This week, Sixfold – an “all writer-voted” literary journal with no traditional editors – finished its latest session of evaluating fiction and poetry submissions. Sixfold is different from other journals in that it uses an American Idol-style evaluations system – minus the celebrity talking heads – to determine what is published and what isn’t. In sum, whoever submits a story or a poem to the journal is then asked to read and rank 6 of their peers’ submissions. Then, the process repeats twice more. After 3 rounds of crowd-editing in which the top pieces from each round advance, 3 submissions from the slush pile float to the top. The authors of these receive monetary payment and publication in the journal.
I applaud Sixfold for its innovative and refreshingly democratic approach to the slush pile problem that has plagued us for years. On the whole, I recommend this brave expose of the problem by Electric Literature’s Lincoln Michel (@TheLincoln). It’s worth a read.
Sixfold‘s approach is unique, and, according to them, “rigorous, thorough and fair.” I won’t question that description of this trailblazing journal. After reading some of their submissions, it seems to me that the majority of their citizen editors might harbor an appreciation for that ubiquitous author of thrillers, James Patterson. In which case, I ask you, how could hundreds of James Patterson fans ever lead us astray?
But don’t take my word for it. Read The Review Review‘s review of Sixfold and email me your own opinion at firstname.lastname@example.org!