I’m new to reading Joe Konrath’s blog, but I really like what he has to say. Today’s post is a great dovetail to Miss Snark’s synopsis experiment. Want to know why you keep getting rejected? Want to understand why your manuscript isn’t actually getting read?

But I never really understood what it is like to be an acquisitions editor, or an agent, until recently. I’m a paid judge for a short story contest a magazine is holding, and I’ve had to read 2600 short stories.

I’ve learned a lot, much of it scary and bad. Namely: I can tell within ten seconds of looking at a story whether it will go on to the finals or not.

Ten freaking seconds.

This is not because I’m blessed with the ability to sniff out talent. It is not because I’m a pompous know-it-all who refuses to give anyone a chance. And it is not because I’m lazy and want to get this all over with quickly.

The writer tells me, subconsciously, whether or not their story is worth reading.

Want to know how? Then go read the entry. 🙂 And pay very close attention to what he’s saying. Most of that is fixable with a little time and attention.