The following is a representation of submissions to Clarkesworld Magazine broken down by genre since 2017.
Authors: Don’t read too much into this. Acceptance rates are fundamentally misleading. They suppose that all stories are equal in quality and we all know that isn’t true. We also know that the perception of quality is variable and usually evolving. You might even think that a particular genre is favored, but that doesn’t mean your odds are better if you write in that genre. The things that might keep us from accepting a dark fantasy story will also keep us from accepting a similar science fiction story. For example, being predictable or formulaic transcends genre. (No one ever thinks they are doing that, but it happens all the time. Editors read a lot and have emotional distance from your work, so we’re more likely to spot it.)
The outer ring is all submissions.
The middle ring is second round submissions.
The inner ring is acceptances.
All accepted stories came from open submission. We don’t solicit stories.
We stopped considering horror submissions in 2018. After dropping horror, our overall acceptance rate climbed to roughly 0.55%. Over the last five years, the percentage of submissions reaching the second round has dropped significantly and the conversion from second round to acceptance has grown from 8% to nearly 35%. These changes are the likely result of our work with the slush team and how we recruit, monitor, and provide feedback to them.