Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mining for Gold

Quote of the Day: "We called him Mother Superior on account of the length of his habit."
-Renton, Trainspotting

I read manuscripts submitted to UNM's literary magazine. I pull a small pile of manila envelopes from a larger pile, and I read as many as I possibly can over the course of a week or two. Then I grab another small pile and do it all over again.

After reading the manuscripts, we place them in three other piles: "No," "Maybe," and "Yes." It's an easy task, but it can get so incredibly monotonous. What gets me is the amount of typos I find. I haven't submitted anything to a magazine yet, but you can bet that when I do, their will be no typos on my manuscript. Isn't that considered rude? The editorial board does mind, you know.

Also, I find that those with the most impressive credentials in their cover letter submit the most shoddily written work, as if the credentials give them the right to overlook easy editing. It's totally pretentious.

And another thing: The longest short stories, the ones that take the longest, are often the worst, they beat the same metaphors over your head over and over, as if you won't get the half-baked concept in the first 10 pages.

And I'm so tired of cliches. Oh my God, I feel like I've come across the same stock characters, situations, and phrases that they won't be showing up in my stories not because I'm good at avoiding cliches, but because I am so damned tired of them.

But, sometimes there's a real gem in that manila pile. That's the stuff that needs to be submitted, that (in my opinion) is ready to even be discussed. I'm not expert, and I haven't yet submitted anything anywhere, but all I can say is this: it's a good thing I don't write those rejection letters. Especially now that I'm out of coffee.

1 Comments:

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Aunt Kristi said...

This:
What gets me is the amount of typos I find.

And this:
Also, I find that those with the most impressive credentials in their cover letter submit the most shoddily written work

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! :-) Welcome to my world, Simon.

 

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