The End of the Beginning

We've made it all the way through the first submission period. We received a total of 263 stories (excluding withdrawn stories and rewritten stories)! Thank you for being willing to share your precious stories with us. While we have only 10 available publishing slots to fill from this submission window, we know that every single story is a labor of love. We will do our best to choose great stories that best fit our vision for Mysterion.

So, what happens next?

Well, to explain that, let us explain a little bit about our process for reading stories. When your story first arrives, Moksha puts it in the Unclaimed category (Moksha is the submissions handling system we use). There it sits until someone claims it.  Usually this is done by one of our first readers: Hannah Eagleson, Lelia Foreman, and Travis Perry. Our first readers are the first challenge that a story has to pass through. They claim a batch of stories, usually starting with the oldest ones, and after reading them, reject, on average, two thirds of them. Two thirds is a rule of thumb, not an immutable law, but it helps to keep the number manageable for Donald and Kristin.

Stories that pass the first readers go to the second round. Here, one of the editors, usually Donald, will read through the stories and decide which ones are good enough, powerful enough, and, importantly, active enough, to send on to Kristin. Donald likes stories where things happen. It doesn't have to be action, necessarily, but stories which consist mostly of talking or pondering are a hard sell to him. He generally rejects about half of the second round stories, then forwards the survivors to Kristin for a second opinion.

Kristin doesn't just wait for Donald to send her stories, however. In addition to reading the stories that he sends her, she also claims stories from the Unclaimed category, taking stories from people we know or whom we've published before, or whose perspectives particularly interest us. While these authors do get to skip the first readers, we don't judge the stories more leniently.  Kristin probably rejects five-sixths of the stories she plucks from the unclaimed category. Those few who do make it through are then sent to Donald for a second opinion.

Once Donald and Kristin have each rendered a second opinion on the piece, we then decide whether to keep it or not. We tend to be more lenient on second opinions, rejecting less than half the stories. If the story makes it through the second opinion, it is assigned to Mysterion Editors. These stories, probably about a tenth of the stories which we received, will be the ones from which we will select our 10 stories to publish.

So where are we in this process? As of yesterday, all stories had been claimed, and our first readers had xy left to read. Donald and Kristin between them have zz stories to read, of which xx are pieces requiring a second opinion. Finally, xx stories have already been assigned to Mysterion Editors, and are being held for final consideration.

We'll be getting through the rest of the stories as quickly as possible, and hope to let you know which stories we've chosen in about a month. Expect to see the first one published here in late April!

Support Mysterion on Patreon! Patrons at the $3+ level get early access to all the stories that will be published each month, and $10+ Patrons receive a complimentary ebook every two months, with the next two months' worth of upcoming stories.