Saturday, January 16, 2010

What is "slush"

A comment on the previous post Slush Works asked

Janet, how it this considered "slush" if you requested his manuscript? If a book that goes through the query/manuscript request/agent sale process is considered slush, then what is not considered slush?



Patrick Lee arrived via query letter in my slush pile.

Slush refers only to incoming queries. Almost every query I get is "slush" in that I didn't ask for the query to be sent to me. And that's fine with me. I love slush. I love my queries.

Patrick Lee was NOT in the slush pile at Harper. Nosirreebob he was not. He was in the requested manuscript stack because I called the editor, pitched her, and she's not an idiot.

What I mean by the phrase "slush works" is that sending a good query with good pages will get you the attention of an agent. You don't need anything more than that if you write compelling fiction.

12 comments:

Josin L. McQuein said...

I think a lot of people equate slush with something negative because of the agent stats posted every once in a while that say 98%+ of all slush isn't up to publication standards. It makes it sound like slush is the umbrella for "reject pile" rather than "inbox".

Dan Krokos said...

"Sending a good query with good pages will get you the attention of an agent."

More proof over here!

God Bless queryshark.blogspot.com

Deep River said...

So I suppose now that when you receive a poorly crafted query, you can say to yourself: "He seems to have come to my slush pile without his gunbelt."

Gary Corby said...

Slush is an unfortunate term. If it was called the query queue people wouldn't think it was such a bad place to be.

But regardless of how you feel about it, it's a necessary place to be. Even Stephen King's son came in through the query queue.

Shelby said...

i'm learnin'..

Jennifer said...

I think Josin has a point, though. You could probably call it the "Happy Bag of Awesome" and still have people think of it negatively because we're told so often how poor the quality of most of the work is.

Carrie said...

It brings to mind dirty snow. Once the water has melted away, we are once again left with earth.

Linda Rader said...

90% of everything is crap, TV shows, art, first drafts. Slush pile should be no different. It takes a lot of slogging to find the pearls in anything.

Arthur Willoughby said...

Interesting WSJ piece about the slush pile:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703414504575001271351446274.html

Gary Corby said...

I rather like the Happy Bag of Awesome. Deserves to be a new industry standard.

Keith Popely said...

Thanks, Janet. I hope next week's Happy Bag of Awesome brings you lots of great writing.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I signed with a slush query. It does happen. Keep plugging away!