Five lies writers believe about editors

Paul Raven @ 09-05-2009

Hey, fiction writers – ever wonder what really makes editors tick? Sure you do; you’d love to know what really happens to your story when you wing it off for consideration at a favourite magazine or website.

Well, you’re in luck – Jeremiah Tolbert, himself a writer but also currently submissions editor at Escape Pod, explodes five myths about the editorial process. Here’s the first:

  • LIE #1: Editors give every story fair consideration. OR: Editors reject stories without reading them at all.

The truth is, the slush is deep, and it’s rarely an editor’s favorite part of the job. Why do you think so many places have slush readers?

Every story doesn’t get fair consideration. Not every story deserves it. If you can’t be bothered to read the submission guidelines and follow them, it’s an easy rejection. If you have five grammar and spelling mistakes in the first two paragraphs, it’s an easy rejection. If it’s a story about vampires, and I hate vampire stories, it’s mostly an easy rejection.

Most stories get at least a page out of me. Then I skip to the last 3 paragraphs, if I’m feeling generous. Some get less. Some work is so obviously bad that it’s startlingly easy to know it’s not going to work. But every story gets looked at. Nothing ever gets rejected without being partially read. Honest.

All five are honest, pertinent, and pretty funny. Go read.

Be Sociable, Share!