Submission Stats 2020

We’re taking a blog break for the remainder of 2020, and for our last blog post of the year, we thought some of you might be interested in our submissions statistics for the year. As you will see, we’re nowhere near getting as many submissions as many of the SFFH pro or even semi-pro mags and, we assume, less than even some of the smallest established presses. But we are brand new, looking for a specific kind of story in a longer format, so it is unlikely that many writers will have such a story just hanging out on their hard drives. We remain optimistic that we will continue to publish important, high-quality climate stories housed in beautiful books in 2021 and beyond.

We received a total of 36 manuscripts in 2020. We accepted 4 of those submissions from our slush pile, and 1 submission is still pending. We issued 4 opportunities to Revise & Resubmit; 2 authors took us up on that offer.

Genre & Length Breakdown

Of the 36 manuscripts, the genre breakdown was as follows:

  • Science Fiction – 19
  • Fantasy – 9
  • Horror – 4
  • Literary – 1
  • Non-fiction essay collection – 1
  • Short story collection – 1
  • Thriller – 1

The length of our submissions breaks down as follows:

  • Novella – 27
  • Collection – 2
  • Novel – 7

Of the four manuscripts we accepted for publication in 2020 and 2021, 2 are fantasy, 1 is science fiction, and 1 is horror. 3 are novellas, and 1 is a short novel.

Demographics Breakdown

This section is tricky because we didn’t ask people to identify their particular demographics in their cover letters, but some people included some details about themselves if relevant to the manuscript. Most people included contact information in Shunn format, hence we have country of residence information. In 2020 writers sent us stories from the following countries:

  • The United States – 24
  • Canada – 6
  • UK – 1
  • Holland – 1
  • India – 2
  • Sri Lanka – 1
  • Egypt – 1

While we did not ask people to reveal their gender identity, sometimes writers shared this information in relation to their story. As not all writers did share this information, some assumptions were made when compiling the following list of submissions broken down by gender identity:

  • Men – 19
  • Women – 15
  • Non-binary trans people – 2

Likewise, some authors shared race/ethnicity information. Because some writers did not disclose, the “white” category may be artificially inflated. That breakdown is as follows:

  • White – 30
  • Black – 1
  • Latinx – 1
  • Indigenous – 1
  • South Asian – 2
  • East Asian – 1

Even if the “white” category is artificially inflated, it’s clear that Stelliform needs to do more outreach to BIPOC writers in 2021. We are currently closed to submissions for all except for Canadian BIPOC and that will continue — though perhaps we will open to global BIPOC at some point. When we closed our general submissions, we (perhaps predictably) received far fewer manuscripts, indicating that the problem may be getting the word out in the right places. One acquisition strategy we started somewhat late in the year was to solicit and commission writers we admire (which has not yet borne tangible fruit, but exciting talks are underway) and we will continue to focus our outreach on BIPOC writers and their stories in the coming year. A secondary part of that strategy will be to continue seeking out amazing SFFH and literary climate stories by BIPOC writers and reviewing those stories on our blog.

2020, that’s a wrap! For a year that was and continues to be pretty hellish, we did ok — good, even. We’ll do even better in 2021.

Happy holidays to those of you celebrating. See you in January!

Fox in the snow

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