A flood of fiction is filling our bookshops. Some 13,000 new novels are published each year, a 45 per cent increase since 1998. But the deluge conceals a depressing reality for new writers. The slush pile – the derogatory term for unsolicited manuscripts that land on publishers’ desks – has been all but abandoned in this efficient age of corporate accounting and executive accountability. Publishers no longer read novels by unknowns. Nor, increasingly, do literary agents. If you are a first-timer, your chances of getting into print are almost non-existent.
Archive for January, 2003