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Another status update

By Jed Hartman

The submission window has been open significantly longer lately: I think it's been 8 to 12 hours for each of the last four or five days.

So I'm now fairly confident that on any given day, there's a reasonable time of day anywhere in the world when authors can submit.

We're still hitting the cap every day, though; I suspect it'll be at least another two weeks before that stops happening.

We've been doing unusually well at keeping up with the incoming flood. The First Readers are generally reading everything on their lists within a day or two (and sometimes within a few hours); I'm generally reading everything on my list within three or four days. And we've been good about responding, too. We've received about 350 submissions in the two weeks since we reopened, and we've rejected about 150 of those so far.

Which reminds me to mention a new policy:

When we reject a story within two weeks after receiving it, we now explicitly ask the author to wait a week or two before submitting again.

(Except under certain circumstances not worth going into here.)

In the past, we've always said that an author could submit a new story immediately after receiving a rejection (or an acceptance, for that matter).

But at the moment, we're hitting the submission cap every day, so authors who want to submit aren't getting to do so. So it doesn't seem fair to let one author submit multiple times during a period when some authors aren't getting a chance to submit even once.

We could just hold off a week or two on rejecting stories. But there's no good reason to do that; if we've read the story and we know we're going to reject it, and we have time to do so, why make the author wait?

(We haven't been good about this in the past; we've sometimes left stories on the to-reject list for weeks at a time. I'm hoping to change that this year, but I can't promise anything.)

So we're trying to send rejections quickly when we can (I think the minimum response time so far has been two days, but seven to nine is much more common), and then ask authors to hold off before submitting again.

This is an experiment; I'm not sure how well it'll work, and it may become irrelevant if our response times drift upward again, as they always do.

And it's probably not even necessary; most authors submit a story or two a year, or only ever submit one or two stories total, so there's no need to tell most authors to hold off on submitting.

But there are enough authors who do submit again immediately after a response that I figured this was worth a try.