Not long ago I sent out one of my latest essays to a Prestigious Journal. The article is on Tolkien, which is fun, but it also happens to be one of my favorites. (Though I confess that my favorite article is usually the last one I wrote.)
Anyway, today I got this message from a member of the Prestigious Journal’s staff:
I am writing to let you know that we have received reports on your essay from two consultant specialists. Since the readers did not concur in their recommendations, we have sent the essay out to another reader.
This is fascinating to me. Good journals, you see, put submissions first through one “slush” pile. Once that pile has been combed through, and an article is deemed a potentially decent piece of work, it is sent out to readers — experts in the article’s field who review the work and determine its suitability for publication (peer review).
The way I read the cryptic message above is that the two peer reviewers must have been diametrically opposed on their responses to my work. One must have said it should be published at once, while the other suggested it be burned.
The story of my life in a nutshell, I daresay.
Here’s hoping that reader #3 likes it.