Ansley Asher

writing thoughts

Is the Slushpile on Its Way Out?

From Jean Hannah Edelstein’s blog at The Guardian comes a post which outlines HarperCollins’ possible new plan to eliminate their slushpile. They’re betaing a website called Authonomy where writers can submit up to 10,000 words of their unsolicited submissions to be judged by peers. The assumption then is that, should enough people like your work, an editor at HarperCollins will look at it, according to SMP:

“HarperCollins say that Authonomy will be entirely democratic, and allow anyone to participate; either as an author, or as a reader.  They also guarantee that the most popular manuscripts (as voted by the Authonomy community) will be considered for publication.  HarperCollins also anticipates industry professionals looking for new talent to make up a ‘fair chunk’ of the readers.”

I want to be optimistic about this, but honestly it seems like a way to get writers to do HarperCollins’ work–i.e, going through the slushpile–for free. Maybe they look at it as a way for new authors to review each other’s work in order to improve, but do they really believe industry professions will join? I can’t imagine agents and editors signing up to read MORE raw submissions than their own slushpiles offer.


1 Comment»

  Edward Smith wrote @

We hope the following may be of interest for how peer review sites develop. is a free Arts Council funded site for new writers. Each month the Top Ten highest rated opening chapters and short stories receive free criques from Random House, who publish bestselling writers such as John Grisham and Bill Bryson. The Top 5 writers also receive free Arts Council funded critiques from editors for leading agents and publishers such as Orion, Curtis Brown and Bloomsbury, who represent writers such as Ian Rankin and JK Rowling.

YouWriteOn’s aim is to help all writers develop through peer and professional feedback, and to assist and highlight talented writers to get published. We have helped a number of writers achieve publishing success, including one writer who was published this month by Random House in a six-figure book deal. A newspaper article on the author and the site can be viewed here: Members exchange reviews in a chart system designed by professional authors. Please see our homepage for further details.

We hope you may be interested in the site, membership is free and a link to is below.

Best wishes


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