Tag Archive for slush

More Data…

Another thirty day snapshop of the slushpile for Clarkesworld Magazine. This time, I was asked to break it down a bit more and include the number of stories that were “passed up” or recommended by our slush readers.

Genre Gender Total Subs Total Recs %Rec’d %of Rec’d
in Genre
SF M 257 10 3.9% 55.6%
  F 65 8 12.3% 44.4%
Total 322 18 5.6%
Fantasy M 104 7 6.7% 46.7%
  F 80 8 10.0% 53.3%
Total 184 15 8.2%
Fantasy + Horror M 48 - 0.0% 0.0%
  F 42 1 2.4% 100.0%
Total 90 1 1.1%
Horror M 57 1 1.8% 100.0%
  F 16 - 0.0% 0.0%
Total 73 1 1.4%
SF + Fantasy M 32 1 3.1% 20.0%
  F 24 4 16.7% 80.0%
Total 56 5 8.9%
SF + Horror M 28 - 0.0% 0.0%
  F 5 1 20.0% 100.0%
Total 33 1 3.0%
Other M 2 20.0% 66.7%
  F 6 1 16.7% 33.3%
Total 16 3 18.8%
All Genres M 536 21 3.9% 47.7%
  F 238 23 9.7% 52.3%
Total 774 44 5.7%

A Quick Slush Snapshot

Since someone asked… here’s another Clarkesworld slush pile data junkie post.

What you are getting this time is a thirty-day snapshot of the stories submitted to us, broken down by genre and gender of the author:

Genre Gender Stories % in Category % of All
Science Fiction Male 257 79.8% 32.7%
Female 65 20.2% 8.3%
Total 322   41.0%
Fantasy Male 103 54.8% 13.1%
Female 85 45.2% 10.8%
Total 188   23.9%
Fantasy + Horror Male 50 56.8% 6.4%
Female 38 43.2% 4.8%
Total 88   11.2%
Horror Male 61 79.2% 7.8%
Female 16 20.8% 2.0%
Total 77   9.8%
Science Fiction + Fantasy Male 35 61.4% 4.5%
Female 22 38.6% 2.8%
Total 57   7.3%
Science Fiction + Horror Male 30 85.7% 3.8%
Female 5 14.3% 0.6%
Total 35   4.5%
Other Male 12 66.7% 1.5%
Female 6 33.3% 0.8%
Total 18   2.3%
ALL COMBINED Male 548 69.8%
Female 237 30.2%
Total 785


  • Genre classification is provided by the authors at time of submission. I don’t always agree with these. For example, I would categorize most of the OTHER classification as fantasy.
  • Gender classification is determined by how the author chooses to represent themselves online.

No Power, No Win

Power at Clarkesworld HQ is still out. Last night, the cold drove us to make a hasty retreat to my parent’s house, which only regained power yesterday. The slushpile is backing up and I apologize for the delays, but they are inevitable at this point. Some of you might wait a whole week. :)

After several months of health-related distractions, it was a real pleasure to spend the weekend in Toronto while attending the World Fantasy Convention. I have to give a big thanks to Lisa for letting me go and to Kate Baker for driving us (Genevieve Valentine and I) up there. It wouldn’t have been possible any other way. The drive up and back was much longer than I ever like to be in a car, but time just flew. It’s rare for me to be anywhere with people that share common interests and musical tastes, so it worked out wonderfully. Along the way, we saw a tornado made of birds and Niagra Falls (Canadian side).

The Con itself was also great. My panel on ebooks was on Friday, so I was able to enjoy a mostly obligation free weekend the rest of the time. Sean offered some space for the Clarkesworld chapbooks on his table in the Dealer’s room, so I hung out there a lot and spoke with a lot of people. Among the Clarkesworld authors I ran into there were E. Lily Yu, Suzanne Church, Mari Ness, Cat Rambo, Holly Phillips, Lavie Tidhar, Tony Pi, Brenda Cooper, Aliette de Bodard, Mary Robinette Kowal, and (of course) Genevieve Valentine. The chapbooks attracted some nice attention and sold well. If I could have fit more in my bag, those probably would have sold too. Several people asked me about print subscriptions, but the cost of mailing creates some pricing concerns. One of the things we may do is offer a subscription plan that bundles issues together in quarterly bundles. I’ll start making copies and bundles available for sale on the website once we get power back at the house.

