Clarkesworld Magazine – April 2016


Our April 2016 issue (#115) contains:

  • Original fiction by Carolyn Ives Gilman (“Touring with the Alien”), Gregory Feeley (“The Bridge of Dreams”), Sara Saab (“The Cedar Grid”), and Chen Qiufan (“Balin”).
  • Reprints from Garth Nix (“Old Friends”) and Elizabeth Hand (“Winters Wife”).
  • Non-fiction by Jason Heller (Silver Machine: Hawkwinds Space Rock Journey throughout Science Fiction and Fantasy), an interview with David Brin, an Another Word column by Margot Atwell, and an editorial by Neil Clarke.

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2015 Clarkesworld Submissions Stats

Every now and then, I dive into the data from the Clarkesworld Magazine submissions system. This time, I’m looking at our 2015 data.

This data includes stories submitted or accepted in 2015. It doesn’t represent all stories published in 2015. (Some stories published in 2015 were submitted or accepted in 2014. Some stories submitted or accept in 2015 were published in 2016.)

This data does not include our Chinese translations. (They are handled through a different process.)

In looking over this data, please keep in mind that these charts represent QUANTITATIVE data which would incorrectly imply that all stories are equal. The process of selecting stories for publication is a QUALITATIVE process reflective of our opinions. If we were to receive more zombie stories than any other kind of story, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that we would be more likely to publish zombie stories. I don’t like zombie stories, so we don’t publish them. Quantity can be misleading in a qualitative process.


The spike in June corresponds with the increase in our upper word count limit to 16,000. A number of writing-for-pay websites capitalized on the announcement and sent hundreds of people our way.


We get fewer submissions on the weekend.


This chart shows the submissions by month in blue and the “near miss” letters by month in red. In 2015, 2.53% of all submissions received our top-tier rejection letter. The monthly average for submissions was just over 1000 and the first two months of 2016 have trended higher.


The red line represents top-tier rejections and the green line represent acceptances. The acceptance rate for 2015 was 0.3%.


In 2015, we received submissions from 109 different countries. In the above chart, the blue bar represents the percentage of total submissions for that country. The green bar indicates the percentage of all acceptances. (Reminder: The Chinese translations are handled by a separate process and not included in these numbers.)

Note: If you feel inclined to proclaim that this data indicates that I have a bias towards international submissions, perhaps you should read this editorial. That said, it pleases me that Clarkesworld has a more global representation of science fiction. There’s a lot of great work written beyond our shores.


This chart breaks out “other” in the prior chart and only includes countries from which we received 10 or more stories. Interestingly, China’s numbers have fallen despite our special translation project. I’m wonder if Chinese authors think that’s their only way in now. (It isn’t.)


In this chart, blue bars represent the percentage of submissions and green indicates the percentage of accepted stories. 2015 was a very strong year for science fiction submissions. I was hesitant to post this graph for fear of discouraging writers in other genres. We want those submissions too.

This last bit of data doesn’t require a chart. The average word count for our 2015 story submissions was 4495. That’s fairly consistent across genres with the exceptions of horror (shorter) and SF/F (longer). Acceptances, however, averaged 5650 words. I expect both of these values to climb slightly in 2016. (More to do with the higher word count limit than a specific preference.)



Clarkesworld Magazine – March 2016


Our March 2016 issue (#114) contains:

  • Original stories by Jack Skillingstead (“Salvage Opportunity”), A.C. Wise (“Seven Cups of Coffee”), Leena Likitalo (“The Governess with a Mechanical Womb”), Kij Johnson (“Coyote Invents the Land of the Dead”),  and Gu Shi (“Chimera”).
  • Reprints by Cecelia Holland (“The King of Norway”) and Karl Bunker (“Gray Wings”).
  • Non-fiction by Mark Cole (The Age of the Excessive Machine: Psychedelic SF, On-Screen and Off), an interview with Charlie Jane Anders, an Another Word column by Genevieve Valentine, and an editorial by Neil Clarke.

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February Issue of Clarkesworld

FICTION (stories will be podcast throughout the month)

  • “The Fixer” by Paul McAuley
  • “That Which Stands Tends Toward Free Fall” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
  • “In the Mist of Life” by Nick Wolven
  • “Between Dragons and Their Wrath” by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky
  • “Blood Dauber” by Ted Kosmatka and Michael Poore (reprint)
  • “Mercurial” by Kim Stanley Robinson (reprint)


  • Six Quirks of the Human Genome by Dan Koboldt
  • Sapient Animals and Memory Particles: A Conversation with Lawrence M. Schoen by Chris Urie
  • Another Word: Very Close Now by Fran Wilde
  • Editor’s Desk: The Roundup by Neil Clarke


  • “Power Surge” by Julie Dillon

This issue is now available via:

Clarkesworld Blizzard Reading

Here’s a special Clarkesworld reading list for those of us stuck in the blizzard (if you prefer audio, there is an audio link on each of those pages):

And let’s pretend one of these is the cover:


If you enjoy this special Clarkesworld playlist, consider supporting us at Patreon or subscribing to our digital edition.

Slush Reader Application 2016

Clarkesworld Magazine occasionally has need of new slush readers. If you are interested, please fill out this application. We never know when an opening will happen, but when one does, people on this list get priority.

A few notes:

  1. This is an unpaid volunteer position.
  2. Slush readers & other staff are prohibited from submitting stories or articles to the magazine.
  3. You will be expected to read and provide comments on an average of five stories per day.