Why I am Examining the Diversity of Authors Submitting to Calls For Submissions
I'm going to examine the diversity of authors in my slush pile.
There's a very specific reason for this: It means that I have no excuses.
Because many of my projects are anthologies, there are lots of possible confounding variables if you simply look at a Table of Contents. Is it the nature of the project? The pay rate? The anthologist's taste in stories? The anthologist's reputation? It's all too easy to come up with a reasons for a Table of Contents to have the amount of diversity (good or bad) that it has.
I believe that to actually address representation in our literature, we must encourage submissions from all peoples. While looking at a Table of Contents may give you a rough idea of the outcome, it could also be masking a disproportionately low submission rate.
Once I assess the demographic and authorial characteristics of submissions to Alliteration Ink, I will then be in a better place to determine what I need to do to encourage and make sure that submissions are proportionate across as many socioeconomic groups as possible.
As I get this data, I will be sharing the aggregate data (no individually identifying data will be shared) and its analysis publicly.
Added for clarity on 3 June: I, as publisher, am not involved in selecting stories for anthologies. That is why I am evaluating these variables instead of the people selecting stories. The two processes are to remain separate.
I want my editors to have the widest range of great stories to select from. That is why I will work to encourage submissions from all types of authors. If there is a lack of diversity, then the best response is to encourage more participation from underrepresented groups.