News: Submissions Summary (2016)

For a few years I kept a record of submissions to Neon Literary Magazine, in the hopes that it would be fun and instructive. In fact, you can take a look at the summaries for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 by clicking the appropriate links. In 2015 I decided against continuing this series – although it was fun to see just how many submissions I had read in the previous year, the metrics I was tracking didn’t really convey anything useful.

This year, I’m bringing back the annual submissions summary, but with some new (and hopefully more illuminating) categories. Here are the numbers, with explanations to follow.

Total Number Of Submissions Received: 1654
Submissions From Supporters: 202 (12.2%)
Submissions From Non-Supporters: 1452 (87.8%)

Number Accepted: 24 (1.5%)
Number Declined: 1590 (96.1%)
Number Withdrawn By Author: 40 (2.4%)

Average Submissions Received Per Day: 4.5
Average Response Time: Sixty Days

It’s great to see that in 2016, 12.2% of all submissions came from writers who had chosen to support the magazine in some way – whether that was by making a donation, purchasing an issue, or signing up for a subscription. That’s up by around 1.2% from 2014. I’d like to aim for around 20%, as this level of support would mean the magazine would likely never be short of funds again.

Shortlisted Submissions: 146 (8.8%)
Unusable Submissions: 203 (12.3%)

Shortlisted submissions are ones that were kept back for repeated readings, and almost made it into the magazine. It can be really tough to choose from the many brilliant works received, and sometimes it takes two, three or even four reads to decide whether or not a piece is right for Neon. Last year, in addition to the 40 authors published, 146 were shortlisted.

Unusable submissions are ones which I couldn’t properly consider for the magazine. This includes submissions which were openly sent to hundreds of editors via a carbon copy email blast, submissions of full-length and non-fiction books, submissions with openly-threatening cover letters, submissions without contact details or any identifying features, or submissions which came with unworkable requests regarding publication attached (for example, “please only consider for publication in your US edition”).

Geographical Breakdown
UK: 33.8%
Rest Of Europe: 3.0%
USA: 61.8%
Rest Of World: 1.4%

In 2016, most submissions received were from the USA, with submissions from the UK coming second. Submissions from the rest of Europe and the rest of the world combined made up just 4.4% of submissions, but came from a long list of countries which included Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Malaysia, India and Nigeria. I’d be delighted to see further submissions from all of these places and more in the coming year!