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

Another magazine has adopted my submissions system

When I first developed my online submissions system for Clarkesworld Magazine, I never expected it to take on a life of its own. If you told me that it would eventually be used by Asimov’s, I would have laughed at you… but here we are. Yes, if you haven’t heard, Asimov’s is accepting online submissions and they are the first of the big three to do so. I think this is fantastic.

This has been a long time in the making. Sheila and I first started talking about online submissions at Worldcon. At some point, I have to write up the whole story of secret meetings, demos, coding and the rest. It’s been fun and I’m quite proud to have been a part of this.

By the way, they are running a newer version of the software than anyone else. I’ll be updating other sites as the opportunities arise.


Clarkesworld on the Kindle: First set of back issues


May Issue of Clarkesworld Magazine


  1. That is fantastic. I really like that system.

  2. Thank you for passing on this info!

  3. This has been a long time coming. Thank you! (And, obviously, tell Sheila Williams we writers say thank you.)

  4. How extremely cool!

  5. This is a very good thing. I only accept electronic submissions as well. Sure, it’s possible it will make the slush pile bigger, but I hate to think of some of the stories I’ve published that I might not have gotten had I not accepted them via email.

    • Fortunately, there are multiple ways to keep a slush pile in check and most of them can be enforced by a form-based submission system. Making things easier for authors doesn’t have to make things harder for editors. (I know, preaching to the choir…)

  6. ::mouth hanging open::


  7. Here’s a question, and I wonder if anyone here can tell me the answer. A friend just pointed out to me that Asimov’s payment scheme (outlined on the page linked above) pays less than pro rates between 9000 and 12,500 words. A flat payment of $450 for anything between 7500 and 12500 means… less than 5 cents a word for anything between 9 and 12.5k, right?

    Am I reading that wrong? And if they’re paying less than 5 cents a word for fiction, wouldn’t that knock them off SFWA’s pro markets list?

    That can’t be right, can it?

    (Please don’t snark at me. I’m only asking because I genuinely don’t understand and am hoping someone here will know the answer. It’s probably a question better directed at SFWA, but I’m not presently a member, and… I know lots of Clarkesworld readers are smart and might know the answer. Thanks!)

    • Anonymous

      The rate for stories never goes beneath 5 cents per word. Authors make a flat rate over 7500 until the word rate for the flat rate equals 5 cents a word for the actual word count. For a beginning writer this means that an author gets $450 for stories that run from 7500 words to 9000 words. Someone getting 8 cents makes $600 for stories running from 7500 words to 12,000 words. After the 9000 or the 12,000 point, the whole story is paid at 5 cents per word. This complicated system was set up so that no one is ever paid less for a long story than they’d make on a short story.

      –Sheila Williams

  8. That’s wonderful news. It’s especially hard for writers in a tight economy to scrape together the necessary postage money to send postal submissions, particularly if there’s a high chance that they’ll be rejected. Doubly so if there are other family members who have an interest in their spending.

    I know I have family members that view money spent on postal submissions that get rejected to be money thrown down a rathole. As tight as our finances have been of late, I’ve been much more likely to send stuff to a market if I can do so electronically and don’t have to have the Discussion about whether the risk that it’ll be rejected (very high for places like Asimovs, Analog, F&SF and Realms of Fantasy) is acceptable or if that money would be better reserved to be spent on postage to ship books for our bookselling business, for which we have already been paid.

  9. It’s about time a leading science fiction magazine like Asimov’s embraced future technology. :>

    • One down… many to go. I suspect people will be paying close attention to how things work out for Sheila.

  10. You’ll be known as the person who modernized the essential genre submission process. Cool stuff!

  11. It’s def good news.

  12. Dare we start calling the Clarkesworld submission system an Industry Standard?

    Congratulations, good sir!

    Dr. Phil

  13. This is wonderful news! Your efforts in building your system and your willingness to share with other mags is much appreciated. Thank you!

  14. Anonymous

    I’m curious who you would say the “big three” are other than Asimov’s. I have guesses but they total more than three so I’m curious as to who makes the metaphorical cut.

    • The “big three” are Asimov’s, Analog and F&SF. Not sure where the title originated, but they’ve been referred to that way for a while now. It may have once referred to readership, but I see it as more of a title of respect. (Recognizing longevity, awards, professionalism, impact, etc.)

  15. Re: Impressive!

    Thanks! I look forward to seeing a story from you.

  16. Anonymous

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  17. Anonymous


    I’ve been working on a submissions system for my own magazine. I hope you don’t mind; I modeled the user front end after CWSUBMISSIONS. Let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot different that can be changed about it without being unnecessarily complicated. What I was curious about is what is the back end like? I’m working on an management system integrated with the WordPress administrative back end.

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