Our new assistant editors, Sarena Ulibarri and Laura Harvey, are -- dare I say -- frolicking in the slush. And I completely understand. I love reading query letter slush. I open the inbox and see not a coming storm, but a tidal wave of possibilities. What will catch my interest today? What will tick all of my boxes? What project will be just the thing I was hoping for? What project will intrigue me that I didn't even know I wanted?
Of course, the majority of what arrives in our submission inbox can't be kept. Either it's not right for us, the writing's not yet at a publishable point, the construction's almost-but-not-quite, or we just don't have space for it. All those projects that we have to decline do wear me down over time, which is why I'm quite happy that our open submission periods are only a month at a time. And three of the four shortest months of the year, as it turns out. (No, that wasn't the original reason for choosing those months, but it works nonetheless.)
Our rate of request to consider the manuscript is up from last year. Understandably so, as our assistant editors are seeking out what will be the base of their editorial lists. For them, possibilities are wide open. I am reading queries, but I'm not requesting pages this month as my own list is pretty full. Not requesting is furthering my sense of hibernation: I'm not venturing new paths through the snow, I'm curled up, snug and happy in my editorial nest . . . den . . . whatever.
It'll be intriguing, once the weather turns, to see what blooms from our collective efforts.