cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)

This is not exactly rejectomancy, but it is mucking about with submission numbers data and how to predict what kind of competition your submissions are getting. THIS IS NOT REALLY USEFUL FOR A WRITER TO KNOW. RUNNING THE ODDS STRICTLY BY THE NUMBERS WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY. But it is interesting. 

I've been curious about what percentage of writers is represented by the submissions tracked at Submission Grinder. (Tl;dr = 10%.) So!

A recent interview with Uncanny Magazine said that they got 1,000-2,000 submissions per month. They've had two monthlong submission periods in the past 12 months, with a total of 417 submissions tracked on Submission Grinder. Figure 209 submissions/month. This means that roughly 1/5 to 1/10th (21%-10%) of the writers submitting to them in those months used Submission Grinder.

The day before yesterday, I submitted a story to F&SF. At the time, it was #239 in the queue (today it is 139--*gulp*).

So 100 people got their responses. In that time, 13 people recorded responses on Submission Grinder (13%).

My (recorded) starting queue number at F&SF has varied between 562 and 97 in the past, which is kinda crazy fluctuations. Let's assume that today the queue's end is still around 239. Submission Grinder thinks there are 54 pending submissions (23%).

Updated for more accuracy: Charlie Finlay let me know that the day-before-yesterday's queue was not average. F&SF's average daily submissions received is about 35. Submission Grinder has tracked 1820 completed reports in the past 12 months, for an average of 4.99 submissions/day (14%).

In 2015, Clarkesworld reported what looks a lot like about 40 submissions/day. They were already well-established at the time, so let's say submission numbers remain about at those numbers. Submission Grinder reports an average of 4.48 submissions/day in the past 12 months. Again, we're hovering just above 1/10th of writers recording their subs in Submission Grinder (11%).

By this extremely unscientific math, the number of submissions shown on Submission Grinder is probably 10%-21% of the actual number of submissions the publication received. The 10% is probably more accurate because of the data it's based on.

Why am I specifically curious about this now?

I submitted a story to the (now closed) Into the Black contest, which was a fairly high profile one-off contest that has a hefty $12,000 prize and no entry fee. I would expect there to be a lot of entries, even with the strict theme and wordcount limits. Only 12 submissions were recorded on Submission Grinder, which seemed super-low. I'm guessing part of that is because they probably got many entries from people coming from the universal basic income movement, instead of only writers coming from the "here's a neat writing contest" side of it, but still. Huh.

(BTW, if you're at all interested in the idea of a Universal Basic Income, go read the contest page. They have ALL the links.)

Child Counting to 10

cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing iffy)
07/06/10, Tuesday
* Posted freewriting, writing log.
* Posted requesting spam headlines for the as-yet-unnamed spam story.
* Submitted "The Nitty-Gritty of Copyright" to
* Submitted "They'll Seal Any Leak, Guaranteed!" to Moonlight Tuber.
* Submitted "Salvaging Scottwell" to Escape Pod.
* Aaaand...all my unpublished, ready-to-submit stories are out! Woo!
* Figured out submission order for "Ekaterina and the Phoenix." Drat. Now not all my stories are out.
* Processed receipt acknowledgements for "Gone Huntin'" and "Good Help is Hard to Find."
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing)
I sold my first non-fiction piece today! I'd written up an article on copyright based on a presentation given to MinnSpec (my writing group), and it's been bought by! Apparently, the key to selling this article was--get this--actually submitting it. Finally. She responded the same day saying that she'd buy it, which is pretty fantastic.

Sold! Non-fiction! Me! Whee! Other things ending in eeee!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing iffy)
05/03/10, Monday
* Posted writing log, freewriting.
* Prepped Critters mss for critting.
* Submitted "Demons of Disease" to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (still one of the best SF magazine titles ever).
* Submitted "The Miracle Material" to Zoetrope: All-Story.
* Wrote one page longhand on Platinadar.

(And yes, I totally just wrote a list of all the things I needed to catch up on and then started rolling a D6 to decide what to do next. I should really keep that D6, too, as it tended to roll high. Disproportionate number of sixes [which meant non-writing paperwork, worse luck].)
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing)
* MinnSpec meeting about copyright.
* Processed TweettheMeat (twitfic) acceptance of "Gene therapy worked."
* Submitted "She loved her new husband's mansion" (twitfic) to TweettheMeat.
* Add the Podcastle/EscapePod/Pseudopod contests to Aswiebe's Market List.
* Submitted "Road of Dreams" to Flash Me Magazine.
* Submitted "Look Back to Keep Her" to Moonlight Tuber.
* Posted writing log, freewriting.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing)
After today, all my not-previously-published, submission-ready stories are out in the world! This is the first time I've been able to say that in--ever? Longer than I can remember, at least.

