Capclave 2017 Schedule

Ken Liu and I are Guests of Honor at this year’s Capclave. (October 6-8 in Gaithersburg, Maryland.)

Hope to see some of you there!

Here’s my schedule:

Friday 6:00 pm: How Not To Get Published (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Salon A
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Mike McPhail, Hildy Silverman, Ian Randal Strock, Michael A. Ventrella (M)
Editors will discuss all the things authors shouldn’t do if they want to be published. For instance, submission guidelines exist for a reason. And no matter how brilliant your story is, threatening the editor will reduce the probability that it will be published to zero.
Friday 7:00 pm: The WSFA Small Press Award (Ends at: 7:55 pm) Frederick
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Ken Liu, Margaret Ronald, Alex Shvartsman (M), Fran Wilde
Current finalists and past finalists and winners discuss what the awards means to them and the place of short fiction from small presses in the genre.
Friday 8:00 pm: The Clarkesworld Magazine Chinese SF/F Translation Project (Ends at: 8:55 pm) Salon A
Panelists: Scott H. Andrews (M), Neil Clarke, Ken Liu
Guest of Honor Neil Clarke and Ken Liu discuss Clarkesworld’s commitment to publishing Chinese science fiction and fantasy in translation, including how the stories are chosen, interaction with the authors, and general audience reception to the project.
Friday 10:00 pm: Clarkesworld Book Club (Ends at: 10:55 pm) Rockville/ Potomac
Panelists: Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, Sam Lubell (M), Sean Wallace
Sam Lubell, the head of the WSFA Committee to Actually Discuss SF/F will moderate a discussion with audience participation, of the current issue of Clarkesworld as well as a discussion of which stories over the last decade have particularly stuck with people.
Saturday 12:00 pm: Small Press Publishing in 2018 (Ends at: 12:55 pm) Rockville/ Potomac
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Shahid Mahmud, Joshua Palmatier, Lezli Robyn, Ian Randal Strock (M), Sean Wallace
Capclave is lucky to have a number of small press publishers as program participants. The folks from Arc Manor/Phoenix Pick, Prime Books, Zombies Need Brains, Wyrm Publishing, and Fantastic Books talk about their upcoming projects
Saturday 1:00 pm: Neil Clarke Publisher/Editor Guest of Honor Interview (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Rockville/ Potomac
GOH & Interviewer: Scott H. Andrews, Neil Clarke
GOH Neil Clarke is interviewed by Scott H. Andrews
Saturday 2:00 pm: Crowdfunding Dos and Don’ts (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Frederick
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Ron Garner, Joshua Palmatier (M), Alex Shvartsman, Lawrence Watt-Evans
So you have a fabulous idea or product and a shortage of funds – what do you do. Panelists will discuss successful and unsuccessful crowd funding campaigns, either their own or those of other people. Topics include how to set reward levels, how to budget how much money you need and the merits of various crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Pozible.
Saturday 4:00 pm: Anthology Builder (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Frederick
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Ron Garner, Joshua Palmatier (M), Lawrence M. Schoen, Darrell Schweitzer
So you want to edit and publish an anthology. How do the stories get picked?  How do you come up with a theme? What sells and what doesn’t?  How do authors produce readable fiction in the straitjacket of an original themed anthology? How do you properly curate your anthology?
Sunday 11:00 am: Editing the Short Story (Ends at: 11:55 am) Bethesda
Panelists: Kate Baker, Neil Clarke (M), Scott Roberts, Bud Sparhawk
Panelists talk about the work of editing short fiction, keeping things interesting and on-pace and making sure all the elements of a good story are in place when there are only so many words to work with.
Sunday 3:00 pm: Endings – Bang or Whimper? (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Rockville/ Potomac
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Joshua Palmatier, Irette Y. Patterson, Sarah Pinsker (M)
So many short stories start out well but end abruptly or just trail off, leaving the reader to wonder, what’s the point. Why does this happen and how can writers avoid this fate? How do you determine your endings? Is a twist ending a cheat?

August Submissions – World Wordle

Been having too much fun with Wordle lately, so why stop. Here’s a look at the August submissions for Clarkesworld after you take out the US, UK, Canada, and Australia (because with them you can’t see anyone else).

