End of the Submission Period

Our July submission period is now closed. We received 296 stories, and of these, we'll pick 7 to publish during January through June of 2020. Our process hasn't changed much. We have a number of first readers. They often read the story first, and send their favorites to Second Round. We (Donald and Kristin) will read the stories advanced to Second Round, or if none are there currently, from the general submissions. We'll request a second opinion from the other editor if we think it would work as a Mysterion story, or reject it if we decide it's not for us. If we both like the story, it goes to our Final Round. After we've read all the stories, we go through the stories we've sent to Final Round, and decide which 7 we'll be publishing.

All this usually takes a few months. First readers generally advance about a third of the stories they read, and Donald and Kristin between them forward maybe a fifth of those, so there will likely be around 20 stories in Final Round by the end. These aren't hard and fast rules, however, just observations from previous submission periods.

One thing we tend to do is tell you what trends we see, especially ones we're seeing a lot of, so here goes:
  1. As always, we're seeing a lot of deal with the devil stories. Of all the stories we've ever published, there are maybe one or two that could (arguably) fall into this category. We're not opposed in principle; it's just that very few of these stories do anything new.
  2. Ghost stories seem to be popular this time around, especially from the perspective of the ghost. Some are of the "people don't realize they're dead" variety, but not all.
  3. We've seen a few alternate histories where Bible characters do something different than what they did in the Bible.
  4. There are also a few trends which have been building across submission periods, but haven't reached critical mass in just this window alone:
    1. Someone sets out to clone Jesus. We always find it weird that people would think what was special about Jesus could be reproduced from his DNA.
    2. Tolkien pastiches. Especially projecting the Tolkien history into modern times.
We'll let you know if we notice any other trends. As we've said before, just because we see a lot of stories that explore a certain theme doesn't mean we won't accept yours. But, originality of concept is one of the many things that can improve a story's chances with us. And often an idea, or a "new" twist on an idea, is not quite as fresh as the author seems to believe.

Be sure to check out our July stories!

"Whoever Is Not For Us": military SF from G. Scott Huggins
"Saint Denis and the Pot of Basil": by Catherine Heloise, an historical tale of the miraculous

And come back in 3 weeks' time for Elise Forier Edie's "The Orderly", a supernatural horror story set in an abandoned nursing home. (Or support us at $3/month on Patreon, and read it now!)

Now, back to reading all those July submissions...

Support Mysterion on Patreon!


  1. Thanks for posting these statistics. They're quite enlightening, and a bit of a surprise. I thought, being a pro-rated market, you would get many times that number of submissions. Looking forward to the new selections! Good luck, authors!

    1. Well, 300 is probably about as much as we can reasonably process in time without finding some more first readers. As for why we don't get more--it's hard to say, but part of it is that we're not officially SFWA-qualified yet, and part of it is that we've only been around a year, and haven't built up that much of a reputation yet. And part of it is surely that we have a fairly specific theme, and not everyone has stories that fit that theme.


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