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Extremely brief SH submission windows

By Jed Hartman

The first day that we were open to subs again, we hit our submission limit after eight hours.

That wasn't surprising to me; my memory (without going back to check) is that in the days after reopening, it usually takes about ten hours to hit the cap. That's a nice amount of time; it means that anywhere in the world, there's a somewhat reasonable time of day when people can submit, so nobody has to scramble or stay up late.

But then we opened for day 2—and we hit our daily limit (actually went over, with 28 submissions) in the first 17 minutes.

Which means the submission form was open for only a very brief window.

I'm really sorry about that. I absolutely do not want the daily submission cap to mean that only people who are waiting at the computer at midnight Eastern US time can submit. If the system normally hit its limit after 17 minutes, then it would be a bad system.

And unfortunately, the fact that this has happened once probably makes it more likely to happen again. People will see the closed-subs page that says we closed in under an hour, and they'll arrange to be at their computers at reopening time, and so tonight we may close in even less time than last night. And the same could happen tomorrow night. And so on.

I'm really hoping we can avoid that vicious cycle. I know we've been closed for a long time—three and a half months! The longest ever!—and people have been waiting to submit to us. But we're currently short-staffed, so there's no way we can increase the daily limit. I'm the only editor reading subs right now; if it weren't for our First Readers, I would be completely overwhelmed instead of only mostly overwhelmed. Thank you, First Readers!

So I think we'll just have to muddle through. If it's any consolation, I expect that the length of time we're open on a given day will increase a lot by a week from now; if you're willing to wait another week, it should be much easier to submit by then.

I've also thought a little about switching (for the time being) to a weekly cap instead of a daily one. When last we asked authors, they strongly preferred daily over weekly, because if you miss one day, you can just come back the next; but at that point we were looking at being open for ten hours a day, not ten minutes.

If we put a weekly cap in place, it might mean we would be open for only a few hours, and then would be closed for a week. That would be frustrating and annoying for a lot of people—but would it be more frustrating and annoying than having only a 15-minute window every night in which to submit? I'm not sure. Thoughts welcome.

By the way, I'd like to request that comments on this entry be polite and civil. I really am sorry that submitting to us is frustrating right now; I wish I could just remove the cap. But even with the cap in place, there's more to do right now than I can handle in a timely fashion, so I think it has to remain.