All Call – First readers

The Colored Lens is once again looking to expand our staff. We are looking for a first reader to help us keep up with the submissions we receive. Please see our Spring 2021 update in the full post.

We pride ourselves on our 100% personal responses, and aim to have a 48 hour response time for rejections. To do this, we ask readers to read 9-10 stories a week and provide short personalized responses that include both positive features and the reasons it’s being rejected.

Stories are typically in the 3000-5000 word range, but we accept stories as long as 20,000 words. Slush reading is handled on an “as able” basis, meaning that whenever a reader has time, that team member logs into the database and selects the next unread story. If a reader doesn’t have time to read on a particular day, they simply don’t read any. We do ask that readers be able to read most days of the week, though.

All of us at The Colored Lens are volunteers, so this isn’t a paid position. Reading does give you insights into the editorial process, however, and is a good opportunity to gain experience and insights into how the industry works.

If you are interested in the position, please review the stories on our site and send an email stating that you are interested in applying. In your application, give us a short overview of your writing experience as well as providing a short story writing sample. You can include the actual story or a link to a published piece. If you have previously submitted a story to us, you can simply give us the title. We’ll confirm the email within 24 hours.

Once we have confirmed, please review the stories on our site and let us know one or two of your favorites. Please include very brief commentary on what you liked about the pieces.

Then write a sample rejection for two to three of them that you don’t like as well. Please ensure the mock rejections are personalized to the respective authors.

Both the initial contact email and the email with the reviewed stories should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief

This post will remain active until the post is filled. However, if you’d like to send us a short statement of interest before sending a full application, we’ll know to wait for your application before making a final decision.

Spring 2021 Update: We have received a number of good applications from men, but we would like to keep a roughly equal gender balance as we always have in the past. While we are not closing this call to men, we want to be up front in saying a priority in evaluating applications going forward will be maintaining a gender balance.

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