An insight from 90 years ago about being an editor – with an interesting aside that shows catphishing is nothing new.
From Jerome K Jerome’s “My Life and Times”.
Editorial experience taught me that the test of a manuscript lies in its first twenty lines. If the writer could say nothing in those first twenty lines to arrest my attention, it was not worth while continuing. I am speaking of the unknown author; but I would myself apply the argument all round. By adopting this method, I was able to give personal consideration to every manuscript sent in to me. The accompanying letter I took care, after a time, not to read. So often the real story was there. Everything had been tried: everything had failed: this was their last chance. The sole support of widowed mother–of small crippled brother, could I not see my way? Struggling tradesmen on the verge of bankruptcy who had heard that Rudyard Kipling received a hundred pounds for a short story–would be willing to take less. Wives of little clerks, dreaming of new curtains. Would-be bridegrooms, wishful to add to their income: photograph of proposed bride enclosed, to be returned. Humbug, many of them;
BTW, if you felt like just dropping into TRR and voting for Don’t Kiss the Vicar I’d be dead chuffed.