While attending the University of Washington, I was given the unique and wholly valuable opportunity to intern as a slush pile reader for a local literary agency. I can’t pretend it was a glamorous experience, but I neither wished nor expected it to be. It was like a child peering under the hood of a car for the first time. Suddenly, the vehicle runs on gears and pistons and spinning contraptions rather than magic. For me, I saw the processes, the communications, and the submissions — cogs of the literary machine. I was surprised, enlightened, and in some ways disappointed.