Friday, July 2, 2010

New Favorite Tumblr

My day was just immeasurably brightened by discovering Slushpile Hell! For those of you who have never worked in the publishing industry, or never known anyone who worked in the publishing industry, when fresh-faced new authors send their manuscripts to publishers or agents to see if anyone might possibly want to print their work, these manuscripts get reviewed by armies of unpaid or underpaid interns and publishing flunkies (no offense intended, publishing flunkies). Slushpile Hell memorializes the efforts of this vast horde by printing excerpts from usually ridiculous author query letters with usually hilarious and cringeworthy results.

I think because of it, a bunch of people on lit blogs have been talking about their experiences being a slush reader and oh man does it not sound fun. There's an interesting article in Salon.com right now where journalist Laura Miller talks about it:

It seriously messes with your head to read slush. Being bombarded with inept prose, shoddy ideas, incoherent grammar, boring plots and insubstantial characters -- not to mention ton after metric ton of clich├ęs -- for hours on end induces a state of existential despair that's almost impossible to communicate to anyone who hasn't been there themselves: Call it slush fatigue. You walk in the door pledging your soul to literature, and you walk out with a crazed glint in your eyes, thinking that the Hitler Youth guy who said, "Whenever I hear the word 'culture,' I reach for my revolver" might have had a point after all.
Yikes.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Yeah, that snippet from the Laura Miller article is absolutely true.

There's a reason why I am the only person in my friend group that isn't following SlushPile Hell. hits too close to home!