Another change for week 110 so I’ll get on with the reviews and then explain myself.
We had a mix of horror, markets, a ‘legal’ killing, a fishing technique and a town’s history.
Only one new person this week. As usual, our initial comments follow.
‘Raymond is a writer who has his own style.’
‘It is the voice that makes this story.’
‘I enjoyed this, so amusing.’
Ben DeValve was the said new author. We wish him all the best and hope he has fun on site.
‘The Festival‘ was next up on Tuesday.
‘A really good tale.’
‘Well put together and an entertaining read.’
‘The reader had a sense of unease from the start.’
‘I’m reading a James Patterson at the moment, James story beats it hands down.’
‘This author is a find! He can write and what he writes is always interesting.’
‘Really good and realistic dialogue.’
‘This is really rather beautiful.’
‘Too good to pass on.’
‘Another wonderful story from a very talented writer.’
And just like Thursday, there is no need to introduce the very productive Mr Tom Sheehan (more on him later). He finished off the week for us. ‘The Lobster That Wouldn’t Sleep‘ was our story on Friday.
‘An absolutely wonderful beautifully told story.’
‘We had sadness, tragedy, comedy and wisdom, I loved it.
‘I enjoyed the whole feel of this excellent realistic story.’
And now for something completely different. We have a collaboration this week folks.
My fellow editor has some very interesting facts for you. Nik knows it all. How many alphabets the Welsh language uses, how many words Tom Sheehan has written, how many stories Adam Kluger has submitted, how many comments June and Doug have made, how many positive adjectives Fred has received, how real are James Hanna’s stories, how many glasses of wine Diane has of a morning, how proud and privileged we are to work with all these writers, he knows it all. Even to how many swear words I have used.
Now Mr Eveleigh stated to me once, not that long ago, that Nerdness is the new rock n’ roll…And I hate to admit it, he has a point. Never has so much geekdom been cool and relevant and I tip my hat to that..I don’t fecking understand it, not the fact, just the whole of technology etc.
I think the brilliance of Jim Parsons and co has opened our eyes to knowledge, bullying and acceptance of the uncool becoming cool! (Like Jimmy Dean with a doctorate.) Maybe even a touch of Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce before them opened a door ever so slightly!
But this got me thinking on the original geek, who was it? There is a case for Sherlock or Van Helsing but I don’t think that they had their geek on. They were well educated but Sherlock was out his tits and Van Helsing, well he was a metaphor for penicillin! (Or the need for it as some of our more narrow minded bible-bashers may believe). So even though they were geek-like they were acceptably cool.
Nik mentioned rock n’ roll so we could mention Thomas Dolby who went from being blinded by science with Magnus Pike to toad liking and that makes him really cool. Magnus Pike had really long arms, he would have done well in some sort of gynaecology or giraffe veterinary but not music, his guitar would have been at his ankles.
A lot of Rock N’ Rollers were very intelligent people except Bieber who isn’t Rock N’ Roll and isn’t a geek, he is simply a see you next Tuesday.
But who was the original, well I may be a bit out there but I think there are obvious reasons that we could say Brain from Thunderbirds. That is an obvious choice. He was clever and wore big glasses. Unfortunately we cannot associate any male geek with having wood all the time, they’d have had no need for it. So I reckon we should bomb him out. My winner would be Velma from Scooby Doo. She always knew what he would do and what had to be done. And when you saw her being played by Linda Cardellini, well Brain might have had a point!!
So now over to my good friend and interesting Fact Meister Mr Nik Eveleigh…
Thanks Hugh. Before I start I can quickly answer a couple of your questions, as I know you’re desperate to find out. Wales technically has two alphabets – the standard boring English one and the Welsh one which has no k,q,v or z but still has 29 letters. Tom Sheehan has submitted nearly 50,000 more words than any other contributor to the site with a whopping total of 129,524 (although interestingly he does not lead the pack in terms of number of stories submitted – that honour falls to our very own Tobbe Haglund with 61). Adam Kluger has raised his bat with a solid 50, comments and adjectives will be have to wait for the next installment from me (because I need to plug directly into WordPress for that) and my data visualisation software crashed when calculating your profanity ratios. James Hanna’s stories are as real as your imagination decides and measuring Diane’s wine intake of a morning may lead to questions about my own so I shall abstain (a phrase you seldom hear dropping from my wine-soaked lips).
As for being proud and privileged? Immeasurably so.
So yes, I am the resident data nerd. Part of my working life involves analysing and visualising data to create things like this…
…so it didn’t take too much persuasion for me to start digging around in our master submissions spreadsheet to see what I could find out. The trouble is…where to start…
I mean, I could tell you we have now received, read, discussed and replied to 1309 stories totaling 2,146,589 words from 577 different authors.
Or I could mention that we haven’t had a month with less than 50 submissions in the last year and the numbers are climbing.
When we started in 2014, 30% of the submissions came from the five members of the editing team. In 2016 we contributed fewer than 5% and so far in 2017 we’re down close to 2%.
This is probably the most telling statistic in terms of how much the site really is all about the authors.
Maybe some genre facts would grab you.
Did you know…Science Fiction, at 53.33%, has the highest acceptance rate of any genre?
(Romance is languishing in last place with a strike rate of only 20.51%).
Even the days of the week have a statistical story to tell
For some bizarre reason stories submitted on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays statistically seem to have a much better chance of success. Those three days all have a success rate of about 45% (the rest are under 40%)
…and Saturday is 34% so clearly there’s a lot of drunk Friday night editing going on in the writing world…
The thing about data is that you can make it tell any story you want. So that’s precisely what I’d like to do. For those of you who read this slot regularly you’ll know that Hugh has a recurring theme – perseverance. Keep writing. Keep trying. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.
Over 70% of the authors who have submitted to LS have done so…ONCE.
Over TWO HUNDRED AUTHORS have sent us a story, been rejected and never submitted to us again…
…which, considering what a lovely bunch of people we are makes us quite sad. But it highlights what Hugh keeps saying about perseverance.
Our acceptance rate over the years sits at just over 40%. That’s including pieces the editors themselves submit. Worse odds than a coin flip.
Editorial team fact: we have collectively combined for over 60 rejections from LS.
Take two excellent authors we mentioned earlier:-
Tom Sheehan has had 15 stories rejected by us…
Adam Kluger has had 23 rejections…
And yet they persevere, and keep submitting and have given us some of the finest short stories we’ve had the privilege and pleasure to publish.
I hope you’ve had some fun with the numbers and I think I can safely say on behalf of the rest of the editors, we can’t wait for the extra workload as the submissions continue to grow. Thanks for making LS such a statsworthy place!
Oh, and as an extra thank you from me…you might want to think about writing a sci-fi story of between 500 and 1000 words. Maybe submit it on a Friday too, just to be safe…
Cheers Nik. After all that statistical stuff, I think I’ll go for A Big Bang while thinking of Velma!!!
Nik and Hugh.
Note: All data visualisations were created using Tableau and will (hopefully) soon be interactive, prettier and available on the web…