How are you, my fellow laureates?
It’s getting to be the end of the submission cycle for winter/spring journals. We are tired people. So many submissions!
It’s also that time of year when we all pull out our calculators, or ask someone, anyone better at math to crunch the numbers, or we just give up all around and try and Google it.
It’s not just tax season, people. It’s the time that writers check their email by the minute waiting for the accepted/rejected emails. It’s also the time when, when you read for the fiction team, and you cry a little when you look at ALL the submissions that have JUST come in that day, and you wonder why you agreed to do this in the first place.
So, let’s crunch the numbers for Lunch Ticket, shall we?!
Fiction gets 14 slots to fill in the upcoming issue. We have split it up so that we have 10 slots for fiction over five pages long, and 4 slots for flash fiction, or fiction less than four pages long.
As of today, when I did all the maths, Lunch Ticket has received 218 fiction submissions, and counting.
And now it is time do some magic!
(also called math)
If we do the mathemagic, then we see that with just the submissions we have now and the slots we have, every piece has a 6% chance of filling that slot.
However, so far, we have only accepted 8.
I say again, we have only accepted 8.
This makes our acceptance rate 3.36 %.
Which makes our rejection rate almost 96%.
Granted, the rejection percentage will come down when we close to submissions. If we project our stats, I think our acceptance rate might go up to around 5%, thus lowering our rejection rate a bit.
Doing some more mathemagic, let’s look at who we are accepting:
So far, we have accepted 5 men and 3 women (one person submitted with just their initials, so who knows?).
Our acceptance rate for men is about 3.3 %, but for women we have barely cleared 1%. These are the numbers that our literary magazine looks at when accepting new pieces. We are trying very hard to have our final count be 7 women and 7 men. We just have a lot of sorting to do until we have our final numbers.
Why, as a writer, are these numbers important? Because we spend so much time writing our own stories that we forget that other people are doing the same. When we turn to the business end of writing and getting published, if we want to increase our chances of getting published, it helps to know where we would have the best chance of that happening.
Transparency in numbers is hard to find for other lit mags. However, Bartleby Snopes has a good breakdown of their own stats. When I compared their data with ours, our rates of rejections and acceptances are running pretty close to each other.
What does this mean?
It means that an acceptance rate around 3% is pretty standard for just about every literary magazine. This means that it is still tough to get your work published with online lit mags such as ourselves.
So, we need to do what Dory tells us, and just keep swimming. While the numbers are daunting, it should remind us all that our personal fiction needs to be the best it can be in order to be published. All we can do is just keep writing.
Caitlin was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She still lives there, and this makes her a rare unicorn in a sea of transplanted twenty-somethings who came to be artists and drink cheap beer. Also, she is now in her 30s and has moved on to Bourbon. She is a current MFA candidate in fiction at Antioch University LA. She has been published here and there with the last one being in Chiasmus Press’ Stories from the Edge: A Northwest Anthology.