Contest Seven Statistics

Statistics for total contest entries, daily entry count, and entry distribution by category. We are currently in the open entry period, and are accepting poetry, prose, and artwork.

A note about revisions: because a piece may be withdrawn, revised, and re-entered until the contest deadline, only the final submission of each entry is counted. If a piece was entered on September 15, then revised at the last minute on October 1, it will appear as though it was entered on October 1 in the charts below.

Total Entries

Total: 1,424 | Poetry: 708 | Prose: 656 | Artwork: 60

Daily Entries

High: 339 | Low: 37 | Average: 79.88

Entry Categories

Poetry: 49.7% (708) | Prose: 46.1% (656) | Artwork: 4.2% (60)

Elimination Round

Entries can be held for the next round of judging, or eliminated. Entries are eliminated when they’ve received too many “No” votes from our judges to continue on to the Semifinal Round. Judges may vote “No” for many reasons unrelated to quality of the work, including:

  • The entry does not effectively match our contest theme, even if it is a very well-written piece.
  • The entry does not follow contest guidelines to remove identifying information from the manuscript (for poetry and prose) and to avoid erotica, gore, and excessive profanity, even if it is a very well-written piece.
  • The entry contains multiple discrete works which should have been entered separately.
  • The writer or artist entered more than three works in the contest.

The elimination round is complete. We have sent out notifications on for pieces which have been eliminated. You can also check the message for your entry in your Submittable submission manager.

Semifinal Round

The semifinal round is complete. We have sent out notifications on for pieces which have been eliminated. You can also check the message for your entry in your Submittable submission manager.

Final Round

The final round is complete. Winners were announced November 3, 2014. You can see the results on the main Contest Seven page.

30 thoughts on “Contest Seven Statistics

  1. Stats geek checking in, so right now it looks like you’ve got 1,427 entries, of which 85.8% have been eliminated. This means that tomorrow you’ve got to send out 1,224 disappointing emails, right?

    I don’t know how the submittable system works, but if it takes one minute per submission, that translates to over 20 hours of non-stop clicking!!!

    Thank you so much for running this contest, the amount of work behind it is staggering!

    • Yes, this has been a huge chore, but a team of volunteers has made the work pleasant (and possible).

      As for Submittable—we couldn’t even dream of hosting this contest without it, for easily two dozen reasons or more. One of its features is the ability to use templates for responses; that means we can set up the disappointing email template and select all the eliminated entries, sending a form letter to unintentionally rub salt in the wound. (That’s not what we want to do, but with 1,200+ emails to send out and each of us with day jobs, there’s not a practical way to go about it differently.)

      Thanks for participating! We’re thrilled to continue sponsoring this project.

  2. Hello! If we haven’t received an elimination email at this point, does that mean that we made it to the next round? Thank you!

      • There’s a good chance that entries which have not received notification have made it, but we still have a few eliminations to make. This is based on the number of semifinalists we choose, and it’s really hard to narrow down the list when there are so many good entries.

    • Probably, but not for sure—there are still a few last pieces for us to decide on, since we usually try to keep 15 semifinalists or fewer in each category.

      • As of today, anyone who has not received notification (and can confirm that there is no notification in their Submittable submission manager) has had their entry held for consideration in our semifinal round.

    • The semi-final round lasts until we have no more than 6 to 9 entries in poetry and prose. For artwork, all finalists will be posted for public voting as soon as we work out a random sort process so that the pieces are not always presented in the same order (which has the potential to influence votes).

    • Yes. It’s not as easy a number to stop and generate, so it may take a little bit to get precise, but there were approximately 8 artwork, 15 to 20 poetry, and 15 to 20 prose. There were more prose than poetry semifinalists.

    • The semifinal round chart now shows how many of each category moved on. I’ll work on adding that number to the elimination round chart, too.

  3. I entered a piece and haven’t gotten any email besides the one confirming my entry. Does this mean I’m in? I check junk, spam, inbox, and my submittable manager.

    • Without unmasking entrant names, I can’t say for sure; however, finalists were notified by form letter at the start of the finalist round and others were notified as their pieces were eliminated, so you should have at least received something.

      You can always check the submission history at to be sure. Click into the detail of your contest entry, and you’ll find a copy of the notification we sent out and the date we sent it.

    • I hate to suggest this … but is it possible you submitted your piece to the regular Spark queue and not to the contest? That would be hard, since there’s a required checkbox at the top of the regular queue submission form that says “I understand that this does not enter my work into the quarterly writing contest,” but I’m just trying to see if we can figure out the status of your work.

      In your submission manager ( a writing contest entry will specifically say “Spark Writing Contest” in the “Where?” column. If it just says “Spark” there, it’s not a contest entry; you uploaded your work for consideration in our regular (ongoing) submission queue.

    • Your submission will be reviewed by our readers, then passed on to me for a decision. It will either be accepted for publication using the rates at or returned to you with feedback. So, despite the disappointment of submitting differently than you thought, the outcome isn’t bad either way!

  4. Wow, your journal gets a LOT of submissions.

    Random question–I received an unsolicited e-mail from Ephemeral, which publishes work from teenagers. Being of a certain age (high school was a loooong time ago) I really don’t think Ephemeral is for me.

    I was wondering–did I receive this e-mail because I submitted to your contest? Does Spark share the contact info of authors or artists who enter your contests?

    • Definitely not!

      While we may sometimes send Empire & Great Jones Little Press email to submitters, our lists are NEVER shared or sold, nor have they been stolen.

      That’s actually something worth putting more prominently on our site. I’ll add a Privacy Policy page this week.

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