The phrase 'slush pile', wherever it occurs, puts literary people on edge. It makes publishers or agents nervous, wary of attack, and used by a writer (published or not), always seems to mean a landslide of manuscripts glinting with nuggets of gold. But out of tact, no-one ever admits that the gold-glinting slush pile is a sentimental literary cliché to go alongside the idea of the lonely writer sitting in their garret.
So, farewell Lily Allen. I don't think it's stunning news that she has pulled out of judging the Orange Prize, especially given the horrible things she has been dealing with recently, and what is undoubtedly a very long to-do list.
I'm presently rereading a brilliant teen novel called Split by a Kiss, in which the heroine, Josephine, happens to like her large nose and never considers its size to be a 'flaw' until some cheeky whippersnapper points it out as such. But Josephine, bless her heart, remains convinced that her nose is fine. Ludicrously, I found myself wanting to punch the air and hiss 'Yes!'