Call for Submissions: the first 45 days

My first Call for Submissions hit the newsstands and e-blogosphere around July 1, 2014. It went on Poets & Writers, both their print magazine and online component. A few more websites followed. The original ad was:
 
Are you a man? Then send me a story (fiction or non-fiction, literary or mass market) about something that happened to you, that by and large could only have happened to a man, and that will show women Who Men Are.
 
I get zero to 10 submissions a day, more when a Call is just issued – it’s hot for a week – and then it dies off.  Out of say 20 stories, 1 is just right: the writing, thinking, what it shows us about men, how it shows us.
 
About 2 are in the “maybe” category. The maybe category has two subcategories, “maybe yes” and “maybe no.”
 
I’ve also been reading books by mostly American guy writers: John Cheever, Philip Roth, John Updike, John Crawford, Michael Chabon, Tim O’Brien. I snail-mailed one of these guys months ago asking for permission, and have not heard back. Shucks, I loved his work as did my wife.

She is the final acquisitions editor. I make the first Yes/No decision on a submission. But if it is a Yes, then she reads it and gives it her Yes or No. We’ve only disagreed once so far. That is, everything I’ve thought was a Yes, she also thought was a Yes. But now we have a submission that we feel oppositely about. We’ve both promised to re-read it.
 
The better writers are the deeper thinkers. They write and think more clearly. They have more to show us, and the saying is better.
 
There are terrific exceptions to this. Sometimes a lesser writer can turn in an excellent work, a raw story that bristles with heat.
 
One fault that underlies most of the submissions that have not, uh, made the cut. They show us who the writer is, but do not show Who Men Are. That is a different reveal. Some do make that reveal, and seem to have been written expressly for this book. I appreciate that very much.
 
My Call for Submissions is spreading. I’m getting submissions from around the world: China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Spain. Submitters are mentioning that the Call was forwarded to them by a colleague. Good.
 
Submitters have been very enthused about the books topic, men’s writings for women. And women I give the book's elevator talk to, say they want a copy of this book. Sweet music.
 
But my Call for Submissions has not gone viral. Sometimes I think that would be nice, to have access to a large swath of men’s writing, and at other times I think, hmmm, 1,000 submissions a week. Could I handle that?