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Saturday, October 31, 2015

ASIM Needs YOU - To Read Slush

I posted about ASIM's need for slush readers in August last year. I believe we got some, but the need goes ever on. Especially since the Hugo shortlisting.

See, whenever we are noticed, for whatever reason, we get more submissions. What we really need are more subscriptions. Even if you do intend to submit, actually reading your market seems like a good idea, right? Well, it does to me.

But when we were shortlisted, even though we were being sneered at by the likes of George R.R Martin(who said on his blog, "Andromeda Spaceways are loudly declaring they didn't know..." I put him right on that, politely, in my comment, FWIW),   it got us more submissions, not more subscriptions. And we really need more readers to handle them, maybe even those who are thinking of submitting. Once you've read some of what is coming in, you may see your own stories in a completely new light. You'll be asking yourself, "What would I want to read if I was paying out my hard earned cash for a magazine? Is what I've been submitting what I would simply love if I was paying to read it?" Or maybe, "Hey, I can do better than this!"

I receive around five or six at a time and try to get through  them all, but we're happy if you just want to take one story a week. My sister does. If you're really keen you can ask for an unlimited number.

We can't pay. The only people who get paid in this business are the contributors - writers and artists - but you'll learn a lot and have something to put on your resume while you wait for a paying gig. And you'll earn the eternal gratitude of our lovely slush wrangler Lucy Zinkiewicz, a university academic who puts around ten hours a week into this task.

I should add that you'll have a break soonish. We have two more issues to get out this year,  then we're having a short break from slushing as we do most years at Christmas/New Year.

Meanwhile, there's a lot of stories to get through. You don't have to be a professional slush reader. You don't have to be a writer, even, just a reader who loves speculative fiction.

How about it, O my readers? Do you have what it takes? If you think you do, email Lucy at

And here, per Zara's suggestion, is the subscription  page!


Zara said...

probably worth having a subscribe link here! :D

Sue Bursztynski said...

Good idea, Zara! I believe Mr Wood is rearranging the subscribe page to make it easier, so I'll wait till then. I'll also do a page on the side of this.

Pascal and Isabella Inard said...

Hi Sue,

Have you considered what some literary magazines do, giving priority in your slush pile to subscribers?

Some authors submit to every magazine and never read them; you have to give them an incentive.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Some spec fic magazines do that too. :-) I know of one that used to offer personal comments to subscribers, printed forms to everyone else. Not sure how successful that was. We do look at longer stories by subscribers. But in the end, you have to give priority to the best stories. I rather think that there are some writers who are using us as a free manuscript assessment service because we have a reputation for that. I went on comment strike for some time after disappointed submitters were whining on their blogs about rude comments. In one case I put in a comment in such a big pointing out that if they can't handle a few rude comments on a manuscript they will HATE reviews of their published work! Commenting does take a while. I mostly only comment on stories I'm rejecting so the author at least knows why. I keep them short.