Hello and welcome to Diamond in the Slush! My name is Emily Neiss and I will be your tour guide through the world of this blog! To get us started on the adventure towards better understanding literary agents and your manuscript’s journey to publication, I would love to give you a brief look into my background and what this blog will aim to provide you.

About Me

First off, me: I am a twenty-something graduate student currently studying publishing and writing at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Creighton University and have been speaking Spanish for over fourteen years. Most of my life has been spent out west in Colorado and Nebraska, but I also lived in Virginia for eight years as a child. Living in Boston now is a very different experience, but very exciting too!

I am an avid, lifelong reader and think that reading is one of the most profound joys people can experience. I am also a writing hobbyist and have completed one novel and started several others. My choice to pursue a Master’s degree in publishing stems from my love of books and my desire to help great books reach readers.

Insider Perspective

I have been editing in a professional capacity (both copyediting and substantive editing) for five years or so and enjoy it immensely! I also love the work I do as an editorial intern for a literary agent. I have been in that position for a year and a half. My responsibilities include reading slush pile manuscripts and queries, writing evaluative reader’s reports for the agent, and responding to author queries when applicable. My insider perspective on how agencies work and what agents are looking for is what I aim to share through this blog.

Through monthly “mini-posts,” I’ll offer personal accounts of my time interning for a literary agent and the things I’ve learned about perfecting manuscripts and queries. I hope that those stories and the advice within them help you along your publishing journey.

This Blog

Diamond in the Slush was born from my desire to provide useful, concrete advice to aspiring authors, as well as general information about the agenting process and the publishing industry as a whole.

I sincerely hope that you find this blog useful. I look forward to hearing your feedback, questions, and comments on the information you find here. I appreciate the time you’ve dedicated to this lengthy welcome.

Let’s dive in.


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