Monday, July 28, 2008

Blogging the Flan, Part II

Re: Last Friday's post on (pre-) judging the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. As one of three pre-judges, my task is to select 7-10 out of my portion of 122 book-length manuscripts (pictured left) to send on to the series editor, Nancy Zafris. All come to me without names, addresses or previous publishing credits, so I have absolutely no idea who the authors might be. So far: Round 1 eliminated 50 manuscripts. Round 2 eliminated 52. Top reasons for the thumbs down:

1. clumsy writing
2. lack of vividness
3. clutter
4. cliche
5. unconvincing / inept use of dialogue
6. frigidity
7. unconvincing characters and actions
8. lack of tension
9. bad taste

But there are 20 very promising manuscripts for Round 3. More anon.