My post on avoiding the slush pile is up now at The Missouri Review‘s blog. I wrote it after reading a terrific blog post by Joe Hiland, the fiction editor of Indiana Review, about reading story types and how unlikely they are to make it past the slush pile at literary magazines.
One story type I particularly enjoy despite its badness is My Crazy Summer Abroad. This story type is about an undergraduate who goes to a foriegn country for the summer and, usually, broods on his own sadness or loneliness or otherness; or he falls madly in love with the beautiful, sexy, crazy girl either in his program or in the foreign land. These stories have painstaking details of walking through public gardens and museums, back streets and alleys, the unusual architecture, and despite the protagonist’s brooding, there is a certain amount of joy in these descriptions. Usually, these stories are far too commonplace to even consider for publication, but I do enjoy reading them. There is, if nothing else, energy, and I always gravitate toward energy in fiction.
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