Slush Readers Wanted

Reading slush is like babysitting an annoying cousin. You get to choose when you do it, and how often you do it, and even though it can be grating there are also times in which it is extremely rewarding. And you only have to put up with the occasional verbal abuse.

The Maul currently seeks 10 slush readers willing to read fifty stories each submission window, which typically lasts a month. Luckily, stories submitted to us are asked to be below 3,000 words. So even the longer stories aren’t much of a time commitment. We also, currently, only open our sub window 4 times a year (February, May, August, and November).

We still cannot afford a submission system. You will have the stories emailed to you. If you like, we can create a separate gmail account for your subs. 

We cannot pay you, as it is a volunteer position. Most slush readers are looking to learn the in’s and out’s of the publishing industry (though to be fair, so are we). We will ask you at the next submission window whether you want to work for us again, so if you just want to try out slush reading for a month and that’s as long as you can commit, or if you’re just getting a feel, we will assume we only have you for the window in which you’re volunteering. Volunteer for us if you’re interested in learning and/or if you simply love reading. If you’re one of those snobbish folks who brags about how little TV you watch because you’re always reading, we want you on our team! 

So we can’t pay money, however, should you reach the goal of 50 stories, we can offer the following:

  • Our undying gratitude
  • A signed letter of recommendation (with letterhead!)
  • And your choice of…
    • A thirty-minute video chat with me, the Head Editor, on what I’ve learned from being an editor, writer, and slush reader (in case you, too, would like to become an editor)


  • A critique of one short fiction (under 3,000 words) of your choice

We realize slush readers do their work without pay to learn how to become better writers, readers, editors, humans, etc. We don’t want to take advantage of your generosity. 

How to apply:

Pick 2 stories in Issue 0, available free on our website, and send us 300 words or more on your thoughts for each (600 words total). Tell us what worked in the stories, what didn’t, and how they represent what you’d like to see in a magazine. 

Send the analysis to with “slush application” in the subject line.

Applications are due January 30th, 2023.

We are forever in debt to all who apply, and cannot wait to meet those who are accepted.

May the words be ever in your favor,

Brian Rosten, Editor

The Maul

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