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General updates

By Jed Hartman

It's been an eventful couple of months; I'm sorry I haven't been posting here.

Some notes:

  • We have two new fiction editors! Brit Mandelo joined us in March, and Julia Rios in April. I'm delighted to have them as co-editors.
  • We've simplified our delay-before-submitting-again policy a little: we now ask that authors space submissions at least three weeks apart. In other words, if we reject your story within three weeks after you submit, then we ask that you wait until three weeks after you submitted to submit again. No need to memorize this; our rejection notes say it explicitly, with an exact wait-until date. (If we take longer than three weeks to get back to you, then there's no waiting period. If we don't mention a waiting period in the rejection, then you can submit again immediately.) If you submit again before the date we specified, then we'll ask you to wait and resubmit on or after that date.
  • One reason for keeping the delay period in place is that we're still regularly hitting our daily submission cap. It's no longer every day; I would guess we hit the cap about three or four days a week, most weeks, and usually after 20 hours or longer. So most people get to submit when they want to, but a few are still being turned away.
  • Our average response time is the best it's ever been over a multi-month period. Since reopening in mid-February, we've received 2,275 submissions (averaging 20 a day), and responded to 2,015 of those. The average response time for all responses has been about 11 and a half days; maximum 65 days, minimum 2 days. Given that our average response time in 2011 was about 50 days (and in recent years has usually been 30 to 40), this is an enormous improvement. Most of the credit goes to our stalwart First Readers, who've continued to do an amazing job of reading stories within a couple days after they come in.
  • Looking only at acceptances: for 12 acceptances, our average response time has been 37 days, with a maximum of 65 and minimum of 17.
  • Speaking of our First Readers: I'm sorry to say that longtime First Reader Ian Birnbaum has stepped down. He's been with us longer than any other First Reader we've had, over two years. Thanks for all your work, Ian!
  • As of today, the oldest submission we're still considering was submitted on May 18, only 20 days ago.
  • Last year, after we took more than 70 days to respond to too many subs, we raised our stated maximum response time to 90 days. We've now dropped it back to 70, but we hope and expect to keep our actual response times much lower than that. We'll see how that goes.
  • I've been too swamped to post regularly to this blog, but at some point I hope to get back to issuing monthly status updates.
  • I never did put together my annual stats post for 2011. I still intend to do that at some point, but no promises.