Quiz: Is It a Critique from The Great British Baking Show or a Response from a Literary Magazine?
April 1, 2022 § 12 Comments
By Lori Barrett
Can you guess which of the statements below are from judges sampling baked goods and which are from editors sampling my writing?
This piece is not for me, but I like the way you [write/bake].
I worry about this one. First off, it’s very thin.
This [pastry/story] sparked a discussion among our [judges/editors].
It’s a real mess, isn’t it?
There are some clever beats here, but I think this could use a stronger through line.
Sometimes simplicity is a way forward. This is taking it a little bit too far.
Really loved this. It’s depressing in all the right ways.
Nice and boozy.
We do have a few ideas for edits.
It didn’t quite have that twist of the weird we’re looking for.
All the elements are there, but there’s nothing else.
We know that [baking/writing] is hard, and we support your work.
It’s sort of squidgy at the sides.
At the very least, we can let you know why we didn’t accept it, so that you can understand our tastes better.
This is just goo.
This is fun, but I’m afraid we aren’t going to take it.
It’s slightly overbaked.
Despite its strengths, it has not been selected.
It holds together well.
We appreciated the [taste/read], but we’re sorry to say we are unable to use this.
It’s… um … overdecorated.
Our having to decline this may be because we have work similar to the work you present here.
The top is very sloppy.
We did find much to admire in your work, but …
It’s a bit pudding-y to be honest.
Answers: Sorry! I baked a boozy cake to distract myself from the steady flow of rejections, and now I have no recollection of which is which.
Lori Barrett is a writer living in Chicago. Her work has appeared in Salon, Necessary Fiction, Barrelhouse online, Paper Darts, and the Wall Street Journal. She has participated in Chicago’s live lit events That’s All She Wrote and Tuesday Funk. She serves as an assistant fiction editor at Pithead Chapel.