Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ask an Editor

Go ahead. Ask me. Ask me anything. Of course I'll only answer if I know the answer. I mean, if you ask me the flight speed of an African Swallow whilst carrying a coconut it's fairly likely you'll be ignored. And if you ask me about the nuts and bolts of the book publishing process, I may or may not know the answer. But if you ask me something about running an online magazine or about the slush process involved with that, or about writing, THOSE I can answer.

Just post a comment with your question and I'll answer in a post.


Charity Bradford said...

How much weight does a recommendation from a well known author help a beginning writer in the query process?

Just wondering,

Anonymous said...

I'm a very newbie writer, so this might be a silly question. I was wondering how a writer knows when their piece is ready for submission? How do you decide when your own pieces are ready to be sent out? Is it best to use a writer's group or objective friend? It's sometimes hard to know when I'm done editing. Thanks in advance for your response. I enjoy reading this blog and have learned a lot from it!

Margie said...

Hi Suzanne!

Do I need to include a brief bio in my cover letter when submitting a story?

Thanks for your help!

Bonnie Fernandes said...

Hi Suzanne,

How do you become a slushpile editor?



Stella said...

My biggest writing weakness is conflict: I don't have enough of it. Could you give some examples of well-crafted conflict in novels or short stories? I'm not so worried about the obvious, good-versus-evil conflicts (Gandalf v Sauron, Nurse Ratched v Randle McMurphy); it's the ordinary conflict between friends that I'm looking for, and the action that stems from it.
A friend came up with a great example with Scully and Mulder, the two X-Files protagonists who disagreed ALL THE TIME.

Lady June said...

As I am new to Flash Fiction, I have a question. Currently I am working on projects that have a much larger scale, but became interested in flash fiction because I want to get my name out there before I am able to publish a bigger piece of literature. So my question is can flash fiction be individual stories in a series, using the same characters and setting? On the Submissions page on Flash Fiction Online, it says not to submit anything that are scenes from a larger project. The idea I have for my flash fiction pieces are not from my previous projects, but I wanted something that could eventually be compiled into a larger piece. How can I work this without getting a rejection letter?

jfgmu2009 said...

Glad to have found this blog, I guess unnamed characters only work for Ralph Ellison.

I was curious how one becomes a manuscript reader. What information can you give me.

Suzanne Vincent said...

Dear jfgmu2009:

I've answered that question before, but it's worth reiterating:

Author With Self Respect said...


I'd like to know why you think it is OK to verbally abuse prospective authors before they even submit to you?

THANK YOU for thoroughly reading our guidelines! (Do it. You may wish you had, because I am JUST in the mood to dump your story in the trash if you don't follow the rules. Thank you! ~The Editor)

You can honestly stick both the sarcasm - THANK YOU - and the attitude where the sun don't shine, and shame on anyone that allows this to pass unchallenged.

Suzanne Vincent said...

Your response, Author With Self-Respect:

Unknown said...

Slush piles are huge for one simple reason: vast quantities of writing coming in are, as slush readers know only to well, rubbish whose nature boils down to those submitting being close to illiterate and blithely ignorant of the way the language should be used, not abused.
Possibly the only cure for this excessive volume would be to require would be submitters to first email an item on the subject of x and no longer than Y lines.
The subject needs to avoid the overworked like love, loss, illness,ageing and birth. Length should be short because only the skillful can write tightly and well.
Those unable to meet these specs will not be assigned code numbers clearing them for future submissions. The slush pile will therefore shrink greatly.

William1 said...

Dear Ms. Vincent. I did read your Slushpile Avalanche. I thought it all to be very valuable. I will do my utmost to follow your great advice. Thank you.

That's all.

William Propsner