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Unpublished: 13.3%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%

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

Top Ten Most Common Short Story Names

I just noticed that we crossed the 50,000 point in our submissions system sometime in the last month. I thought it might be fun to do a quick analysis of the most popular story titles in that pile. Here’s the results:

1st Place – 18

2nd Place – 16
The Gift, Home, Hunger, Homecoming

3rd Place – 15
The Box

4th Place – 14

5th Place – 13
Lost and Found

6th Place – 12
Sacrifice, The Hunt, Flight

7th Place – 11
Heartless, The End, Alone, Legacy, Adrift

8th Place – 10
Red, Reflections, The Visit, Broken

9th Place – 9
The Other Side, Rebirth, Voices, Genesis, Awakening, The Collector, Disconnected, The Wall, The Prisoner, Deus Ex Machina, Hero, Skin Deep, Memories, Skin

10th Place – 8
The Machine, The Tower, Coming Home, Rain, Going Home, The Dark, Inheritance, The Door, The Choice, Happiness, Perchance to Dream, Last Call, The Fall, Night Terrors

More on story titles here and here.