Saturday, November 24, 2007

Democratic Slush Pile?


The Invidivual Voice has unearthed something called the Democratic Slushpile. Readers will vote on which slush-pile entries should be published. In a recent post, the Individual Voice says: "While on the surface this appears democratic, the thought of having to read through the Dreaded Slush Pile for free seems like slave labor and yet another Slush Pile Conspiracy." Something about this idea seems terrible. Any formed opinions out there on this one?

7 comments:

zumabitch said...

I agree with TIV, who is the queen bee of the slush conspiracies.

This works on the assumption that excellent manuscripts are not published thanks to the random idiosyncracies, hostilities, and malformed subjective opinions of slush interns/editors. It could easily turn into a grand Bulwer-Lytton pig feed, with authors sending in the truly atrocious just for the sake of atrocity.

And there is this "Best of the Worst" aspect to it, if the submitted works were homeless elsewhere and are now begging in the streets. But it doesn't specify that the work already have been dismissed higher up the food chain, leaving one to ask why one would bother submitting a new manuscript for "democratic" consideration before it went trick-or-treating in the usual neighborhoods.

TIV: The Individual Voice said...

zumabitch: I am honored that you called me the queen bee of slush conspiracies. However, as many of us bloggers who use free blogging services like Blogger, I am somewhat illiterate and have no idea what the Bulwer-Lyton pig feed refers to, although to my cheapo brain it sounds funny anyway. Could you enlighten me? Also, using the word "atrocity" for inflicting bad manuscripts on slave labor is so hilarious I may have to include it with your permission in my stalled Nanowrimo novel "The Despicable Slush Pile Outsourcing Conspiracy." After all, the reject letters in my novel are being outsourced to Nigeria, referring of course to the Nigerian email scams I have also posted about. Yes, it should be considered an atrocity. The U.N. should get involved. Thank you, zumabitch. Would you like to appear in the novel? Just write me a check for...

TIV: the individual voice said...

Oh, and as an ex-slush pile agent, I mean reader, let me tell you it is torture, while the senior editor breezes off to lunch with the famous writers and glitzy agents who hand her the next bestseller package. Don't get me started. Read it all in my unpublished literary killer, I mean, thriller.

TIV: the individual voice said...

And, lastly, FYI, the torture factor in reading slush is exactly why Nanowrimo is mechanically Counting Words and not Reading Content. Can you imagine? 100,000 50,000-word novels written in one month to have to read for a winner? You simply insert your novel into their website like inserting recycled bottles into the counting machine at the grocery store and out comes your reject letter...I mean ticket. Hmmm. Idea? Thank you for sending us your manuscript. It was 67,000 words. Keep up the work. Yours truly, The Editors. Gotta post on this. There's too much material. No. Back to Nano.

Anonymous said...

A terrible idea! People don't really know what they want!

Writer, Rejected said...

It seems like a plot to bring all the terrible humiliation-entertainment of reality TV to the literary realm. Well, to the slush pile, anyway.

TIV: the individual voice said...

Love it! Reality TV Show. Two Slush Pile Reading teams compete. What's the setting? The jungle full of snakes? A dingy boiler room in a factory? A haunted house? A fashion catwalk? How do the readers stay focused on the crappy writing in spite of the distractions. What are the dirty tricks each team plays on the other? Writer, Rejected. I think I am writing my Nanowrimo "The Despicable Slush Pile Outsourcing Conspiracy" with your prompts on your blog. I'm not getting much writing done anywhere else.