Thursday, May 19, 2011

Acceptance, Rejection, and Time of Publication

I have a blog about my reading. I have a Web site about me--mostly my work--that is infrequently updated, infrequently visited, and not very personal. Perhaps, some people might be intrigued to read personal observations and things like that. After all, I sometimes visit random people's blogs for exactly that purpose, and some folks are interesting. So this blog is about me, the personal me. Sort of. (I don't expect it to be too regular, since I'm waylaid with other projects pretty much all the time.)

I love statistics. I've been known to keep track of myself this way. So I figured that occasionally, I'd share statistical insights with others.

Today, having received this week a copy of the latest Concho River Review, which features a story of mine, I decided to ruminate on publication data. (You can purchase a copy on CRR's Web site here; it features the work of a lot of folks more established than I am and includes some fantastic poetry, my favorite being one called "Numbers" by Mary Soon Lee.) I've been waiting on this magazine and one other to appear for a while and have become somewhat anxious about them, because I need a certain number of print publications to be able to enter a contest next month. Could it be that online publication has spoiled me with its immediacy?

So I look at the facts. Here is how long it has taken for publications of mine to appear after acceptance in the last three years.

As you can see, most publications occur within one month. However, there are a few that took many months. Only three of the publications are print journals, and of those, two of them are in the more than twelve months category, with one of them being in the three to four months category. Print publication obviously takes a bit longer.

Does the same hold up for time that one submits a piece to time it is accepted? Let's see:

Here one can see that, contrary to my expectations (and those of some writer friends), the longer a journal has a story does not equate with the more likely it is to be accepted. Generally, if the story is going to be accepted, it's going to happen sooner rather than later. The print journals here fall anywhere in the three to six months camp. Curiously, the more than twelve months acceptance: it was thirteen months, by an online journal. Usually, I assume the piece was lost or rejected after twelve months, so that acceptance was a welcome surprise.

Looking at this, I guess all those publications that have been holding on to something of mine for six months, I should expect rejection from, since that would seem to be more the norm. Or would it? What I'd really need is a chart showing the percentage breakdown of time spent versus rejection/acceptance, but I'll save that for another day.

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