Have you ever had to get your carpets cleaned? Before the cleaner comes you have to clear your floors. Well, being behind on slush was like that. The piles of e-slush when I took over A&A were not all that tall and threatening. Then we got better known: Abyss & Apex started getting awards & honors. We got a reputation for finding new talent--25 percent of our authors are first-time publications. Many A&A authors have gone on to become well-known authors.
When I became managing editor in 2005 the zine had 2,000 unique visitors a year; now we get 3,000 to 4,000 unique visitors a DAY. The submissions period was originally open, then I cut it to four months a year. Recently that became four weeks a year, because we were getting about 1,500 submissions a reading period. This was unmanageable, and failed attempts to try and automate the submissions process only took time away from catching up.
One of the legacies of Carmelo Rafala's year editing Abyss & Apex was a new submissions policy. Now, at the end of the reading period, only the Second Opinions (stories sent up to senior editors for a decision) would remain in our inbox, and those would be decided on by the next reading period. I hired an Editorial Assistant, Christine Matthews, and we worked hard on clearing the decks.
I am pleased to report to you all that it worked. Our carpets are now squeaky clean . . . I mean, our slush is up-to-date. If you have something you sent before this last November 2013 reading period, and you've not heard from us please query.
Being caught up also meant I could train new staff. Please welcome our new associate editor Tonya Liburd, who will be assisting with second opinions. And thanks for your help this year, Carmelo. I'm back running the magazine, but glad you stayed on as our European Editor.
- Wendy S, Delmater
Editor & Publisher