Slush Pile: Episode 017: “Let’s Kill The Slush Pile”

Present at the Editorial Table:

Jim Hanas

Jason Schneiderman

Kathleen Volk Miller

Marion Wrenn

Caitlin McLaughlin

Tim Fitts

Engineering Sound Producer:

Joe Zang


Today we have a very different episode; instead of discussing submissions from our own slush pile, we talk about whether a “slush pile” is even the best way to find writing and writers at all! Joining us is Jim Hanas, author of the essay “Let’s Kill the Slush Pile,” which details how open submissions really work, under what premises, and the advantages of scouting for work over open submissions. In a world where Facebook and WordPress have made sharing writing easier than ever, does a slush pile still have the value that it once had? Are Editors who strictly pick from submissions nothing more than literary Gatekeepers? We sit down for this episode ready to defend our democratic slush pile as the obvious way to go, but Jim’s arguments left us questioning our own methods (unless you’re Jason).

Jim Hanas is certainly not a new face to the publishing world. Currently, he works for HarperCollins as the Senior Director of Audience Development and Insight but he’s done it all, from freelance writer, to professor, to editor. He no longer submits to the slush and is trying to conquer the full-length novel. Look for his collection of short stories titled Why They Cried: a surreal look into the strange and beautiful present in everyday life.

We here at PBQ aren’t slashing our slush pile any time soon, but Jim leaves us contemplating the function of the slush pile and with an uncertainty of its future in the ever-changing world of publishing.

What do you think? Do you agree with Jim? What are your experiences with slush piles? Don’t forget to rate and subscribe to us on iTunes! Let us know on our Facebook event page or tweet us@PaintedBrideQ.

Thank you for listening and read on!

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