04 November 2007

Turnaround Times

Or: Insights On The Ironic Aspects Of Editing.

Regular submitters may notice we're taking a little longer to get back to you on your stories. The reasons are two-fold: we're down to three editors and our submission rates are way up! Good things for our readers, more work for our editors, and maybe a little trying for our submitters.

Lesley and Dave and I all write and have day jobs besides the lucrative side project otherwise known as Electric Spec. Even me, if you count being a mom as a day job. 12 hours per week just on soccer alone! I know, cry me a river.

Point being: we are trying to keep on top of our inboxes. I can't speak for the other two (though I sorta am, here, now) but I've not had an empty inbox since I don't know when, and the situation is unlikely to change. I try to read for at least one long session weekly (ok, ten days) and leave only stories within two weeks of submission. For instance, the oldest story in my inbox left after tonight's reading session is dated Oct 21. I'm cutting it close on that one. But I read over half the stories in my box.

Not only that, I'd say the overall quality of submissions is quite fine. I rarely reject a story because it's poorly written, and tonight's session only revealed one story that completely lacked speculative elements. So, reading takes longer. I find myself studying stories more closely, and then I'm left to siphon the cream off some rich milk. In other words, the reading sessions take more concentration than ever before. I know you're probably a writer, so math isn't your thing, but humor me by attempting a short word problem, color-coded for your convenience.

The editor has two inboxes. One contains 20 fabulous stories. The other contains 3 fabulous stories and 17 slightly-less-than-fabulous stories. The editor has only an hour in which to read each inbox. Which inbox will the editor complete?

Yes, good job, the answer is:

Thanks For Your Patience!


David E. Hughes said...

I plan on sharing are, cold fact regarding number of submissions, number of holds, etc. when we get closer to our next pub date.

lesleylsmith said...

Okay, color me confused. What is the answer? And why do you have 2 inboxes with 20 stories each?

Anonymous said...

Well, now ... the rush of really good submissions is a bit intimidating for writers -- but what great news for readers, huh?

I look forward to seeing the survivors from the slush pile!

-- Steve