These are the guides who work at top of the mountains of slush readers, assistants and interns, who are all there to defend the editors from the endless onslaught of writers and other crazies.

Who are these people? If they have held the job for more than three months, they have shown incredible skills of survival. Today’s publishing environment is a blistering desert.

Here’s what I want to know. What are the skill sets and attributes that merge to combine business savvy with an understanding and appreciation of good writing?

“A man is known by the company his mind keeps.”

~ Thomas Bailey Aldrich


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