2015 marked the 8th year of publication for Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine. We remain committed to serving the writing community by publishing the best stories we can find. We also believe in transparency. By sharing as much data as we can with our readers and writers, we believe we provide a better glimpse into the world of online publishing. This also helps prospective writers understand their chances of publication as well as the benefits of having a story featured in our magazine.
2015 Submission Stats
2015 saw a new record for submissions. We received 3,591 submissions this past year, including almost 2,000 stories to our feedback categories. This was a new record for us, up from the previous record of 3,325 submissions set during 2014. As we’ve seen in the past, the majority of writers request our feedback, which typically consists of two or three sentences about why we are passing on a particular submission. This should not be misinterpreted as commentary on what it will take for a story to be publishable. Rather, it represents our reason for not accepting a story for publication in our magazine.
Here’s a visual glimpse at our submissions from 2015:
Flash fiction was more popular than longer fiction this year, with 1,525 flash stories compared to 1,472 longer works of fiction.
What did we do with all these submissions? Our staff was quite busy this year. We cast 10,002 votes on those submissions, meaning each story was read by an average of 2.8 unique readers.
We accepted 85 submissions this year, putting our acceptance rate at 2.3%. This is down from last year’s 3.4% acceptance rate. Our goal is never to reduce our acceptance rate. Rather, we simply intend to publish the work that meets our needs and tastes.
2015 Readership Stats
Submissions and published stories mean nothing if no one is looking at them. 2015 also saw record readership for the magazine. During 2015, over 36,000 visitors viewed over 153,000 pages during over 58,000 sessions on the website. This is a 12% increase in sessions and a 14% increase in users over the previous records.
It can be difficult to gauge the readership of an online magazine. We know that many of these 36,000 visitors were not active readers of our stories each month. Many of them were writers looking to be published in our magazine. Unfortunately, many writers seeking publication don’t bother to read the stories featured in that magazine. But we also know that many visitors came back to the site, and we know that our stories were read frequently and in strong numbers. Our most popular stories had over 3,000 unique pageviews this year. Our PDF issues were downloaded over 1,000 times during the course of the year. In other words, if we publish your story, people will read it.
Changes for 2016
We’re making a few changes in the coming year. We hope to bring more readers and writers to the website. And we hope to continue to make a positive mark on the literary community. Some of these changes include:
- Adjusting our publication schedule from 2 stories per week to at least 1 story per week.
- Making our $25 Story of the Month prize a permanent fixture of the magazine.
- Publishing special themed issues (TBA).
- Publishing more artwork to accompany our stories.
- Hosting special forums, including Women Who Flash Their Lit.
- Expanding our staff, including adding dedicated social media managers and artwork editors.
We’ll be announcing many more exciting changes this year, so be sure to come back often. Of course, the main reason to come back is to read amazing new fiction.
We’ll be taking January off from publishing (we’ll still be reading and responding to submissions) while we finalize Issue 14 of our print magazine. Look for the new issue soon.
Thank you for making Bartleby Snopes a staple of the literary world. We look forward to hearing from you in 2016.