August 2023

Our July submission period has now ended. Thank you to everyone who submitted a story! We received 275 stories that we are now busy reading. We expect to have read all the stories and made our decisions by the end of November. 

We have previously explained our process and how the queue works, and nothing has changed much. But we'll explain again for people who hate following links.

When a story first arrives, it goes into our unclaimed pile. From there, Donald and Kristin and our first readers can claim them, either one at a time or several at once. Donald and the first readers tend to grab the earliest stories first. Kristin tends to claim the stories from authors we know and/or have published before. You might think this shows favoritism, but unfortunately for them, Kristin is the most selective of our readers, and fewer stories make it past her than anyone else. We do like to give personalized rejections to people we know or have worked with before, though, and Kristin is best at that. Donald tends to just hit the form rejection button.

After the first pass, which rejects 67-80% of the stories, first readers send their surviving stories to the Second Round pile, which Donald and Kristin check periodically to see if there are stories they need to read. When Donald or Kristin read a story, whether taken from the unclaimed stories or the Second Round stories, and decide it might be one we want to publish, we send the story to the other editor. If the other person agrees, that story goes to the Final Round pile. These are all stories which we agree would be good stories for Mysterion, but typically we end up with about 20 stories in Final Round at the end of the submission period, after we've read everything. We don't usually accept any story until we've read them all. And we typically only have room for 7 stories from each submission period, so we always end up rejecting more than half of the stories we'd like to publish. 

As you can see, the order in which stories are read can be variable. Since you don't know who grabbed your story, and how many other stories they have to read, and how quickly they'll get through them, it's hard to tell how close your story is to a decision solely by its place in the queue. It also depends on the reader's priorities. First readers only do the first pass. Kristin tends to prioritize stories which no one has read, while Donald prioritizes stories he's received from others, whether from Kristin or Second Round. We do read all the stories (unless they exceed our word count limit of 9000 words), though not necessarily all the way through.

For those who obsessively watch their position in the queue, some advice:
  • Don't worry if your story sits at the head of the queue for the while. It could mean that someone claimed it and hasn't gotten to it yet, but it could also mean that it's made it past one (or more) readers, and is waiting for the next reader to have a chance to look at it. It could even be in the Final Round, and you won't hear anything until we make our final decisions at the end. 
  • Don't worry if your story gets rejected without ever making it near the front of the queue. That doesn't mean we didn't read it. Either there are a lot of stories ahead of yours that made it to Second Round or Final Round, or it's been read out of order, because Kristin grabbed it or other stories are sitting in someone's personal queue.
We hope this helps those who are interested or anxious to better understand our process, and we look forward to reading your stories!

Although we haven't read enough of the July submissions to identify any particular trends, we're always developing our understanding of what exactly it is that we're looking for. We've realized recently that we aren't so into stories about whether or not something is a sin, especially if your primary goal as an author seems to be convincing the reader to agree with you. This is equally true whether the point of your story is that traditionalist Christians need to lighten up, or that more liberal Christians don't take sin seriously enough, and we receive plenty of stories from both perspectives. 


Our August story, by Ann McCurdy, is about an immortal fairy creature forced to spend one year as a human, who wonders why humans were foolish enough to choose the Tree of Knowledge over the Tree of Life. Don't miss "The Carelessness of Endless Summer", appearing on August 28th!


Many thanks to those who increased their Patreon support to get us back over the $200/month mark! This will allow us to continue featuring new artwork every 3 months instead of having to go to every 4 months.

We're now at $207/month. If you're not supporting us yet, please consider signing up to help us meet our next fundraising goal! Once we're at $275/month, we'll be able to start publishing 16 stories each year instead of 14.

$3/month is the level that gets you early access to all our stories, delivered to your inbox (or viewable on our Patreon page), but even $1/month includes behind-the-scenes posts about our publishing adventures, and the ability to participate in our monthly Discord chats. $10/month also includes an e-book of all the upcoming stories every 2 months. 

It costs a lot to publish Mysterion, and we don't make any money off of it. If you appreciate what we're doing, helping us out with regular financial contributions through Patreon is the best way to support us.

The second best way is to buy copies of our two anthologies! Both are available as paperbacks or e-books. The original Mysterion anthology includes stories that you can't find anywhere else. Mysterion 2: Stories from the Online Magazine 2018-19 is exactly what you'd think from the name; however, even though you can read all the stories here at our website with no paywall, it's an attractive book that will look great on your shelf or that of another fantasy & science fiction lover, and the e-book is a great option for those who find that format more convenient than having to click through to each story. (There are also non-Amazon options available. But keep in mind that, since we use Amazon's KDP Publishing for the paperbacks, if you order them from Barnes & Noble instead, Barnes & Noble will just order them from Amazon and ship them on to you. E-books sold on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes are published directly through those platforms, with no Amazon connection.)


Kristin has been enjoying the chance to get outside and enjoy the summer weather, with some hiking (see photo above), a beach day in Rhode Island, and a polo match north of Boston (as a spectator, not a player). Donald is still traveling a lot for work to Houston, where he tries to avoid going outside as much as possible.

Right now, Kristin's 17-year-old nephew Sam is visiting us from Calgary for two and a half weeks. We started off his Boston visit with a trip to New York City, visiting Times Square, the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, and the One World Observatory in the new World Trade Center tower.

Our cat Maxwell hasn't had any recent ER or urgent care visits, and his new urinary care diet seems to be keeping the struvite crystals under control. Since cats that develop dangerous amounts of struvite or calcium oxalate crystals in their bladders are often dehydrated, we've set up additional water fountains throughout the house to encourage him to drink more. The latest one arrived in a box that doubles as a food puzzle. Despite Maxwell dominating the action in this video, Marie was the one who managed to get the treats out of the box.

Maxwell and Marie both enjoy spending time on the porch, especially when the weather's decent and we have the windows open. Although they aren't great mousers (or maybe the mice just don't spend a lot of time where the cats are allowed to go), we have noticed that there aren't as many house flies inside since we got them. We'll take that!

Thanks for reading, and please do come back on August 28th for Ann McCurdy's story!

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