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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Slush readers

   
Author Topic: Slush readers
rcmann
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Anybody ever seem to get the same reader over and over at a particular magazine?
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Robert Nowall
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Can't vouch for who's reading what I submit---I can't say for sure if they are reading what I submit---but I have been getting the same form rejection slips for some years now.
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MJNL
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Yes, I've noticed there are a couple of venues where my stories tend to get read by the same slush reader. I'm not sure if it's coincidence, or if they get to pick and choose which ones they read, or what have you. I donít think most places have a ton of first readers, so itís probably highly likely youíll get the same one or two readers over and over if youíre a frequent submitter.

It's kind of nice, though, I think. Feels like building up a silent rapport.

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Robert Nowall
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I would've thought that in a big operation there would be some quick turnover at the slushpile level of employment---but, let's face it, the biggest SF markets are not what you'd call "big operations."

(Fred Pohl, who edited Galaxy in the 1960s, said he did all his own first reading---but he had his staff (he actually had staff) trained to give him a pile of MSS with the rejection slips and return envelopes clipped to them, so he'd read on the way home and drop the rejects in the mailbox on his commute home.)

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rcmann
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quote:
Originally posted by MJNL:
Yes, I've noticed there are a couple of venues where my stories tend to get read by the same slush reader. I'm not sure if it's coincidence, or if they get to pick and choose which ones they read, or what have you. I donít think most places have a ton of first readers, so itís probably highly likely youíll get the same one or two readers over and over if youíre a frequent submitter.

It's kind of nice, though, I think. Feels like building up a silent rapport.

I get the opposite impression. If I keep getting rejected by the same person over and over, I'd kind of like to get a chance to run my stuff by someone else. Once in a while anyway.
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MJNL
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Oh, yeah, that makes sense. I've noticed getting sent *up* the line by the same person multiple times, so that probably does skew my view.
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EVOC
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I think it really depends on the publication. For example I only have one "slush" reader (though we call her a first level reader).

Larger publications may have more. But I doubt many have a whole lot of readers.

So odds are that for most markets you are getting the same editors.

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rcmann
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Same editor doesn't bother me. It's the sneaking hunch that my work is never seen by an editor that depresses me.

I know, The official line is that first readers are carefully coached, etc. Probably just me being contrary.

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djvdakota
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First readers aren't carefully coached. They're carefully chosen, then trusted to do the job.

We (Flash Fiction Online) have 10 first line slush readers who are pretty randomly assigned stories by two team leaders. But you won't receive rejections from the first line readers. You'll get them from the team leaders--and yes, most will be form rejections. So chances are your subs with us would never be read by the same slush reader twice--unless you are one of those insane people who submit a story every two days.

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rcmann
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Flash Fiction Online wasn't the place I was talking about, fyi. Form rejections are something I have grown accustomed to. I don't smile over them, but I no longer curse. But I kept getting rejected by the same first reader, self id'ed as a first reader, over and over to the point that I decided not to bother submitting there anymore. Plainly, it won't disappoint them unduly not to be bothered with sending me any more rejections, but I still found it moderately... disconcerting?
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