On April 1 the floodgates will open and submissions to UFO4 will pour in. As with previous years, I hope to respond to most submissions in well under a week. To do this, I rely on a team of awesome associate editors/slush readers.
Those of you who’ve been submitting fiction to the UFO series already know how this works: I look at each incoming story. If it passes muster (aka I don’t find a reason to reject it in the first thirty seconds to a minute) it is then forwarded to three readers. Those readers are not aware of who the author is, so they judge the writing purely on its merit. Each reader is asked to provide a YES or NO vote as to whether the story should be seen by the entire team.
Stories thus advanced to the second round are read by all the associate editors who then proceed to comment on it for me and to provide their YES or NO vote as to whether they feel the story should be included in the book. I’m the final arbiter and the decision is mine, but I do take their votes and opinions into consideration. I’ve been talked into (and talked out of!) buying specific stories by my team.
This year, we are a little understaffed. for various reasons. As such, I’m looking to add two more slush readers.
The readers would need to be able to commit to 3 stories per day on average during the month of April, with a slightly lower work load in the few weeks leading up to it and the few weeks afterward. It’s perfectly okay to skip some days, but the assigned stories need to be turned around in 24 hours so we can maintain our response times as they were.
If this doesn’t sound too scary and is something you would like to try, feel free to reach out to me via e-mail: ufopublishing at gmail dot com. I will then send you a “sampler” of a dozen stories, asking you to share your opinion on them. This will probably take you 2-3 hours of reading/commenting time.
I look to select the readers on or shortly after March 15th, so you can apply at any point until then, so long as you feel you can turn around the slush sampler in time.
Couple of things to keep in mind:
* There are no “right” or “wrong” answers. It’s perfectly okay for you to love the story I hated, and vice versa. Because I am ultimately going to be the one buying the stories, I want to find readers whose tastes match mine as close as possible, so that they don’t reject something I might like (and, optimally, don’t send me too many things to read I might not like.)
* I will only select two readers, so don’t feel bad if you are not picked. I hope this will be valuable to everyone, including those not selected, as it will given them a sense of how the slush process works.
* It goes without saying that familiarity with the Unidentified Funny Objects series and the kind of material we publish is a huge plus and very nearly a requirement.
So, if this sounds like something you would like to try, drop me an e-mail.