Slush statistics, March 2012

Submissions continue to rise. Yeay!

Up to now, I’ve been doing all the first reading, with occasional help from our executive editor Daniel. It’s reached the point that I can’t keep up with it anymore, though, and so we’ve brought Henry Fields on board to help with the slush pile. He’s been doing a great job and I’m happy to welcome him to The Colored Lens.

*Total submissions: 117

*Duotrope responses received this month: 52
(currently 347 responses total)

*Held for final voting: 9
(total of 11, to be voted by May)

Breakdown of reasons for rejections (note: All rejections are personal and the reason given for a rejection is the specific reason unique to that submission, even if it does look a bit like a generic form rejection.)

1) The writing wasn’t what we were looking for stylistically: 25

2) The story’s plot wasn’t what we were looking for. (Possibly the story seemed to be primarily a study of a character, idea, world, etc. Possibly the plot was slower to develop than we wanted. Possibly the pacing felt off, etc.): 45

3) The writing and plot were good, but the theme or content wasn’t what we were looking for, or we’d received other stories we liked better with the same theme, etc.: 21

4) Everything about the story was good, and there was nothing I could identify that knocked it out of the “hold” category, but it just didn’t QUITE make the cut: 7

5) The other editors and I did consider holding, but in the end rejected. They still deserve honorable mentions, however: 2

6) The story wasn’t speculative fiction: 9

7) Were held for voting: 9


And here’s the general information of what kind of submissions we received.

Science Fiction (stories set in the future with/without advanced tech, but not including spaceships, aliens, etc.): 19

Science Fiction (traditional space opera involving space travel, aliens, other planets, etc.): 10 [Although we don't specifically prefer these, we get few enough of them that we'd like to have more.]

Fantasy (traditional fantasy, to include sword & sorcery, fairies, etc.): 25 [We're getting more of these now and our numbers seem to be about what we'd hoped.]

Urban fantasy: 14 [We're not interested in vampires, werewolves, etc. Other things are possibilities.]

Magical realism, slipstream, etc. 32

Urban fantasy: 14 [Vampires, werewolves, etc. are going to be a hard sell. If you do have one, make sure it's unique.]

Other: 8

Not spec: 9 [How people can see our zine and not notice it's spec fic, I'm not sure. Unsurprisingly, the likelihood of us publishing something that isn't spec fic is nil, no matter how good it is.]


First Person POV: 30

Second Person POV: 2 [These are going to be an exceptionally hard sell.]

Epistolary/Monologues (not straight 1st person): 1

Present tense: 10 [Note that present tense isn't our preferred form, although we have published it, and undoubtedly will again]

Novella: 6 [We only publish one novella every two issues, so our acceptance is low with them. However, the low number of novella submissions means chances of them being picked is higher]

Flash: 24 [We publish flash, but generally not too much of it. A fully developed plot is important, though, and the main reason most flash doesn't make the "hold" category is that it doesn't really have a plot. We're happy to read flash, but do make sure it has a plot.]

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