Mind you, I have a huge stack of stories I should be sending out to sell as reprints, and another huge stack that need to be edited, but I'm focusing on the good here.

03/14/10, Sunday
* Processed Thaumatrope's acceptance of "They told the new base meteorologist" and submitted "The fairies enchanted us." Twitfic is fun. I should do this with the other 'zines as well, I thought. So then I researched the other spec-fic tweetzines and did just that.
* Submitted "Atop the Himalayas" to Outshine, "Gene therapy worked" to TweettheMeat, and "The Key to His Heart" (reprint) to Nanoism.
* Posted freewriting, writing log, Nanowri.
* Processed receipt acknowledgment of "The Radiator Burped" from Minnspec Anthology.
* Read Duotrope, PublishersLunch, WritersWeekly, FundsforWriters, FFWSmallMarkets, WritersMarket, and Writersdigest newsletters and updated market list from them.
* Michael Moorcock's rules for writing:
* (This is going in my writing challenges file.) The Lester Dent pulp plot outline:
* Palahniuk's tips for writers:
* Submitted "The Perfect Costume" to Best New Vampire Tales.
* Submitted "Good Help is Hard to Find" to DF_Underground.
* Submitted "Passings" to GUD.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing despair)
03/13/10, Saturday
* Redmarked all of Vicesteed ch. 28. And it was an unusually large chapter, lacking in large chunks that could be cut, so that's saying something.

03/12/10, Friday
* Belatedly processed "Where Dinosaurs Roam" publication in Thaumatrope and payment info.
* Processed Emerald Tales' acceptance of "These Things Take Time" and replied with the info they need for a contract.

03/07/10, Monday
* Posted writing log, freewriting, nanowri
* Began redmarking Vicesteed ch. 28.
* Processed GUD's form letter rejection of "Good Help is Hard to Find."
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing)
03/06/10, Sunday
* Read Ralan, WritersWeekly, Writing-World, Lunch Weekly, FFWSmallMarkets, FundsforWriters, Duotrope, and 2 WritersDigest newsletters and updated market list from them.
* An exercise for writing a query letter with voice:
* The Starter Guide to Twitter:
* Approaches to making a living as a writer:
* Processed the OG's form rejection of "They'll Fix Any Leak, Guaranteed!"
* Processed Apex's receipt acknowledgment for "The Miracle Material."
* Updated market list from updates sent in.
* Submitted "The Haunts of Hill Crossing" to Strange Horizons and processed receipt acknowledgment.
* Submitted "Demons of Disease" to Basement Stories.
* Submitted "They'll Fix Any Leak, Guaranteed!" to Strangetastic.
* Submitted "Gone Huntin'" to Flash Fiction Online and processed receipt acknowledgment.
* Much belatedly processed a crit of Vicesteed chs. 33-34.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing despair)
03/03/10, Wednesday, full day at day job
* Processed Clarkesworld's form letter rejection of "The Haunts of Hill Crossing."
* Re-resubmitted "The Miracle Material" to Apex, using a different doc format in case that was what was getting it caught in their spam filters. I think--no joy. But my email with no attachment went through okay. So then I re-re-resubmitted it from another email, with attachment, and it went through okay. Am mighty confused.
* Know that "every scene should do at least two things" adage? Here are some of those things:
* On Writing Rules:

