Short Story Author Survey Demographics

The short story author survey is now closed. In the end, I received 944 usable responses. I’m not ready to talk about the theory that inspired the survey, but it looks like I’ll have enough time to write it all up for my editorial June issue of Clarkesworld Magazine (to be released June 1). In the meantime, I can share some of the demographic information:

Male: 53.8%
Female: 43.5%
Other: 2.6%

Publication History
Published in Clarkesworld: 7.2%
Traditionally Published: 80.7%
Self Published: 30.1%
Unpublished: 13.3%

USA: 70.6%
UK: 7.3%
Australia: 5.6%
Canada: 5.6%
Other: 10.9%

Under 18: 0.2%
18-21: 0.8%
22-29: 12.7%
30-39: 30.3%
40-49: 32.5%
50-59: 16.3%
60-69: 6.7%
70-79: 0.4%

To short story authors

I’m testing a theory and need your help. Can you answer the questions on this survey? It should take you less than two minutes and it’s completely anonymous.


[survey closes Wednesday night]

Updating the office calendar

Just remembered to update the sign in my cubicle at the day job.


Every month it reminds me:

  1. I’m lucky to be alive
  2. I hoped to be working FT on editing/publishing by now. Try harder.

Speaking of trying harder, we’re currently running a Patron drive. This morning, we had 225 supporters at Patreon. Our goal is 250 by the end of the month.


Forever Magazine – May 2015

Today, in addition to the 104th issue of Clarkesworld, I also published the 4th issue of Forever Magazine. I’m having fun with this little reprint project and it’s proving to be a good warm-up to editing the The Best Science Fiction of the Year (coming out next year). If your at all curious about the range you can expect to find in that book, Forever is going to be a good indicator. This month’s issue features stories by Robert Reed, Juliette Wade, and Elizabeth Bear. I hope you consider buying a copy. Ordering information is here.


May 2015 Issue of Clarkesworld Magazine

The May 2015 issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is now available. You can get the issue:

or help us pay the bills by purchasing Clarkesworld with a subscription at:

MAY 2015 – ISSUE #104


“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies” by Matthew Kressel
“For the Love of Sylvia City” by Andrea M. Pawley
“Mrs. Griffin Prepares to Commit Suicide Tonight” by A Que
“Ossuary” by Ian Muneshwar
“An Evolutionary Myth ” by Bo-young Kim
“Solace” by James Van Pelt
“Tyche and the Ants” by Hannu Rajaniemi


Destination: Mars by Andrew Liptak
Neither Here Nor There: A Conversation with Cat Rambo by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Another Word: It’s Good to Be Lazy and Foolish by Ken Liu
Editor’s Desk: Overload! by Neil Clarke


This month’s stories will be released in audio form over the course of the month. Read by Kate Baker.


Io Emissary by Julie Dillon

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The truth about short story titles

The title frenzy continues. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here are posts one and two about the most common titles and words in titles in the Clarkesworld slush pile.

I posted both sets of data because I found them interesting, nothing more. Some people (here and elsewhere) have opinions about the use of those titles and the people who use them. They do not speak for me.

Here are some facts:
  • I have never rejected a story because it had a common title
  • I don’t even pay attention to the title until I’ve decided to purchase a story
  • Changing a title is EASY, so if I don’t like it, I’ll discuss that with the author
  • There are plenty of good and bad stories with those titles, but the title is not what made them good or bad