Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Male/Female Submission Process

A few days ago I mentioned a blog post that riffed off a WSJ  article about women using male pseudonyms to get better sales for their books.  Since then io9 has referenced the article and one of the topics that has come up in the comments was the fact that people are reading more male authors than female. 

All of this reminded me of a recent posting on the Clarkes World blog about their slush pile.  They broke it down by gender and genre, with male authors submissions double, or more, in most cases than female submissions.  I've often wondered if this were a regular occurrence for most magazines.  I spoke once with Anthony Neil Smith, editor of Plots With Guns at the time, and he told me at that time they received more submissions from male than female authors also.

When you're outnumbered more than two to one in the slush piles the odds are that more male writers are going to grab those open slots.  So maybe it's not just about prejudice against a female author, but the overwhelming number of submissions by male writers putting the odds in their favor.

So, any other editors out there finding that same ratio of submissions or is this simply something that goes on more in the sci-fi genre?  Curious minds want to know.


Court Merrigan said...

Don't know about SF, but at Out of the Gutter, we receive vastly more subs from men than women. Like 4 to 1. I would LOVE to publish more women, but considering that I reject about four or five times more stories than I accept, regardless of gender, it makes it tough.

When I edited the PANK Pulp Issue, we got something like 400 subs, and the ratio was better. I didn't count and you couldn't always tell from the name / bio but I bet something like 150 of the 400 were from women.

Hey, so speaking of, Sandra - how's about you send me something over at OOTG? :)

sandra seamans said...

Thanks for the info, Court! And I'll keep you in mind, but I haven't written anything lately that's a fit with OOTG. Though I have been published at the FFO and in two of their print issues :)

Chris Rhatigan said...

For All Due Respect, it's not even close. I would say about the same as Court mentioned for OOTG.

sandra seamans said...

Makes you wonder why women don't submit as often as their male counterparts, Chris. I wonder if women are more into writing novels than short stories and that's the difference? Or if women tend more towards the cozy or romance markets.

shagbark said...

Perhaps men are better-able to deal with rejection due to having to ask women out.

sandra seamans said...

You could be right, shagbark :)