Saturday, September 7, 2019

Submissions and Slush Pile Update #5


If you’ve sent us a submission recently, you should by now have received our “acknowledgment of submission received” reply, which includes your manuscript tracking number. If you haven’t received our reply, please query, as it most likely means we never received your submission. In the past we’ve had writers wait patiently for ridiculously long periods of time, hoping to receive our reply to a submission we never received. We’d like to avoid that this time around.

If you have sent us a submission and have received the acknol email with tracking number, relax. With a few exceptions, every story that’s come in to us in this reading period is being tracked and is somewhere in the reading → evaluation → acceptance|rejection pipeline. The exceptions are a batch of stories that came in early in the reading period that were held over for multiple re-reads and further discussion—in some cases, a lot of further discussion—that we eventually decided to reject with critiques. I remember writing these critiques in early July, but have found out that some were never sent. I’m not sure exactly why this happened, but expect to have the submissions files audit finished and everything sorted out by next weekend.

One final note: this time around, we decided to collect and track some metrics and statistics we’ve never tracked before. One particularly interesting one is that in this reading period, we received, read, and evaluated roughly 2.7 million words of fiction.

No wonder three of our slush readers got burned-out and quit.