What I think of ChatGPT as a Short Story Submissions Reader

Dewi Hargreaves 🏹
5 min readFeb 22, 2023
source: pixabay

I’m in charge of anthologies at a small indie press. This means I decide when we open and close for submissions, what the parameters are for the selection of a story for publication, which stories — and how many — are chosen for an anthology, and what order they appear in inside the book, amongst other things.

I work with a team of readers to ensure that every submission is read — and there are always 70+ stories. This is a lot of work. We’ve had a policy till now of reading through and replying to every submission within two weeks of the submission period closing — something we’ve done because we respect the time authors put into their stories. We don’t want to keep them waiting around if they’re rejected.

Will we be able to do that when we next open for subs? I can’t tell you.

Stopping the AI Flood?

You might have seen recently that the biggest market for science fiction and fantasy short stories, Clarkesworld Magazine, has had to close to submissions after being flooded by over 500 AI-written submissions in February alone — more than they can physically keep up with. If we suffer a similar deluge… I’m not sure what action we can take to stop it.

From my position, I can see a couple of avenues.

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Dewi Hargreaves 🏹

I draw maps of places that don’t exist ✨ I write about publishing ✨ words in Noctivagant, Lost Boys, Etherea Magazine✨ editor at Lost Boys Press.