A young writer recently asked what happened to manuscripts once they were submitted for publication.
Regardless of where they are sent, they all arrive at large windowless, four-story, lead-lined, grey metal building somewhere north of an old cemetery on the outskirts of Shumway, Illlinois.
There, the parcels undergo a battery of tests, both organic and inorganic, in an effort to determine whether they contain signs of sentient life.
Those that fail the test are sent forth immediately to The Well of Lost Plots. There, they are salvaged for useful plot devices. recyclable imagery and useful characters.The remainder is broken down and dumped into the text-sea.
Occasionally however, manuscripts containing heavy irony or laden with sarcasm give a false-positive and slip past the testers, which account for the large number of self-help books and first-person autobiographies one finds in the remaindered bins at discount book shops.