Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Writing Wrongs 

Recently I joined a Yahoo! Group called Australian-Writers-Online. The group is friendly and supportive and I still haven't introduced myself.

Today someone sent a link to 'Confessions of a slush pile reader' (Salon, 25 February 2002). I can believe that a lot of the manuscripts in the slush pile are similar. I wasn't surprised to read that weirdos send in manuscripts scrawled in pencil. I was surprised to find that the publisher might invent an imaginary editor to deal with the unsolicited work.

Then I visited, a free directory of writers who would like to attract the attention of publishers. I browsed by topic and then clicked on writers' names at random. Most writers provided a self-written outline of their writing interests and experience. Nearly all that I read contained typos. Two included the number of children the writer has and one of these also mentioned the children's ages and writing accomplishments. One woman promoted the poetry she'd written while suffering from depression and anxiety. By this stage I was feeling a little sad. I was starting to understand the need for a non-existent editor - preferably with outstanding people skills.

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