Satire Fiction posted October 23, 2013

This work has reached the exceptional level
contest using writing as a theme

Writers I Have Met

by Spiritual Echo

Writing Contest Winner 
I am an editor in a publishing house that accepts submissions from new writers. The policy is to actually read the stories, and I get everything--from coffee-stained, dog-eared documents that look like they've been around the globe--to well-presented work that gives me pleasure to read.

My experience reading your stories introduced me to a full spectrum of writers--from first-time hopefuls, to accomplished authors--whose names I know I'll one day see on best-seller lists.

Most people who submit are mindful of the opportunity to be published, and try to submit clean copy for reading. There are a handful of literary slobs who feel that punctuation is optional and formatting is of no consequence. These same people would never dream of leaving the house with a stain on their shirt, yet they fail to acknowledge the first impression their submissions make on an editor.

Aside from The Slob, there are a few other 'types' that I've encountered while doing my job.  For your amusement, let me share my thoughts about a few I have met.

The Masturbator

The author is in love with himself and words. He caresses them and smears run-on sentences across the screen. He believes that the moment an editor sees his literary output, she'll strip off her sensibilities and offer herself as a sacrifice. He prepares himself for the onslaught of fans as he licks the stamp or hits the send button.  Easily recognized by his preoccupation with obscure language, his stories contain archaic words requiring a Google search. If observed in his natural habitat, he will likely have both a thesaurus and dictionary in close proximity to his computer.

The Stallion

It is almost impossible to harness this writer. Raging verbs and exclamation marks litter his pages. Rarely having the stamina for marathons, he expects his readers to dive into his races prepared to run. Possibly afflicted with ADHD, the author may suddenly change directions and follow a different route than he mapped out in the opening paragraphs, but any attempt by the editor to rein his power and lead him back to the course will be met with derisive snorting.

The Chef

Usually an accomplished cook with credentials from the finest establishments, this formula writer will pull out recipes from his reference library and attempt to present his meal as an original. Occasionally accused of plagiarism, the chef will argue the generic qualities of his ingredients. When presented with proof or copyrights, he will adopt a temperamental persona and argue about creative licence.

The Cheese Maker

Closely resembling the Chef, The Cheese Maker adds cliches and old adages to his stories with the mistaken notion that universal familiarity creates intimacy and an assumptive understanding between the author and the reader.  Taking heed of corporate marketing ploys, The Cheese Maker sometimes wraps his paragraphs in individual sleeves, expecting the consumer to be satisfied with the single-serving portions he dishes out.

The only way I can review this writer's product is when wine is available in copious quantities.

The Daisy

There is simplicity in the work this writer presents that is not overpowered by competing blossoms in an over-stuffed bouquet. The humility of this single flower should not be confused with weakness or lack of insight. Often overlooked at first glance, when an editor accepts the invitation to sit in his meadow, she may be surprised by the purity of the story. The gift to tell a touching tale without grandstanding defines The Daisy's talent.

The Hybrid

This writer is hard to define and can be unpredictable when housed in a literary stable with different styles and competition. His submissions are inconsistent, ranging from slop to brilliance. Almost always, he is well-rounded and not tethered to a particular genre. He can write on demand, follow submission guidelines, and is grounded with literary proficiency. The Hybrid is an editor's challenge, as the writer usually has a healthy ego that is prone to diversions. Employing The Chef's arrogance, The Stallion's passion and The Daisy's insightful point of view, he is just as likely to submit a Black Forest torte or a mud pie, depending on the day.

When it comes right down to it, the best advice I can leave you with is this: if you expect me to read your story, then at least read it yourself, before you send it anywhere.


Writing Prompt
Write a story or essay with the topic of "writing". Can be instructional or a character in the story can be a writer. Creative approaches welcomed.

Contest Winner

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