Archive for the ‘Submission Status’ Category
Submissions are closed, but we aren’t done yet.
Not only is there one final issue yet to come, I’ve still got an awesome announcement or two up my sleeve…
Wow. Time is doing that thing where it zooms by again. We’re counting down to our final issue and, more immediately, we’re counting down to when submissions are going to close. We’re still open but not for much longer. Please send us your best work by July 31st.
That’s less than two weeks away!
This is just a super short update to let you know, the oldest unread fiction submission in our queue right now is from May 29th. If you submitted fiction prior to that you should have received a response or there ought to be a note on your story in the Submittable system saying I’m holding it for further consideration. If that isn’t the case, please feel free to query.
Right now the oldest fiction submission in our queue is from May 11th. If you submitted to us prior to that and have not received a response chances are we didn’t get it. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out or submit again.
As for poetry submissions, it looks to me like the only poems that have been in the queue for more than a week are those Alexandra is holding for additional consideration.
Right now the oldest fiction submission in our queue is from January 22nd, so if you sent us something before then and haven’t heard back, please feel free to query.
Know what else is exciting? We’re 20% of the way to the sales/donations goal we set for the March issue. That means we’re 20% of the way to releasing the web-based version of the site. Do you want to help? If you’ve got a couple dollars to spare consider picking up a copy of the March issue, or any of our back-issues at the Niteblade Store, or you can make a straight-up donation. If you haven’t got any change kicking around and you really want to read the March issue online for free (and you should) the best way is for you to tell your friends about Niteblade. The more people who come by the more sales we make* and the sooner you’ll be able to read this amazing issue for free.
*It also increases our advertising revenue, but that money gets put into the pool for the June issue.
Alexa and I had been hoping to respond to all submissions to the poetry anthology by October 15th, but there is a significant quantity of high-quality submissions to go through so we may need a little longer than that. We are working through them as quickly as we can while still giving each piece a fair assessment. Honest.
All other submissions may also have slightly longer wait times than usual.
They are called submission guidelines, but really, it’s better to think of them as submission rules. If a submission doesn’t follow them, I’m not going to accept it. Even if it’s really good. Even if it’s really, really good. That sometimes makes me sad but there are good reasons for it.
I may not know it’s good.
All submissions get read by slush readers who then vote and/or comment on it. Each yes vote is worth 1 point, each no vote is worth -1 and each maybe is worth 0. I pass on any submission that gets a score of -3 or lower without reading it. Depending on who voted I may also pass on -2 pieces without reading them. Thus, it’s only certain I’ve read a story if it has a score of -1 or better. What’s more our slush readers are told, very clearly, that they do not have to read a story that doesn’t follow the submission guidelines — the most obvious way of knowing this is by looking to see if it’s indented. If a story is indented they tend to just vote ‘no’ on it. It only takes two slush readers doing that to make it likely I’ll never see the submission.
Following guidelines is a skill
Someone who can follow guidelines is someone who can follow instructions. When I accept a submission from someone it is followed by further instructions “Please fill out this agreement and send it back” etc. If a submitter can’t follow instructions even the most uncomplicated of interractions becomes a nightmare.
Ignoring submission guidelines is disrespectful
If someone doesn’t follow our very simple guidelines it feels disrespectful. They are asking us to read and consider their work for publication, but don’t care enough to read and follow our guidelines. It feels like a slap in the face.
Submission guidelines exist for a reason
I don’t create rules in just because I can. They don’t exist because I’m on a power trip or like making people jump through hoops. Each guideline exists for a reason — usually to make less work for us and allow the process from acceptance to publication to move smoothly.
Those are just a few points off the top of my head, but I think it comes down to this: If someone can’t follow submission guidelines I don’t want to work with them no matter how fantastic their work is.
I know a fair number of writers are interested in submission statistics, so I thought I’d share some of ours in a short blog post.
I’ve got two strong sources of data. Duotrope’s Digest and Submishmash. Duotrope’s has listed Niteblade since we first opened, so their stats are based on a longer time frame than Submishmash’s. However, Duotrope’s information is not as complete because it is based on submitters self-reporting data. Since not all submitters use Duotrope’s Digest, nor necessarily accurately report their information, it’s nice that we can supplement that data with some from Submishmash.
Duotrope’s Digest shows an average response time of 22.8 days for an acceptance and 24 days for a rejection.
Those numbers are strongly influenced by historical data, our turn over time for submissions now that we’ve switched systems has greatly decreased. You can see this in action by looking at the rss feed for Niteblade on Duotrope’s Digest. You’ll see the 20 day response is an abberation now. Yay!
Duotrope’s Digest reports that our responses break down like this:
Rewrite Requests: –*
Author Withdrawals: 4.69%
Submishmash, which only has stats from the beginning of December 2010, shows the following:
Author Withdrawals: 7.07%
Interestingly, these rejection numbers are low because poets often send more than one poem as a single submission and we often pass on all of them. That means some of the rejections that are recorded singly actually represent as many as five pieces.
Nom nom, numbers to crunch!
*I included this because it illustrated the incompleteness of data from Duotrope’s Digest. I don’t often request re-writes, but it happens.
After a lot of careful consideration I have decided to start using Submishmash to handle Niteblade’s fiction and poetry submissions. You can see our new, schmancy, updated guidelines here, which include a link to the new submission forms. It is my sincere hope that once I work through the backlog of emailed submissions and start using the automated system exclusively it will speed up response times for all submitters and ultimately help make Niteblade run smoother and more efficiently. If the system works well for the fiction and poetry submissions I will begin using it for book reviews, interviews and art blog showcases as well.
This change means that over the next few weeks Niteblade will be looking for a handful of slush readers. This is a volunteer position, but can provide invaluable insight as to what it’s like to be on this side of the submissions process. You would need to be familiar with Niteblade and the style of content we run. If you’re interested and would like more information email me at Rhonda@Niteblade.com
Just a super quick update to let you in on our current submission status. We are still open to both fiction and poetry. The oldest fiction submission in my inbox is from July 21st and the oldest poetry submission is from July 29th.
If you submitted prior to that and haven’t heard back from me, I didn’t get it so please re-submit and be sure you follow the guidelines.
As a relevant aside, if you follow us on twitter @NitebladeZine I tend to update the submission status’ there more frequently than here.