Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pass We Must At the House of Tin

Why do they bug me at Tin House?  They just do:
Thank you for sending us "Title." Unfortunately, we must pass at this time. Best of luck placing your work elsewhere. Sincerely, Tin House Editors


Anonymous said...

Tin House: Do you know a staff member or have you published several acclaimed novels?

Struggling Writer: No.

Tin House: Thank you for sending us "Title." Unfortunately, we must pass at this time. Best of luck placing your work elsewhere. Sincerely, Tin House Editors


Anonymous said...

Struggling writer: Are there a million other places to publish your work?

Dan said...

You missed the point Anon 8:32. Tin House never publishes from the slush, yet they claim to welcome unsolicited submissions. Kind of rude and misleading to writers who are unknown or just starting out, don't you think? For what it's worth, I enjoy reading Tin House.

(cue next anonymous poster who claims he/she was published from the slush at Tin House.)

John Updike said...

i am anonymous commenter and Tin House published me from the slush twenty-three times. all your argument are invalid and are belong to me.

Anonymous said...


How exactly do you know Tin House never publishes from the slush pile? If you'd provide some evidence, I'd be happy to concede the point. In the meantime, consider the number of stories submitted to Tin House, the number of stories they publish in a year, and the fact that soliciting stories from major authors helps keep them in business by making sales. Now what would you do?

Dan said...

The majority of Tin House contributors are either creative writing program faculty or established authors. Many/most of these writers are not well-known to the general reading public, but they have sufficient enough clout to bypass the slush pile. They address their manuscripts directly to the editor.

This is common knowledge, and old news anyway. I do wonder why they maintain the pretense of accepting submissions from Joe Blow and Jane Doe, when they are clearly going for a more elite image. For that matter, why does the New Yorker have submissions info on their website? Everyone* knows it's all agented and solicited.

(BTW, no one said TH should publish only or even mostly from the slush. Obviously they need the big name authors to keep subscribers.)

*I have an acquaintance who's submitted dozens of stories to the New Yorker's slush pile. Try telling her it's pointless though, she'll accuse you of trying to destroy her dreams.

Justin Sayings said...

Stories from the agented and solicited are obviously superior. Stories from the slush pile are patently a pile of slush. If you want to write slush for a slush pile by all means go right ahead. Some people have a talent for it, I believe. Either way, the slush will prevail.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind TH publishing "big names," but they also publish plenty of little names, really quite tiny, who have some connection to the editorial staff (that was anonymous's first point), much of it quite marginal. That's what irks me and erodes my faith in the mag.

John Smith said...

Every "big writer" was a slushpile nobody at some point. There's a story about how Philip K. Dick's first wife tacked all of his rejection letters to his workspace--two layers or failure wallpaper. Another time, the mailman dropped off a tied stack of about fourteen rejection letters.

If the late great icon PKD got fourteen rejection letters in one day, then who are you to complain?

Everyone starts at the bottom. Everyone pays their dues, and everyone is a wannabe at some point or another. You just have to roll with the punches.