Over the past few weeks, I’ve been playing around with an odd idea. Some of you may have read the first SLUSH LESSON (9/6/09) about an element of cover letters. Some of you may have even read the original SLUSH LESSON article I wrote for the APEX blog.

Here’s the situation: As an amateur writer myself, I’ve learned a lot just by reading slush. There are times when the lesson is obvious (“Ever heard of capitalization?”), and other times when it’s not (“Oh, crap. I do this, too, don’t I?”). I was chatting with my wonderful mother the other day, and she recommended that I start jotting down some of the things I’ve picked up. It’s all useful information, after all.

I thought about that, and then decided to up it one more: if I was going to benefit from what I was learning, why shouldn’t others? Back before I worked for APEX, I would have loved to know some of this stuff. The editing side of publishing can be so elusive and mysterious, so subjective and intangible from the writer’s side. It really does seem sometimes like you’re shooting in the dark. And when so often rejections come as form letters, it can be hard to even know what K.O.’d a story you thought was great.

So I’m going to attempt to write a continuing number of SLUSH LESSONS. I’ll be keeping them short (no more than 400 words tops, preferably 250), and they’ll be focused on only one issue at a time (when I can manage it). I’d like to write one to two a week–I’ve got a growing list of topics–but it may take me a little while to make it firm. For now, I’ll shoot to post one SLUSH LESSON per week, on Sunday, since all the webcomics usually take Sunday off, and therefore there’s nothing else to mindlessly check the interwebs for! ^_-

And we’ll just see how it goes. I know it’s way too early for this, but if you’re a writer and have a specific question you’d like to know the answer to about submitting, I’d be happy to focus a SLUSH LESSON on answering submission editor questions, provided I have a useful answer. If you do have a question, just post it here in a comment, and I’ll address it as soon as I can. If you’d prefer to use some other method of contact, you can find my email on the “contact” page.

Second SLUSH LESSON will go up this afternoon. ^_^