Slush statistics, August 2012

Our total subs dropped this month. I’m hoping it was just because it was summer and people were busy with summer stuff. Please continue sending us your stories, though.

*Total submissions: 64

*Duotrope responses received this month: 34
(currently 430 responses total)

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: 27

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.): 20

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.: 0

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: 0

5) The other editors and I did consider holding, but in the end rejected. They still deserve honorable mentions, however: 4

6) Were held for voting: 2

Rejected from the hold pile: 2

(total currently in the hold pile, to be voted by the end of November): 2

7 ) The story wasn’t speculative fiction: 6

8) Resubmission of previously rejected story: 1
(Unless we specifically ask for a rewrite–and it will be clear if we do–please don’t resend us stories we’ve rejected previously.)

9) Didn’t match our guidelines: 2
(These are stories outside our word count or poetry or some other form we simply don’t accept)

[Stories were sent back to the author with requests to resubmit due to improper submissions, typically because of not being subbed through the form, being sent as attachments rather than inline body text, or sent to the wrong address. These weren’t counted in the total monthly submissions: 7


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.): 11

Science Fiction (traditional space opera involving space travel, aliens, other planets, etc.): 17

Fantasy (traditional fantasy, to include sword & sorcery, fairies, etc.):

Urban fantasy: 13
[Vampires, werewolves, etc. are going to be a hard sell. If you do have one, make sure it's unique.]

Magical realism, slipstream, etc.: 5

Other: 5

Not spec: 6


First Person POV: 19

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

Epistolary/Monologues (not straight 1st person):

Present tense: 5
[Present tense isn't our preferred form, although we have published it]

Novella: 3
[We only publish one to two novellas per issue, so our acceptance is low with them. However, the low number of novella submissions means chances of them being picked is higher]

Flash: 16
[We publish flash, but generally not too much of it. A fully developed plot is important, and the main reason most flash doesn't make the "hold" category is that it doesn't have a fully developed plot. We're happy to read flash, but do make sure it has a plot.]

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4 Responses

  1. Perhaps your submissions were down because Shimmer sucked a bunch away when they raised their pay rates that month? I don’t know the ripple effect of things like that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a few of the token and semi pro-paying markets had fewer subs as people vied for positioning in a new pro paying market.

    I won’t be submitting here for awhile because the story I started specifically for The Colored Lens has turned into a Novella beyond your word count—I was sad but still excited by the piece. I’ll be reading though :)

    Melinda Moore

  2. Dawn 

    An interesting theory, and it could be right. Shimmer was always a bit higher paying than us, though, so I always assumed they were pulling stories first. That said, it could be people who were on the fence between submitting to the two of us may have changed their minds.

    We had a bit of a slow start this month, but submissions have started to pick up the last few days again, so I’m hoping this month will be better and it was all just a summer slump. We’ll see how it shakes down by the end of the month, though. For reasons unbeknownst to me, there have always been 2-3 day highs and lows in submissions. I’ve tried to find a pattern in this like people posting more on weekends, or during the week, or anything else, but haven’t been able to. At the moment, though, it’s looking like submissions are picking up again, so we’ll see how the rest of the month goes.

    And I’m sorry to hear we won’t be receiving your submission has grown past our word limit, but I wish you luck finding a market for us elsewhere. You’re certainly always welcome to send us anything shorter, though, and glad to hear you’re reading.

  3. I was sad about my story too because it seemed like such a Colored Lensy kind of idea. I know I’m supposed to submit to high paying markets first, but I tend to submit to where I like the most first regardless of the payscale. Have you corresponded your slump and highs in submissions to the moon cycles yet? ;)

  4. Dawn 

    Well, I’m very glad to hear we’re one of the first markets you’re interested in submitting to, and thanks for the nice words. :) I do wish you well wherever you submit it to.

    And yes, our submission tallies have gone back up to about average, so I’m thinking it was just a summer/prep for the start of school thing last month.

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