Why do 90 percent of submission land in the "no" pile?

Why do 90 percent of submissions land in the "no" pile almost immediately, without being read beyond the first few pages? Not counting the wrong genre for the agent or editor receiving the submission, or dumb mechanical mistakes, the #1 culprit is average voice. "Average" means the writer's voice sounds like everyone else's, smothered under layers of writing habits that the gatekeepers and first readers have learned to instantly recognize, habits that have spread to millions of writers as well as most of their critique partners.

I'm attempting to spread the antidote via my workshops. Coming up in 2009:
*Jan 1 (New Year's Day), 6:00-6:15 pm EST www.InternetVoicesRadio.com. FREE
*Jan 31: guest blogging on www.poesdeadlydaughters.blogspot.com. FREE
*Feb 14 (Sat), 10 am-noon: Kennesaw State University, workshop sponsored by Sisters in Crime Atlanta, Georgia Writers Assn. www.georgiawriters.org/ FREE
*Mar 27-28, Blue Ridge Writers Conference, Blue Ridge/Blairsville GA; email: ca_crawford@yahoo.com
*Apr 2-4, Tennessee Mountain Writers, Oak Ridge, TN: www.tmwi.org
*Apr 16-18, Las Vegas Writers Conference, www.hendersonwriters.com/LVWC.htm
Spring, dates TBA: Skill Builds in Raleigh and Asheville, NC. email: skillbuild@aol.com
*Jul 15-18, TBA
*Oct 14 (Wed), 7:00-9:00 pm, Indianapolis, IN: "Don't Sabotage Your Submission Workshop," at A Day for Writers Pre-Bouchercon, sponsored by Sisters in Crime
*Oct 15-18, Indianapolis, IN: panelist at Bouchercon, www.bouchercon2009.com
Updates to this list are posted on www.snurl.com/editorspeaks

Please come, say hello, and enjoy a worthwhile hour or two in learning to analyze voice and make yours more effective.

Why am I spending my Social Security on traveling from North Carolina to all these distant places? After 40+ years as a full-time editor, plus a few years of teaching college writing, I'm tired of seeing the same writing issues continue to ruin good stories and break the hearts of otherwise promising new writers and dropped midlist writers.

If you're anywhere near the cities I'm visiting, please come, have fun, and learn something to help your career.

Chris Roerden

Views: 23


You need to be a member of CrimeSpace to add comments!

Comment by carole gill on August 23, 2008 at 10:11pm
Hi Chris,
I'm just reading your book, Don't Murder your Mystery--
It seems very good. Very helpful for newbies such as myself.
Comment by carole gill on August 15, 2008 at 3:39am
I ordered your book yesterday!
Currently revising and going a bit nuts.
Wish I could attend your workshop, it's a little too far though!

CrimeSpace Google Search

© 2024   Created by Daniel Hatadi.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service