Advice from Slush Readers

What makes a good story? What are people looking to read about? How can I get people to care about my story and characters? And what does it take to get published? These questions have been on my mind recently and I ran across a few great articles I wanted to share and they come in the form of slush reader’s blog posts.

Slush readers, the bottom of the stack in the publishing world. They are often unpaid and work behind the scenes. They put a lot of time and effort into their work and get little recognition or monetary compensation for what they do. So why do it? Because of the incredible learning experience you really can’t get anywhere else. Or so I’ve heard, and it’s one reason why I’ve seriously been considering becoming a slush reader myself.

That’s an entirely different post. Right now I want to share a few blogs I recently visited and the incredible information I found. Some of the information overlaps a bit, but read for yourself and see what you can can glean for your own writing toolbox.

Sarah E. Olsen’s blog post Slush Readers’ Advice for Writers offers general and quite specific advice on what slush readers look for and pet peeves to try and stay away from. This reader works for Apex Magazine and some of her advice is related directly to speculative fiction, but a lot is for all writing in general. She also has some advice for those looking to do slush reading themselves.

Confessions of a Slush Reader: Why I Should Care?  is a post done by Farrett Steinmetz . It’s a humorous, but realistic look at the publishing world. Why should a slush reader care about your story? Give the slush reader a reason to say… yes. The graphics are hilarious in this post, but the advice solid. Why should writers care about what a slush reader has to say? Read this post and find out.

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