September 7, 2022

Submission Fees & Transparency, 2021-22

When we opened to new submissions on September 1, 2021, we began to charge $3 per submission and pay writers $50 for each acceptance of any length. Of course, we are excited to put submission fees to good use and back in the hands of not only writers, but also the community at large. We do consider this a profound shift in our relationship to submitting writers, and we want to make transparent our intentions and actions in taking in fees. So here is a breakdown of our numbers for the previous submission year. 

September 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022 

Total Submissions: 2,381 

Submissions by Status
Accepted: 54
Declined: 2,068
Withdrawn: 259

Submissions by Type
Fiction: 996
Poetry: 677
Poetry by LGBTQIA (free submissions): 149
Nonfiction: 323
Comics/Lists: 236

During the 2019-2020 submission season we read 3,739 submissions. In 2020-21, we responded to 3,752 submissions. So initiating fees dropped our submission totals by 1,371. 

Follow the Money 

For each $3 submission fee, Submittable grabs their cut of $1.15 and sends us a check of $1.85 per submission. Submittable publicly posts that they take $1.14 out of a $3 submission, but we’ve arrived at $1.15 by looking at a few monthly statements and dividing the total take by the # of submissions that month.  

Some math: We saw 2,381 submissions, though 149 of those were free to LGBTQIA submitting writers. 2,232 paid submissions x $1.85 per = $4,129.20.  

What have we done with the $4,129.20 brought in by submission fees? More math: 

54 Accepted works x $50 per = $2,700 back to writers. 

At the end of the fall semester, we donated $500 to the Indy Community Pantry.  

At the end of the spring semester, we donated $500 to Indiana Youth Group.  

In summary, submission fees brought in $4,129.20 and we paid out $3,700, leaving us a total of $429.20.