This is what I believe a slush-pile submission should contain (for anyone who doesn't know what a slush-pile is, it's the place in a publishing house or literary agency where all the unsolicited submissions from unpublished writers sit until someone finds the time to read through them – if you're an unpublished writer, it's one of the main ways you have of getting your novel in front of someone who might be willing to publish it for you):
- A covering letter explaining what you have written and a little bit about you.
- The opening three chapters of your novel (no more than fifty pages; I think it's best if it's no more than twenty).
- A synopsis explaining what your novel is about (a synopsis is exactly that – a short description of what your novel is about).
- A stamped addressed envelope (your slush-pile submission won't be returned if you don't include this).