We reported in April that we’d had just under 1,000 submissions during our Open Door month in March. After accounting for duplicated and recalled submissions, the final tally is 944*.

Of those 944:

131 were described by the authors as horror.
318 as science fiction
423 as fantasy
72 had no genre attached (despite the submission guidelines stating a genre should be chosen. Ah, well).

Of the 131 horror submissions, 120 were rejected without calling in a full MS. 11 full manuscripts were called in, of which 1 has been rejected so far, and 10 still under consideration.**

Of the 423 fantasy submissions, 246 were rejected without calling in a full MS, 14 were rejected after calling in a full MS, 150 are still in the reading list, and 13 have been escalated to the Angry Robot editorial team.

Of the 318 SF submissions, 130 were rejected without calling in a full MS, none have yet been rejected after calling in a full MS, 186 are still in the reading list, and 2 have been escalated to the editors.

Of the “other” 72, 64 were rejected without calling in a full submission, 6 were rejected after calling in the full MS and 2 have been escalated.

So, altogether:

336 still to read.
570 rejected at partial stage.
21 rejected after calling in the full MS.
17 have so far reached the editors’ desks (that’s 2.8% of the submissions read so far).

If the remaining submissions follow the same pattern, then around 26 manuscripts will be read by the AR editorial team.

Of the 17 that have been passed up so far, 15 are still under consideration. 2 have been read and rejected. One was very good, one was exceptionally good, but not a good fit for Angry Robot.


*due to the way in which the filing system operates, these figures might be out slightly, but they’ll be more or less right.
** If you sent in a submission and marked it as horror, you should have received a response by now. If you haven’t, drop us a line through our Contact Form. (Note: if you marked it as “horror/fantasy” or “horror/SF” it’s been designated as fantasy or SF and will probably still be in our reading list, so don’t query, yet.

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  1. I’ve just been through the archives to see if there were any later updates than this – doesn’t seem like there are. Are you finished reading? I don’t think I ever got my rejection email. Just curious! It sounds like it was an interesting experiment for everyone involved.

  2. FYI, one of our readers has (with our blessing) blogged about her involvement in the Open Submissions Month – http://donnamareehanson.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/submission-reading-blog-post-one-the-process/

  3. Hi Beckah-Rah,

    Good question. The answer is: yes, we’re not accepting revised manuscripts, for several reasons:

    1) If we allow one, we’ll be deluged by hundreds, and we don’t have the resource to go through them all – particularly this close to the end of the project
    2) Unless your manuscript has gone through *major* changes, the original submission will be enough for us to tell whether it’s for us, or not
    3) If you submitted before your manuscript was ready, well… you shouldn’t have
    4) If we allow this, we’ll be effectively giving you (and any others that follow) three months more than we allowed everyone else, and goshdarnit, that just ain’t fair.

  4. Hmm…If one’s full manuscript submission hasn’t yet been read, would you all be totally averse to receiving an updated version? Say, one that has been through a few more Betas since March and might now, perhaps, be of a higher quality?

  5. Hi Jessica,

    No, we’ve not yet finished reading all the partials (except in the horror category). I’ll post more complete stats at the end of the process, but I have a couple of books to finish editing before then… 🙂

  6. What a wonderful opportunity you have given the writing community of the world! But I am confused by your figures. I am not sure if you read all the partials or not. Could you tell us how many fulls you requested in each category, and how many partials are still to be read in each category?

  7. If you’re not sure if it’s plain awful – if that’s a genuine concern – you need to send it to more beta readers, as you plainly haven’t had enough feedback on it. Alternatively, ask for honest advice at your local writing group. Writing groups, and beta readers are incredibly important tools.

  8. I think it’s a pity that we (those of us who’s partials were rejected without requesting a full MS) didn’t receive at least one sentence explaining the reason for the rejection. I would love to know whether my manuscript was just plain awful or whether it was just not right for Angry Robot.

    Not knowing this crucial bit of information leaves me unsure of how to continue…

  9. I’d also like to know if the writers will hear if their fulls are escalated to the editors?

    Thank you for posting the stats.

  10. We’ve no idea, Fabien – it’s not a question we asked. I’d guess the majority, but I could be wrong.

  11. How many submissions are from author who have written short stories before ?

  12. Ooh… I’m 1 of 10

  13. The “other” category includes those with email titles other than SF, F or Horror. Some of these may have been read, already, but the majority of these will be the last to be read.

  14. Does the “other” category include those with email titles other than ‘SF’ ‘F’ or ‘Horror’ (thus those that did not get automatically sorted)? Or is it just those that actually had no genre stated?

  15. Michael Matheson

    An Amendment –

    Missed comments 2 and 3 (Beckahrah and Lee) on the first read. From them it looks like the 336 items remaining to be read includes both partials and *some* requested fulls.

  16. Michael Matheson

    Much obliged for the update and the fun figures.

    @Darin –

    The original status update post states that the remaining 150 F and 186 SF titles are “still in the reading list”. So they’re still in the slush pile(s) awaiting perusal.

    Given the number of preliminary packages still to be read it looks like the AR Editorial team has managed to get through about the first two and a half weeks worth of initial (preliminary) submissions so far. It’ll probably be another month and a half, maybe two, before they’ll have had time to work their way through the remaining submissions.

  17. So are the authors told if their full was escalated? Or are some moved up without notification?

  18. Just clarification for everyone. It’s clear from the above description that 100% of partials in the Horror and Other category have been read.

    Can we assume that all the Fantasy and Science Fiction partials have also been processed and that the respective 150 Fantasy and 186 Science Fiction “still in the reading list” are requested fulls?

    Just curious. Thanks for the update, Lee!

  19. This is a fascinating experiment to see unfold.

    Does the return Angry Robot has had for the time investment of engaging with all of the submissions suggest that another Open Submissions month would be worthwhile?

    (Probably in several years, when the publishing queue is cleared of the results from this one…)

  20. I like this part: “none have yet been rejected after calling in a full MS.” That gives me hope.

  21. Heh. Not sure how you interpreted that as a complaint, rather than a minor bit of exasperation over a simple instruction not being followed, but yes – they’ll still be read.

  22. “despite the submission guidelines stating a genre should be chosen”

    The guidelines also specifically stated that submissions without a genre would still be read, so you can’t really complain about it!

  23. We had no firm idea of what we would get from this, as it was a brand new experiment. We’re as interested as anyone else. 🙂

  24. *phew* When I saw the title of this post I was sure you had finished everything and that my story had been missed. 🙂 It seems like you’ve found quite a few stories that interest you. Is the percentage of stories you’re looking closer at higher or lower than you expected?

  25. Thanks for the update! Always good to know.

  26. It includes the fulls that have been requested.

  27. I’m curious…does that list of 336 still in the reading list include the fulls, or just the partials left to sift through?

  28. Mwahahaha. More books for me! Good work guys 🙂 And girls?