As I continue to tweak our submissions database, more data becomes available/clear. For example, the most-prolific-submitters list is now working again, and since I've been thinking about author gender stats lately, I looked at it in that light.
Turns out that of the sixteen authors who've submitted fifteen or more stories to us over the lifetime of the magazine, only one is female.
We've been taking submissions for about 30 months (not counting the two December closures), so submitting 15 stories to us means roughly one every two months, if you started around when we launched. But since our average response time is under a month, it should be possible to send us a dozen stories in a year (if you're so inclined) if you send us something new as soon as we reject a story. (Unless, of course, we tend to hold onto your stories longer than usual, which is certainly true for some authors.)
So I wonder if female authors are less likely than male authors to have a large number of stories on hand to send out, and/or less likely to write new stories at the rate of one or more a month.
Of course, there are lots of possible explanations for these numbers. For example, it's possible that female authors are more likely to focus on novels, and thus less likely to finish short stories regularly.
And of the fifty-one authors who've submitted ten or more stories to us, twelve are female; that's not as skewed a ratio, though it's still not as high as the total percentage of submitters who are female.
Anyway, prolificness per se doesn't seem to correlate strongly (either positively or negatively) with quality. But it does make me wonder about one of the things Sue Linville mentioned in her SFWA Bulletin article about author gender: I think (I don't have the article handy at the moment) that a couple of editors she quoted suggested that female authors might be more likely to get discouraged more easily than male authors, might be less likely than male authors to keep submitting to a market that had rejected them.
So I have questions.
Authors of all genders: do you get discouraged by rejections from a given market? Do you give up after a certain number of tries? If so, what factors, if any, would make you less likely to give up? (For example, do personal (non-form) rejections make you more likely to try again?) If you don't want to post a public comment, feel free to drop me a note in email.
Editors: do you notice any interesting trends in author gender? I realize that's a vague question; I'm curious about all sorts of related issues, and I'd love to hear observations.