“Writers are not the enemy”

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“Here’s the thing though–whatever your experience with the slushpile, it is not the enemy. Writers are not the enemy. They can be frustrating but we should not be fighting them or trying to keep them away like some kind of contagion. I think we all have to stop being so goddamned condescending about the slushpile and inexperienced writers and bad writers who won’t just stay away, leaving us surrounded only by the “good” writers who do as we say.  Even with all its baggage, the slushpile is awesome. Writers think so highly of your publication that they send their words to you and nine times out of ten, they will let you publish that work for FREE.”

— At GIANT, Roxane Gay has some things to say to all those people who’ve been ragging on the slushpile.


Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →