June 10, 2016

Variations on a Submission from Romania

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The submissions keep coming in. We hope you’ll keep them coming in. We’ll keep reading. It’s what we’re here for. To read. This is a partnership. You send, we read. So later on our readers can read.

A recent submitter from Romania wrote in the cover letter: “I can’t believe you actually pay people, but I guess that means established writers will submit to you and the chances of new writers winning a spot are infinitesimal, but oh well, let’s get on to it!”

We pay because we think good writing deserves remuneration. But the fact that we pay doesn’t mean that only established writers will submit. We’re getting submissions from writers who have yet to emerge. We accepted work from one of them already, work we’re sure is the equal or better of anything we’ve seen lately in the Paris Review. Not that we don’t like the Paris Review; we do, we do. It’s just that sometimes new slush piles and new dedication can find things the established (or the establishment) cannot or will not find.

What we’re after is quality, writing that is masterful and heartfelt, raw emotions and polished prose. What we’re after is vision – what the writer sees and how the writer sees it and shows it. What we’re after is voice. Voice! Not the human voices that wake us so we drown.  Voice on the page. Like no other we’ve ever seen or heard before. (Is it seen or heard? You tell us.)

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