Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Month: February 2012

Best Birthday Card

My son turns twelve today. (Happy Birthday Aidan!) This is the card he received from his Uncle Will:

Now available from Wyrm Publishing

Last year, I published a serialized edition of SILENTLY AND VERY FAST by Catherynne M. Valente in Clarkesworld. Now you can pick up this fantastic novella as a standalone Wyrm Publishing ebook from:

To celebrate the publication of this ebook and SAVF's appearance on Locus Magazine's 2011 Recommended Reading List, we've reduced the price of our ebook edition of MYTHS OF ORIGIN, the book that collects four of Catherynne's early novels.

Not much time left until Boskone

Boskone is coming up. Hope to see some of you there!

No table this year, but I'll be on the following panels:

Saturday, 10am, Harbor III: Survive and Thrive in the New World of Publishing
Alan F. Beck, Beth Bernobich, Joshua Bilmes (M), Jeffrey A. Carver, Neil Clarke
Traditional publishing is under siege from all sides as online publishing proliferates, cheap and easy self publishing is available, and readership in general declines. Can the rise of e-books, audiobooks, print-on-demand save the industry? What must you do to be successful today?

Saturday, Noon, Harbor II: How Not To Produce An E-Book
Neil Clarke, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Stephen Segal (M)
For prospective publishers (and authors who want to pub their own stuff in e-format), veteran designers offer tips for what to avoid — and best practices for what to do right.

Saturday, 5pm, Lewis: Reading: Clarkesworld Magazine
Kate Baker, Neil Clarke (M), Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of this top-flight, Hugo-winning Clarkesworld Magazine contributors gather to read some of their best stuff.

A look at the Clarkesworld slushpile stats for January

Warning: Data Geekery Post

It's been a long time since I've posted any of the Clarkesworld slushpile statistics. A few people have been nudging me to share, so I thought it would be fun to give you a snapshot of January 2012, the first full month that I have genre and wordcount stats for.

In January 2012, we received 684 submissions from 628 different authors. This is reasonably close to normal monthly volume (600-800).

Of the 684 submissions:

  • 73% from men, 27% from women, 72/28 counting by unique authors (this is down from a norm of 70/30)
  • 37% science fiction, 26% fantasy, 14% horror, 9% fantasy/horror, 7% science fiction/fantasy, 4% science fiction/horror, 3% other (word of advice, "other" is a bad choice)
  • 72% from United States, 6.3% from Canada, 5.9% from UK, 3.5% from Australia, 1.7% from Israel, 29 other countries with less than 1% (France, Ireland, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Finland, Serbia, Sweden, Cyprus, Slovenia, Kuwait, Greece, New Zealand, Iceland, Spain, Uzbekistan, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Poland, China, Romania, Turkey, Czech Republic, India)
  • Average wordcount of 3900, difference between men and women was negligible
  • 296 from authors submitting to CW for the first time (72% men, 28% women)


  • Of men: 42% wrote science fiction, 21% fantasy, 15% horror, 9% fantasy/horror, 6% science fiction/fantasy, 4% science fiction/horror, 3% other
  • Of women: 39% wrote fantasy, 22% science fiction, 11% horror, 10% fantasy/horror, 10% science fiction/fantasy, 5% science fiction/horror, 3% other
  • By enforcing wordcount restrictions in the submission form, "failure to follow guidelines" rejections dropped to 1%. Previously this was close to 10%. Most of the 1% were people who lied about their wordcount. HINT: We're not stupid.
  • 3% of all submissions are formatted incorrectly
  • Roughly 6% received our near miss rejection letter. 59% Male, 41% Female. 69% United States. 53% Science Fiction (despite the huge gap in M/F subs in this category, it was nearly evenly split), 28% Fantasy, 12% Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror only placed in SF or Fantasy blends.
  • Accepted: Less than 1%, all women.

I'm going to refrain from comment right now. I have my own conclusions, but I'm more interested the perspective others will take from this data. Thoughts? Questions?

Note: Wordcount and genre supplied by authors. Country determined by IP address. Gender tediously researched and maintained in my database of over 10,000 authors.

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