first whipped-out draft of a story. They’re riddled with grammatical,… Continue reading SLUSH LESSON #4: Editing