03/02/10, Tuesday

* Finished redmarking Vicesteed ch. 27.
* Posted writing log, freewriting
* Prepped Vicesteed ch. 28 for editing.
* Re-submitted "The Miracle Material" to Apex, after their very prompt "didn't get it" response to my query. AS of noon, have not received acknowledgment, and am a bit antsy.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing iffy)
03/01/10, Monday
* Processed Extreme Creatures' personal "very much enjoyed, but not the right fit" rejection of "The Perfect Costume."
* Submitted one of my stories to the MinnSpec anthology. Go go gadget reprint!
* Posted writing log, freewriting
* Began redmarking Vicesteed ch. 27. Feeling despairing over whether I'll ever finish this damn book for realz.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
02/28/10, Sunday
* Posted writing log, freewriting
* Read 2 Publishers Lunch, Writing-World, 2 WritersMarket, 2 FundsforWriters, 2 FFWSmallMarkets, and 2 WritersWeekly newsletters and updated agent list and market list from them.
* Read for the editorial inspired by Terry Pratchett:
* Submitted "The Haunts of Hill Crossing" to Clarkesworld. And can I say I really like the submission systems where you can see your manuscript's place in the queue, even if it does lead to time wastage similar to what occurs when you have a UPS/Fedex package en route?
* Submitted "Periwinkle Eyes" to Triangulation: The End of the Rainbow. I less-than-three them for preferring OpenOffice docs, and for welcoming reprints.
* Queried Apex Magazine about "The Miracle Material," since it's a month or so past their standard response time. And--got an acknowledgement of submission back for the query, which I *didn't* get for the initial submission. Uh-oh. Well, I'll still wait to see what they say.
* Prepped submission for MinnSpec Anthology, but am waiting to hear back about what rights they want. Plus, submissions don't open until tomorrow.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing)
02/27/10, Saturday

Deleted from Vicesteed, ch. 26

Old chapter wordcount: 1,539
New chapter wordcount: 1,067
Vicesteed Draft 1 wordcount: 207,877
Vicesteed Draft 2 current wordcount: 146,914
Notes: 7 chapters left, and they're pretty much all climax. Aw yeah.
Reason for deleting scene: This bit is good for context and character-building, but at this point? Those don't matter so much. Time to turn it up to 11.
Which deleted scene is it anyway?

Rosemary was watching the return of the prime minister with all the other guests, when the harsh sound of a mirror shattering rang through the ballroom. The prime minister jerked, a bad sign; he was the sort of gentleman who was usually impossible to perturb, or so Rosemary's father had told her once. Rosemary certainly didn't have such a subdued reaction. She jumped, startled nearly out of her skin. Her nerves were wires worn to near nothing. A servant set down his tray and hurried across the room to the latest calamity.

At least she wasn't the only one affected by this unpleasantness. All evening she had been plagued with distracting twitches of feeling on her arms and legs, as if she was surrounded by a swarm of biting gnats whose wings constantly brushed her skin. It did nothing to aid her composure.

Her "reintroduction to Society" wasn't going as well as her father had once hoped. Oh, Lady Hasting's relative, Mr. Brooks, had been as amiable as promised. Rosemary had made shift to converse of pleasantries, though her skills at such conversation were more than rusty, and he had made all the appropriate responses, but he failed to interest her in the least. As she had done nothing to encourage his interest, and her looks were too unremarkable to do so, she presumed that his kind attentions were to fulfill something in the nature of a social obligation. It was the way things were done, and she took no offense from it.

She was relieved that there was at least one gentleman not sending her piercing, slanted looks that weighed her up and dismissed her as an uninteresting country cousin. The other invitations that she'd received to dance had turned out to be nothing but pretexts to ask her all manner of forward questions, and while her dance partners' arms had never varied from the proper position, she had still felt they were laughing up their sleeves at her.

However, his presence did little to alleviate her more pressing concern.

Other writingy stuff:
* Processed Arkham Tales' "No, but submit again" rejection of "Demons of Disease."
* Processed submitting "Ekaterina and the Firebird" to Scheherazade's Facade.
* Posted writing log, freewriting, NanoWri.
* Prepped Vicesteed ch. 27 for editing.
* Read Duotrope Digest newsletter and updated markets from it.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
02/09/10, Tuesday, worked a full day, but with downtime.
* Finished writing Vespa's Letter to Platinadar, typed up during work downtime, and sent on its merry way.

02/08/10, Monday
* Finished writing "Ekaterina and the Firebird." Felt all accomplished because I'd hit the ending and all that--and then realized I had to go back to the beginning and fill in transitions and research [brackets]. Not done yet! Alas, alack!
* Began writing "Letter to Platinadar" on the bus.

