April 27, 2018
* We have received approximately 600 submissions this month.
* The first 20 stories currently in the queue are being held for further consideration. There are 38 stories total in the queue at the moment.
* If your story is in that first 20, you likely won’t hear from us until sometime in May, depending on how quickly we conquer the slush pile after submissions close.
* Submissions will close late night on April 30 (no earlier than midnight PST and probably on early morning May 1.) Late subs will not be considered after that.
* We’ve responded to most submissions in under 48 hours, and many under 24. Send more stories!
April 13, 2018
UFO7 submissions opened two weeks ago and my team and I have been reading non-stop.
We have reviewed and rejected approximately 325 stories to date. There are fifteen stories held in the second-look pile. Those stories are in all sorts of stages; some have made it into our final consideration stack while others have been read by one or two of the associate editors and are awaiting further evaluation.
There’s another small handful that haven’t been read yet. At this point we’re responding to most submissions in under 24 hours; the unread stories all came in today.
There’s plenty of room in the book yet, so please do send in your fiction. Don’t wait til the last possible moment; at this time highter-tier rejections include an invitation to submit a second story. We will not be doing that toward the very end of the submissions window because there’s always a big surge at the end (I expect 100+ submissions in the last 24 hours) and we know we’ll be busy. So submitting early might earn you a second shot.
April 1, 2018
Submissions are now open for UFO7. A brief reminder of the common problems in the slush pile:
* We’re looking for humorous stories. If you send us a Hugo-worthy horror/drama/whatever story that isn’t humor you’re wasting your time and ours, because even if we love it a lot, we can’t use/buy it.
* One submission per author, unless you’ve been explicitly and directly invited to send another.
* The word count range we’re looking for is 500 to 5000 words. Not 250. Not 5500. If you’re off by more than a handful of words, we won’t appreciate that.
* Don’t go for the low-hanging fruit. In any given year there will be a dozen deal-with-the-devil stories, another dozen fairy tale retellings, and a brainless amount of zombie stories. Not that we will never buy those themes — we’ve published a little bit of each — but you’ll improve your odds a lot by sending us something original and surprising.
* We’re not the right market for stories written mostly to showcase how much you hate Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, or anyone in-between. You’re welcome to take pot shots at either, but if those pot shots are the main point of your story, we aren’t interested.
* We’re especially interested in translations as well as submissions from authors for whom English isn’t their native language. We love seeing stories from previously unpublished authors. We welcome submissions from writers of all genders and backgrounds. Ultimately though, no matter who you are, all we really care about is how good and funny the story you sent us is.
With all that in mind, send your stories here:
March 5, 2018
Several folks have reached out to me this week to ask why this year’s UFO Kickstarter campaign has not been launched. In the past several years I ran the campaign in March and followed it with an open submission window in April. First of all, thank you for the concern! Please do not worry, UFO7 will be published on schedule and we’ll open to submissions on April 1 as promised. However, I’ve decided to run the campaign after the submissions close, probably starting around mid-May this year. There are several reasons for this:
- Late last year I ran a (much smaller) campaign to fund my second collection, The Golem of Deneb Seven and Other Stories. While I doubt many people would mind, I still feel somewhat uncomfortable asking friends and fans for more money before I deliver that book. Golem should be ready in about a month, but not in time for an early March campaign.
- Running a crowdfunding campaign is really hard work, and I hope that some additional signal boosting from 20+ authors will make reaching our goal a bit easier. To be clear, no one is expected to help promote the campaign. This will be purely voluntary.
- Due to various other projects and business obligations, this March is an especially tough month for me to run the campaign in.
This is a bit of a risk for me. I will accept stories and pay ten cents per word, just like last years, assuming the campaign will fund. If it does not, I will pay everyone out of my own pocket. I may look for ways to lower the upfront costs a bit (such as printing the anthology via Print on Demand instead of an offset run) but none of those measures will jeopardize the quality of the stories, the layout, and all the other things you might care about as a reader. At the end of the day, I feel reasonably confident that there are enough people out there who want to read the books and for the series to continue and that the campaign will fund.
In any case, you have a month or so to get those stories ready. My team and I can’t wait to get reading!