written by David Steffen
Hello! I am here to announce the original stories that were chosen from the general submission window that ran in July 2023.
First, some stats:
# of Stories Submitted: 1451
# Rejected (First Round): 1350
# Rejected (Final Round): 40
# Withdrawn: 32
# Disqualified: 2
# Rewrite Requests: 2
# Accepted: 25
This is not quite the most submissions we have ever received in a window (that was 1938 in January 2021), but it is the most authors we’ve received submissions from and the most submissions we’ve received since we reduced the number of allowed submissions per author from 2 to only 1.
This window did take longer than we usually like them to take to fully resolve–a little over 3 months after the end of submission window. I think we should ask for some additional volunteers to join the first reader team–we haven’t done a volunteer run for a few years and as people get busy some of them step down or scale back so we’ll probably need to build the group back up again periodically.
For this submission window we welcomed two new assistant editors: Chelle Parker and Hal Y. Zhang, who helped resolve submissions and helped make the final selections listed below. They join the assistant editor team of Ziv Wities and Kel Coleman.
This window marked a few changes:
1. This is the first window we’ve run since generative “AI” was available enough that people were routinely using it to write fiction. In response the guidelines were updated to ask writers not to submit fiction written using it, the submission form asked writers to affirm that they did not use these programs in writing their work, and for writers who received acceptances the contract required them to state that as well.
2. We had previously had a “Withdraw” status in the system, but the status could only be set by the editor so the writer would have to email the editors to ask to have it withdrawn. In this window we added the ability to “self-serve” a withdrawal. This was added partway through the window so not everyone saw it. When the confirmation email gets sent it includes a withdrawal link that the author can use to withdraw on their own without needing to contact the editor.
3. We added a “Rewrite Request” functionality in the last few days. We occasionally did rewrite requests before but they were done completely apart from the system by email. Now rewrite requests are supported in the system with an official status. When the email is sent for the rewrite request, it copies the requesting editor and assistant editor so the writer can reply to ask questions or discuss. It also provides the author with a one-time link they can use to submit the rewrite. This link can be used even when there is no open window. If a writer submits during an open window the rewrite using this link doesn’t count against their submission limit for the window.
We accepted 25 stories from this general submission window (one of which we announced separately and already published due to time constraints)
These stories will all be published in 2023-2024; I look forward to sharing them with you!
And here is the list, in alphabetical order by author name:
Level One: Blowtorch
by Jared Oliver Adams
St. Thomas Aquinas Administers the Turing Test
by Mary Berman
The Offer of Peace Between Two Worlds
by Renan Bernardo
The Lighthouse Keeper
by Melinda Brasher
by Hammond Diehl
Ten Easy Steps To Destroying Your Enemies This Arbor Day
by Rachael K. Jones
Hold the Sea Inside
by Erin Keating
Batter and Pearl
by Steph Kwiatkowski
The Gaunt Strikes Again
by Rich Larson
Six-Month Assessment of Miracle-Fresh
by Anne Liberton
by Charlie B. Lorch
A Descending Arctic Excavation of Us
by Sara S. Messenger
Song for a Star-Whale’s Ghost
by Devin Miller
by Spencer Nitkey
Letters From Mt. Monroe Elementary, Third Grade
by Sarah Pauling
The Geist and/in/as the Boltzmann Brain
by M. J. Pettit
by Emilee Prado
Bone Talker, Bone Eater
by D. S. Ravenhurst
by Mike Reeves-McMillan
This Week in Clinical Dance: Urgent Care at the Hastings Center
by Lauren Ring
BUDDY RAYMOND’S NO-BULLSHIT GUIDE TO DRONE HUNTING
by Gillian Secord
How to Kill the Giant Living Brain You Found In Your Mother’s Basement After She Died
by Alex Sobel
They Are Dancing
by John Stadelman
In the Shelter of Ghosts (already posted at the time this announcement is posted)
by Risa Wolf
by Mason Yeater