02/07/10, Sunday
* Updated market list from link submitted.
* Processed payment for "Salvaging Scottwell" and "The Key to His Heart." Go go gadget spreadsheets!
* Read Writer's Digest, Publishers Lunch, WritersWeekly, WritersMarket, WritingWorld, FundsforWriters, WritersMarket, Duotrope, Ralan, and FFWSmallMarkets newsletters and updated markets from them.
* Flow:
* Submitted "The Perfect Costume" to Extreme Creatures Anthology for reprint.
* Submitted "Good Help is Hard to Find" to GUD.
* Submitted "Demons of Disease" to Arkham Tales--and whoa! realized it was my 108th story submission since I started using my own spreadsheet to track.
* Finished typing up what has been written longhand of "Ekaterina and the Fire Bird" (4,463 words)

02/06/10, Saturday, Phil's game all p.m., then friends birthday dinner.
* Posted writing log, freewriting, NanoWri
* Typed up almost all the rest of "Ekaterina."
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing despair)
Doing story submissions today, and I paid attention to some numbers. These are since I switched to using my own spreadsheets.

Date started: January 2006
Stories I'm currently tracking: 41 (including the Lost Story)
Submissions: 108
Acceptances: 11

Now, that's not an entirely accurate reflection of the statistics, since the acceptance rate has increased nicely recently, but still! Agh. I need to write more. I need to submit more.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing despair)
01/31/2010, Sunday
* Posted freewriting, writing log, NanoWri
* Read various writing feeds, plus Duotrope, 3 WritersMarket, 2 FundsforWriters, Publishers Lunch, and 2 FFWSmallMarkets newsletters, and updated market list from them.
* Submitted "Look Back to Keep Her" to Pedestal Magazine. This story was formerly known as "Dining on a Dead Girl's Dime," which, while hella catchy, set up totally the wrong feel for the story. Maybe that was a problem? I do not know. This one hints more at what it is.
* Submitted "They'll Seal Any Leak, Guaranteed!" to OG's Speculative Fiction.
* Added Critters' "things we want to see in the future" forum to my "Futures" document.
* The Much Maligned Adverb:
* You May Be a Bestseller on Tralfamadore:
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing iffy)
01/26/2010, Tuesday, half day at day job
* Processed 3 crits of "Old Woman By The Sea"
* Processed Null Immortalis' form letter rejection of "Demons of Disease." I don't win 'em all, kids, not by a long shot!
* Posted writing log, freewriting, NanoWri
* Finished redmarking Vicesteed ch. 25.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing)
01/24/2010, Sunday
* Read WritersWeekly, WritersDigest newsletters
* Using characters to cut word length in revision:
* An excellent revision checklist:
* How authors can be interviewed on radio:
* Posted writing log, freewriting, NanoWri
* Updated the relevant places for a new publication.
* Processed 3 crits for "The Old Woman By The Sea."
* Submitted "The Haunts of Hill Crossing" to Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
* Submitted "Road of Dreams" to Nossa Morte.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing despair)
01/14/2010, Thursday, afternoon at day job
* Processed Thaumatrope's acceptance of "The Key to His Heart" and turned around and submitted "Where Dinosaurs Roam."
* Started redmarking Vicesteed ch. 24.

01/13/2010, Wednesday, afternoon at day job
* Posted writing log, freewriting, NanoWriMo
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing despair)
12/05/2009 - Saturday, spent most of the day on day job stuff
* Top Ten Reasons Your Editor Doesn't Love What Your Critique Group Does:

12/03/2009 - Thursday, no day job
* NanoWriMo
* Posted writing log.
* Penthius freewriting about voodoo and slavery and--pirates. Am confused.
* Processed "A Phoenix By Any Other Name" acceptance by!
* Processed "These Things Take Time" form letter rejection by New Myths.
* Processed "Charity From a Thief" personal rejection (with specific editorial feedback!) from Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Will be making edits to use feedback before submitting story elsewhere.
* Processed "Road of Dreams" personal rejection from Screams and Dreams Anthology and editor's proposed non-paying acceptance from Liquid Imagination. (I'll try paying markets first, though I do like the way they mesh art and writing--it's always awesome to see what art people think goes with my stories.)
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing despair)
12/02/2009 - Wednesday, full day at job
* Read Writer's Digest newsletter.
* NanoWriMo--getting to redescribing the bit from Vicesteed.
* Penthius freewriting.

12/01/2009 - Tuesday, no job
* Posted writing log.
* Penthius freewriting
* Wrote NanoWriMo. November may be over, but the story isn't. I'll keep going until it's done.
* Red-marked Vicesteed ch. 22
* Processed Fantasy Magazine's personal and remarkably speedy "very close, but not quite" rejection of "Haunts of Hill Crossing."


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Abra Staffin-Wiebe

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