Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Manuscripts and The Victims of the Slush Pile

So far, I have read more in the weeks than I had in three years. There are so many different voices and styles. Some good, some bad, and some you wonder why didn't it burst into flames when it was completed.

Yes, i'm talking about manuscripts. The countless amount of trees killed to produce these stacks (or bounded) of paper. Unfortunately, a good 95% of these manuscripts are not good enough to even be looked at. It's even higher to get signed and get a bound galley (test copy of manuscript).

I have to read the infamous slush pile, which is where all the unsolicited manuscripts end up (no agent used or conferences attended). So far I looked at about 150 slush manuscripts/queries and rejected about 147 of those letters. I've considered two to be looked again (or at least glanced at again). Here are the descriptions:

  1. This picture book from a Japanese artist. The pictures blew me away, but I have yet to read the actual story. (Apparently, it did get published in Japan. I guess he wants it to be translated.) I took copies of his art for safe keeping.
  2. This fantasy novel from this 15 year old (or at least what this "reviewer" said). I have to double check that. Anyway, the intern from the previous summer said that she liked it, so it stayed.
  3. This science fiction novel about a person's life in the world of online role playing games. Which intrigued me to read beyond page 5. I don't know whether the subject of online role playing games is hot at the moment. I play them, but that's it.
Now moving on to the other 147 letters that were rejected. There were many comments that I wanted to personally write in the rejection letters that I sent. Unfortunately, the company prevents me from doing this because they do not want to hurt the person's feeling, or more like they don't want an angry mob outside the building. But here are some of the comments that I would have wrote:
  • Did your brain melt when you did this because I know mine did when I read it.
  • Please stop sending us more manuscripts because it's just going to contribute to New York City's growing trash problem.
  • I would burn your manuscript but that would require time that I've already wasted responding to you.
Well, I wouldn't have really used them, because I need to get some practice on my constructive criticism for my Creative writing class. So, no offensive comments this summer and that's a promise. Fortunately, I get to destroy the dreams of the weak and stupid minded. So everybody wins!

'Til next time.

Internship Days 1,2,4,7,10 and 12 (part 1)

Well, I've started my internship two weeks ago and so far, it's been AWESOME! This is my first job that does not require hard labor. After three jobs, I've realized that moving boxes and mopping floors is not for me so I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life.

I got the idea about possibly pursuing a career in publishing by my best friend. She told me (so did some other people) that my writing is good and I actually knew someone in the publishing business. I wasn't going to do anything else for the summer so I thought why not, and well I now have a cubicle for 10 weeks.

I thought at first that the higher up would treat me like any other intern (like Jabba the Hutt's slave), but that was nowhere near the case. I actually got to read manuscripts. No coffee deliveries, no toilet cleaning (or at least my fellow co-worker told me about the interns in the a fashion company), or even copying. SUPERGASP! Anyway, all I do (or have been doing) is doing reports on the stuff I read: 1-2 page report about the book and my opinion about it. That's it. Well, I've recently been assigned the task of doing the source notes of this biography. It's pretty tedious but it's important because without it, the company can get sued.

Well, that's all I can say about what I'm doing. So, hope you had fun reading this and at least stick through this journey with me.

More to come....whatever.