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.)