Archive for April, 2007

a surprise in the slush pile
Friday 27 April, 2007

I was given the task of looking though the slush pile again today, but it was far from the usual this time!

The man from the post room came in as usual and I said hello as usual but that is where it stops being usual.

He had several new manuscripts for the slush pile and one of them looked horrible. The people who write the manuscripts usually put a lot of care into making sure they look nice and are properly wrapped up in a big envelope. Most of the manuscripts that came today were like this. However, there was one manuscript that was not very carefully wrapped up at all and it was covered in dirt. When the post delivery man tipped the manuscripts onto my desk, the dirty manuscript burst open! The envelope was so damp and rotting that it just tore apart at the edges when it hit the desk and its contents spilled out all over the desk and onto me as well!

It was a manuscript, but all the words were written on pieces of rubbish out of a dustbin, all the pieces of paper that there were mixed in with the vegetable peelings and half empty take away cartons, were all old bits of newspapers and tattered shopping receipts. There were no real typed out pages at all! There were bits of story written on the backs of ripped up envelopes and tissues with horrible sticky things in them.

I was covered in all these horrible things, in front of everyone in the office. When the package had split open I had screamed in surprise and after that I could feel that everybody in the office was looking at me. I felt so embarrassed that I ran away to the toilets so that nobody could see me. My eyes started to ache and before I even got out of the office I was crying. I didn’t want to be crying, but I couldn’t stop it happening. I stayed in the toilets until Julie came and found me to see if I was OK.

I asked why anyone would send something so horrible and she said it was probably just a crazy writer who was bitter about not getting their manuscript published. She said I should go out for a long lunch and get something to change into. Julie is really kind.


I looked up the word verbatim
Thursday 26 April, 2007

ver·ba·tim [ver-bey-tim] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation


1. in exactly the same words; word for word: to repeat something verbatim.


2. corresponding word for word to the original source or text: a verbatim record of the proceedings.
3. skilled at recording or noting down speeches, proceedings, etc., with word-for-word accuracy: a verbatim stenographer.


[Origin: 1475–85; < ML verbātim, equiv. to verb(um) word + -ātim adv. suffix] Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

a good story
Thursday 26 April, 2007

Julie read through the manuscripts that were picked out of the slush pile today. She said the two that were there before I started aren’t all that good and to send them the standard rejection letter. She said the one that I picked out the other day is a very good story, but that is because it is copied almost verbatim from The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

finding things
Tuesday 24 April, 2007

I was very excited today, I found a story in the slush pile that was quite good! I put it in the pile for Julie to read. There are three in the pile now.

First Among Sequels
Monday 23 April, 2007

I’ve been given a new task, I’m helping Julie with promoting the next Jasper Fforde book. It is called First Among Sequels and it is very exciting as this is the first Thursday Next book for a fair few years as he has been writing other books and doing other things. Lots of people will be very happy about this book coming out because Thursday Next books have a very dedicated fanbase.

We are going to get lots of newspapers and magazines to write about Jasper and his new book and we are going to make a game for his fans to win prizes and remember how much they like Jasper and his books.

It is very exciting!

weekend again : )
Saturday 21 April, 2007

We had sandwiches again for lunch, but they were delivered by a different man than the last time, I got tuna and cucumber this time. I like tuna.

I decided that today I would go and buy myself the red shirt from the nearby Primark the bus driver had told me about. I can’t remember the last time I’d decided to go and do something for myself, I have been so intent on working hard for this placement!
After I finished eating lunch, I left my room and walked down the corridor towards the lift. I pressed the button, but the lift took a very long time to arrive, so I walked to the other end of the corridor where there is a stair case that goes either up or down. I went down one flight of stairs but it was so silent and empty that I felt a bit scared and like I wasn’t supposed to be on that staircase. Nobody had said that it isn’t allowed, but I still felt as though I was behaving badly just by being there. I got as far down as the doors to the next landing before I felt too frightened and ran back to my room! It sounds very silly now that I write it down.

surviving to Friday
Friday 20 April, 2007

I was printing off a batch of letters to send to the writers, and suddenly everything stopped working. I am not sure what happened but one of the letters had become stuck inside the printer. I tried to pull it out myself but it only made everything worse and I got ink all over my hands and the desk. Julie says that everyone who is new at the office has something go wrong in their first week, the office is cursed. She helped me clean everything up and offered to buy me lunch to celebrate that I had survived all week.

day four
Thursday 19 April, 2007

A new box of manuscripts was added to the slush pile today, there must be a lot of people writing out there. I wonder if I will ever get to the bottom of the pile. It doesn’t really matter to me, I enjoy reading the different stories anyway.

Third day
Wednesday 18 April, 2007

I like working in the office, I am starting to feel right at home. The Junior I’m supposed to be taking over from didn’t turn up again, I emailed my Mentor to say that she has not been here to show me what to do, I asked her if she could give me some advice on how to start work in the office. I read through an entire box of manuscripts today. Julie says I am the fastest worker she has seen! Julie wears such beautiful clothes. I asked her if she bought them from Primark. She laughed and said no. I think I will go out and buy the red shirt I want when the weekend comes. I think I will get one that looks like Julie’s shirt if I can.

But in red.

Second day!
Tuesday 17 April, 2007

Today I went to work in the Publicity Office again. It is exciting to go to work in a different place, even though it is in the same building. Today I found out that I went to the same University as Julie although we probably didn’t know each other because I would have started there after she had left. We both studied English and both thought the second year tutor Dr. Heywood was a bit pretentious. This is a nice coincidence.