Slushpile Reading

I’ve just started working for Dark Quest Books (well, sans paycheck, but still…) reading slush.  They primarily handle horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  They got their start through roleplaying manuals.

So far, I’ve rejected three and requested one partial.  I’m reading over the first three chapters of another one, that so far is leaning toward rejection, sorry to say.  I have five other “samples” to fill out as a sort of test (like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped), and I already have a second volley to comb through in my inbox.


First impressions:

Well, it truly is sort of intimidating when the shoe is on the other foot.  You definitely want to be fair.  Furthermore, as a fellow author, I really want to accept each of  them (well, ok, not that one guy, but that’s a given.  That story is just . . . *shudders*)  Twittering around, I’ve met a lot of very nice people who handle queries.  Many of them, however, are quick to snark on one issue or another.  I’m not sure how I take that.  If it’s in good fun, that’s one thing, but otherwise, it’s the equivalent of a coach making fun of a player who really is trying.

I didn’t start this to get on a soapbox, I only wanted to say this: That person could be me.  And, that person could be rejected by me.  It’s very humbling.

Either way, my goal is to learn as much through this and any other avenues I pursue.  I get to continue to network, see what to do and what not to do in a query, and who knows . . .

Maybe I’ll see your query come through my inbox.

– Ray


5 responses to “Slushpile Reading

  1. Interesting. I’ll take a look through that site, to try to get an idea of the kind of books they publish, and see if maybe I can something that fits the bill. So if you ever see a query from “John Richard LeMar,” be advised that’s me. ^_^

  2. I’m already drafting your rejection letter. 🙂

    As an update, though, I’ve requested 4 partials and rejected 4. I think I’m doing it wrong. I have to take it easy on the partial requests, or I won’t have time to read my comics.

    Slushy, slushy now,

  3. I think other slushpile readers could follow your example. No one wants to get slapped down or, if you’re a decent sort of person, to slap someone else down. It says a lot about you as a person that you recognize this. Good luck in your reading. I hope you find a star.


  4. So far, I’ve found two that I absolutely love. I have a third one I’m on the fence over. I’ll know more in a few days. I’ve been meaning to do a post (yeah, for a month now) about it.

    Oh, and by the way, welcome.

    – Ray

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