We've given "Tips from the slush pile" several times: Sept 2014, July 2014, July 2014, April 2014, Dec 2013 and so on. I hate to say it, but these comments are still pretty relevant. Check them out if you're interested.
Today, I'm going to focus on something we don't get enough of, and frankly, something I don't read enough of in general: unique characters. I would love to see more stories with unique well-characterized protagonists. I would love to see more protagonists with unique voices. Give your characters unusual personalities, i.e. a rare perspective on the world with their own thoughts, feelings, interests and/or vocabularies. Show me that quirky person only you could write.
Why am I emphasizing this? It's difficult to create a unusual plot because they all consist of a person has a problem and acts to solve it. What could the problem be that we haven't seen before? Certainly not a murder or broken heart.
On the other hand, there are over 7 billion people on Earth. That's a lot of possibilities for protagonists. :)
So, with apologies to Patrick Henry: Give me characters!
Don't forget the submission deadline is Jan 15, 2015. Good luck!