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Submission window update

By Jed Hartman

As noted in the previous entry: on our first day after reopening, it took eight hours to hit the submission cap; the next two days it was seventeen to eighteen minutes.

Fortunately, things have gotten a little better. On day four, we were open for an entire half an hour!

Then on day five, the form was open for over seven hours, which was a big relief to me; it suggested that the initial rush to submit may be subsiding, and that we won't have to change how we handle the submission cap. (If we had kept closing in half an hour or less, I was going to look into finding another approach.)

But day five was a Saturday night of a long weekend in the US, so I wondered if it was a fluke. And days six and seven ended up being open for only four hours apiece.

But last night (day eight) we were open for nearly six and a half hours.

So I think the initial heavy flood is subsiding. I'm hoping that by a week from now, we'll be open for at least ten hours a day, which will mean that people anywhere in the world will have a reasonable time of day when they can submit.

Fingers crossed.

One other thing I wanted to mention: Over on Twitter, I received a note referring to the submission cap as an experiment. I thought I should mention that the cap is nothing new; it's been in place ever since we announced it in this blog two years ago. The only thing that's new is that the daily window of being open before reaching the cap has been extremely short for a few days this time, probably because we were closed for so long.

The cap has been really helpful for us. Before the cap, we would end the first week of submissions with a huge backlog, which meant scrambling to keep up. The cap evens out (and probably somewhat reduces) the flow of submissions, which leads to happier and less burned-out editors (you're better off having your story read by a happy editor than a grumpy one) and shorter response times, at the cost of some authors not getting to submit on the day when they wanted to. But I know it's frustrating for authors, and I'm sorry about that.