It took approximately nine days to review 100 more submissions. The overall volume has come down a little and we’re averaging just over 10 subs per day. Of the 100 stories responded to, 43 were form rejections. All others had at least some additional comments from me or the other readers.
Only nine stories out of 100 advanced past the first round (this made the Space Chicken very cranky indeed!) Of those nine stories, I bought one and advanced one more into the third round. The other seven have been rejected by the “death panel.” I also received back a requested rewrite and bought that story, too.
As it stands right now, there are twelve stories accepted into the anthology, totaling approximately 38,000 words. There are 13 stories in round 3, totaling just over 24,000 words. So there’s still plenty of space, but there’s also around 40 days remaining and I predict a Darwinian struggle among the round 3 stories for a few remaining spots in September.
Duotrope is showing 122 out of the 407 submissions we received to date.
We’re seeing too many:
* Zombie stories, Vampire stories, Demon/Hell stories, Alien Gray stories.
Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but your Zombie story submission will have to be better than all the OTHER zombie story submissions we’re seeing, because we don’t plan to dedicate the book to any one trope. If you have several stories in your inventory, the metagame choice would be to send one that revolves around a less-tired concept.
* Stories that are longer/shorter than what the guidelines ask for.
I don’t mind reading a 4200 word story very much. But when a writer sends it in without asking, that means they either didn’t bother to read the guidelines, or didn’t care. In either case, I’m already predisposed against their story before I begin to read it. Unless its downright brilliant, it will end up in a form rejection pile.
We’re not seeing enough of:
* Flash fiction
Only two of the stories I bought so far are 1000 words or less in length. Only two more flash stories are in round 3 at the moment. I’d like to see more quality flash, but remember that a flash story should optimally still have a good plot arc.
You would think that submitting humor to a humor anthology is a no-brainer. You would be wrong. A great many submissions we get are either mildly humorous or merely upbeat. I want stories that stand a chance of making the reader laugh out loud. Not every story in the anthology is going to be laugh-out-loud funny, but you will have a *far* easier time advancing past the ‘slush’ stage if yours manages this feat.
Please keep submitting. It will keep the Space Chicken happy, accelerate the next Anthology Submission Update blog post, which you’ve now grown to love and crave, and might possibly net you a rejection like this one.