(Just a note, this article is from our archives. Some references and links may not correspond with recent events.)
Since the start of 2015, I’ve read 30 submitted sample pages and I have another 20 or so to go. I’ve been pretty impressed so far and have asked for 7 full manuscripts. That might be a record for me in such a short time period.
But it also means that I’ve passed on a lot of submissions as well. And they’ve been good so why did I pass? I popped into our electronic submissions database and looked at some of my responses.
Here are some snippets in case you find them illuminating:
“There are a lot of POV shifts and I’m also worried that it’s too quiet.”
“Great concept for the story. Writing too uneven.”
“Nicely written. Quirky characters. Not a story I would pick up and read on my own so just not right for me.”
“Nice writing. Just missing that spark for me.”
“Perfectly fine story but average writing.”
“The writing feels like it’s trying too hard to be literary.”
“Writer nails the voice but there isn’t much driving the plot forward.”