At Bartleby Snopes, we don’t feel we have anything to hide from our readers and submitters. In fact, we think being transparent enhances the experience for anyone interested in the magazine (especially those interested in submitting).

Near the beginning of each month, we will present all of the submission data from the previous month right here on this blog. We want you to know how many stories we received, how many we declined, and so forth. But we aren’t stopping there. We actually want you to know why we rejected the stories we did. While we aren’t going to post hundreds of rejection letters, we are going to break down our rejections into a way we think you will be able to understand.

Why are we doing this? By sharing all of this data, we think we can provide our potential authors with more information about what we want. Ultimately, this means you won’t be wasting your time when you submit to Bartleby Snopes. As writers, we understand how difficult and nerve-wracking it can be to submit your work. This is our way of taking a little of the pain away (or possibly adding more pain).

Here are the numbers from March:

Total Submissions received (not including Editor Applications): 233

  • Number of Acceptances: 5
  • Number of Rejections: 221
  • Number of Withdrawals: 6
  • Number of Rewrite Requests: 1

Submission Stats by Category

  • Flash Fiction submissions: 106 (104 declined, 2 withdrawn)
  • Short Story submissions: 105 (97 declined, 3 withdrawn, 5 accepted)
  • Flash Novel submissions: 22 (20 declined, 1 withdrawn, 1 pending)
  • Assistant Editor applications: 22 (15 declined, 4 pending, 3 accepted)

Total Acceptance rate for March (not including applications): 2.14%

  • Flash Fiction Acceptance rate for March: 0%
  • Short Story Acceptance rate for March: 4.76%
  • Flash Novel Acceptance rate for March: 0%

Interesting Fact: We accepted 0% of the submissions to our “no feedback” categories. This isn’t always the case, but it was for this past month. With any of these numbers, it’s important to note that this was just one month, so these numbers are not necessarily typical of our overall acceptance rates.

We aren’t going to spend time explaining why we selected the stories we did. You can read those yourself in the magazine. However, we did break down the most common reasons we rejected stories. Thank you to Senior Assistant Editor Christopher Garry for putting together what we think is the first Rejection Tag Cloud in litmag history:

Reasons for litmag rejections

We hope you have enjoyed the first edition of Literary Magazine Transparency. Come back next month to see how we’re doing. As always, thank you for reading the work we publish.

Nathaniel Tower

Nathaniel Tower is the founding and managing editor of Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine and Press. Find out more about Nathaniel at nathanieltower.com.

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