As you know, Kate, Cheryl, Sean and I were up for a World Fantasy Award this past weekend. We were hoping that the third time would be the charm, but it wasn’t to be. We lost to Tartarus Press (who claimed their third win). I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed, even though I never expected to win. (Heck, I never expect to be nominated. This is still a very surreal experience for me.) Thanks to the judges and voters for thinking us worthy of being nominated!

Clarkesworld Slush Update – Hurricane Sandy Edition


Due to extreme weather conditions, it is unlikely that we’ll be maintaining Clarkesworld’s normal 24-48 hour response times this week. Hopefully when this clears, I’ll still be able to get to Toronto for World Fantasy Convention. Supposedly, I’ll have power and internet there, so at worst, I’ll catch up then.

UK Submissions and Authors – Clarkesworld Magazine Data

There was a discussion on Twitter today about UK authors submitting stories to US markets. Since my data for Clarkesworld was referenced, I offered to dig a bit deeper into the stats for some more relevant data beyond overall percentages.

Here is a breakdown of all UK submissions (and authors) per month and by gender from 09/2008 through 08/2012. During this time period there were 1366 UK submissions from men and 569 from women representing 730 men and 262 women. We have seen submissions from 992 different authors from the UK.

The dashed lines indicate the number of authors that turned in the submissions in the solid line. Most authors only submit one story per month.

The two low points on the above graph indicate periods that we were closed to submissions. The overall percentage of stories we receive from the UK fluctuates between 6 and 8% of our total submissions on the average. The overall percentage of UK authors submitting stories is roughly the same, until the last year, women had a slightly higher percentage than men when compared to all authors from other countries submitting to the magazine. Now they are nearly equal.

A few of my earlier data posts can be found in a CW editorial (06/12), here (02/12), and here (12/09).

Just for fun… the cost of paper submissions

I started this and got a little carried away. Where I can, I document the places I’m pulling some of the assumed averages from, but there are pieces, like the postal costs, which came from Twitter friends. This is far from a scientific study. (Our esub system restricts the number of submissions someone can send us in a month. This could have been much worse.)

Average number of Clarkesworld Magazine submissions per month for 2010: 700
Approximate average number of words per submission: 5000

Average number of words per page: 275
Number of pages in a ream of paper: 500
Approximate total of 1 page cover letters per year: 8400
Approximate total of 1 page acceptance or rejection letters per year: 8400
Envelopes would have been used: 16800
Case of 500 envelopes: 4 pounds
Approximate weight of envelopes: 137.75

If Clarkesworld took paper submissions:

We would have received 26.9 reams of paper per month, or 322.8 reams per year.
We would have sent 8400 letters.

According to this site (and using their assumptions/approximations):

Pounds per ream: 5
Pounds CO2 released per pound of paper: 6.1

Pounds of Clarkesworld submissions in a year: 1614
Pounds of CO2 released by above submissions: 9854.4
Pounds of CO2 released by response letters: 512.4
TOTAL Pounds of CO2 released by sheets of paper in the submissions process: 10366.8
Pounds of CO2 released by envelopes: 840.37
TOTAL Pounds of CO2 released by paper products in the submissions process: 11207.17

Production of 1 ton of copy paper produces 2,278 lb of solid waste.
Tons of paper products in submissions process for one year: 0.92
Pounds of solid waste in production of paper used for one year of submissions: 2095
Production of 1 ton of copy paper uses 11134 kWh (approx. energy used by avg. household in 10 months)
kWh used in production of paper for one year of submissions: 10243.28 (avg. household 9 months, 6 days)


Assuming weekly trips to the PO box:
52 trips to the post office, 4 miles round trip, 208 miles
1 gallon of gas produces 19.4 pounds of CO2.
My car gets approximately 20 miles per gallon.
TOTAL Pounds of CO2 released by picking up paper submissions: 201.76
Postal Expenses:
Postage to send a submission within US (with return postage for letter): $1.73+0.44, $2.17
Postage to send a submission outside the US: $6.30
Approximate percentage of submissions from outside the US: 30
Approximate postal cost of US submissions: $12759.60
Approximate postal cost of international submissions: $15876
Total postal cost: $28635.60
USPS shipping 16800 letters.
I have no idea what it takes to ship all that, but I know that some people will argue that the computer I use and the internet have significant CO2 impact even though they would be on anyway… so I’ll cut them so slack and assume the USPS would be shipping things anyway. Let’s call it even. Your planes. My computer. (Some interesting information about the impact of the internet and computers can be found here.)

And yes, I know that we probably get a lot more submissions than we would if we only took paper subs… Like the title says, this was all for fun.