Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hungry Eye Meeting

"If you haven't started yet, please go ahead and start reading submissions."
-Juan, e-mail

I haven't started yet. Mostly because two weeks ago I wasn't planning to be on the editorial staff of the campus lit. magazine. Then Juan said, "Wanna?" It can't hurt, and is one more thing to plop on my resume about what I did in school that had something to do with writing.

So, for a while now I get to be on the opposite side of publishing. I did this a few years ago, and it was an eye opener. I had to go sit down and read through a nice big pile of submissions. Let me tell ya, it gave me a whole new empathy for those who do that for a living. When I started with the first few submissions, I was really nice and read the pieces the whole way through, searching for talent. When I got past the middle of the pile, I was putting pieces aside after a paragraph or two. It's impressive how quickly I ran out of patience.

The first Hungry Eye meeting is going to be this Friday, and between now and then I have to go to campus and read through the submission pile. The timing entertains me, that I get to be a big bad editor at the same time I have submissions of my own out. Maybe I should be really nice as I go through the pile - send out that good karma, you know?


Jenny said...

I would not be overly nice. You will be wasting you time with a lot of it. Some stuff is just not up to par, and that stuff is pretty obvious (you know this). Don't spend twenty minutes on a piece you know isn't working when it should only take 2-3...

Jenny--who is cruel and evil as an editor.

Debbie said...

I guess I must be cruel and evil, too, then. I have to laugh at people who get upset when they hear an agent makes up her mind in the first five pages. Shoot, I've made up my mind about submissions in the first paragraph. I usually do keep reading because submissions to AL are limited to 2000 words, but my mind has never been changed by reading on.

And both Jenny and Ali are very nice, if extremely honest, in their editorial feedback. At least to me.

Shane said...

Ah, the memories. Having only submitted stuff to Hungry Eye and never being an editor, I only have half the picture, but I can imagine. Jenny let me glance over a few things when she was editor and I have to agree with her, don't be too nice.

Do try not to get too arbitrary with your objections. Some people might eliminate any poem about an animal, for example, without even reading them at all. But you are looking for the best. And I can't think of any story I thought was crap after the first few paragraphs suddenly changing my mind with its brilliance half-way through.

Remember, you're culling the pile, not giving critiques.