I can’t recall the last time I saw a story in the New Yorker by a writer I hadn’t heard of (i.e. someone like me). From what I gather, a lot of the ‘biggest’ (by which I mean prestige, not size) writers have exclusive contracts with them, so there is really no reason for them to ever look in the virtual slush pile- I’m amazed they even accept unsolicited fiction.
This, however, is not to complain. All the fiction they publish is available free online, which is why I am able to urge you to click your way to the late David Foster Wallace’s beautiful, sad, and very genuine story ‘All That’ which I’m guessing is an extract from his unfinished novel, The Pale King, due in April 2011.