 

Top ten countries by submissions

811 United States 68.1%
105 United Kingdom 8.8%
64 Canada 5.4%
38 Australia 3.2%
16 India 1.3%
10 Japan 0.8%
9 South Africa 0.8%
7 Finland 0.6%
7 New Zealand 0.6%
7 Germany 0.6%

Slush Pile BINGO!

We haven’t played slush pile BINGO, but I did make the board after looking over some of the stories we’ve rejected at Clarkesworld. (For this.) I don’t think the center square will be a big surprise to anyone.

If you’d like to suggest alternate BINGO squares, just put them in the comments.

 

Update 8/24/17: Sigh. Yes, there are some good stories that check one or more of these boxes. However, the more you check, the less likely I am to agree that they are. We have published a story that opened in a bar, even though that’s on the board. Sometimes you can take something common and make it your own. Most don’t, so it gets a square.

IMPORTANT: Not all of these items are weighted equally. In a true BINGO board, some “unrecoverable” squares (plagiarism, zombies, etc.) would fill entire rows.

Common Story Names (revisited)

Back in April 2015, I celebrated passing 50,000 submissions in the Clarkesworld Submissions System, by blogging about the most common story titles. In response, I also blogged about The Truth About Short Story Titles and a Wordle that represented the most frequently used words in all 50,000 titles.

Since then, we’ve picked up nearly 32,000 more submissions, so I decided to take another look at the data and see how things have changed. There were many ties in this group, so this time I’ve only listed the top six places. If a title is followed by a number in parentheses, that’s its top ten placement from the first 50,000.

1st Place (14)
The Hunt (6th)

2nd Place (12)
The Interview

3rd Place (9)
Trapped, First Contact

4th Place (7)
The Box (3rd), Seeds, Monsters (4th)

5th Place (6)
Flight (6th), The Awakening, Skin (9th), Stranded, The Visitor, Home (2nd), Mercy, Reflections (8th), All That Glitters, The Dragon, Choices, Hunger (2nd), Broken (8th), Contact, Worm, Homecoming (2nd), The Bridge, The Forest, Transmission, Going Home (10th)

6th Place (5)
Alone (7th), Happy Birthday, The Pond, Jump, The Wanderer, Redemption, Daddy’s Girl, The Sacrifice, Skin Deep (9th), Lost and Found (5th), Descent, The Door (10th), Snow, Harvest, The Gift (2nd), Stay, Second Chance, Adrift (7th), Legacy (7th), The Void, Shift, The Tower (10th), The Well, The Machine (10th), The Caretaker, Rage, Escape

And because it’s fun, here’s another Wordle with the most common words from this group of 30,000 titles:

 

It is mentioned in one of the above links, but it bears repeating: The title of a story has no impact on whether or not it will be accepted at Clarkesworld. If I really don’t like a title, I’ll suggest a new one/work on it with the author.

 

The Best Science Fiction of the Year – 2017 Submissions

The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 3 will be published by Skyhorse/Start under their Night Shade Books imprint in early 2018. I am presently considering all science fiction stories (short stories, novelettes, and novellas) originally published in English in 2017. (Translations are allowed as long as their first English language appearance is in 2017.) To keep things simple, I will be using the publisher’s copyright, magazine’s cover date, or posting date (primarily for online fiction) to determine eligibility. Serialized works will be considered published at the time of the final installment.

Deadlines
Print materials must be received by November 1st. Digital materials must be received by November 15th. If your project is scheduled for publication after that date, please send galleys by the above deadlines so that I will have sufficient time to consider your work.

Rights
I will require non-exclusive World anthology rights in English in print, ebook, and audio formats for stories I select for this volume.

Delivery
I will accept science fiction stories, novelettes, and novellas for consideration in the following formats:

Print – mail to:
Neil Clarke
PO Box 172
Stirling, NJ 07980 

EPUB, MOBI, and .DOC – email to:
bestsciencefiction@clarkesworldmagazine.com

I dislike reading PDFs, so please do not send me work in this format unless you don’t have any other options and have cleared it with me in advance.

Publishers: If sending a magazine/anthology/collection that also contains other fantasy/horror/other stories, please list the titles of the science fiction stories in a cover letter or email.

Authors: I will not be able to let you know whether or not your work has been submitted by your publisher. To avoid duplication, please check with your publisher before sending a story. If your work is self-published, please include the date and location (blog, website, Amazon, etc.) your work was originally published.

Sending a book/file/story is a one-way transaction. I will not be confirming receipt or returning materials.