Disappearing stories?

Love the site! Been reading these for years!

I submitted a story back in mid/late November. I remembered I had recently and went through both the ‘newest’ category and unfiltered stories through to the day before I posted, but didn’t see it in either.

I’m just wondering if it’s just been lost or was tossed to the ether or is stuck in a massive backlog. I don’t mind either way, just wondering if I’ll ever see it again. My memory of the incident has been fading and since I wrote it when the memory was fresh I thought it’d be fun to look back at it. Does it typically take weeks for a story to be seen even in the unfiltered section?

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Hello!
Not being staff, I can’t say what happened to your story, but, from what I have learned around here, there are two routes for a submitted story.

  • It goes into the backlog → it is deemed not worthy → it goes into Unfiltered without any further ado.
  • It goes into the backlog → it is deemed worthy to be a NAx story → it gets edited and scheduled to be published at some later date → it gets published at that date.

So, if the editors decided your story is worthy to be a NAx story, you will not see it in Unfiltered. Thus, it’s either still in the backlog or will be published on the main site.
(Just for completeness’ sake, occasionally, a story gets “rescued” from the Unfiltered section, but that is quite rare.)

We have no idea about the size of the NAx backlog (but the editors here hinted at it being very large) or how the editor team decides what gets published when. There have been stories that were not published for a year or more, while others get published rather quickly.

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Welcome @Ket. Also not being staff, this thread describing the process may be worth a quick read! The other consideration not mentioned is what category your story is likely to fall in. Submit a NAx relating to one of the rarer categories and your story may pass through the backlog faster.

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And the backlog for Unfiltered is a few months shy of 3 years at the current moment. They’ve only just gotten to stories from the very beginning of the pandemic in the US (March 2020) roughly a month ago.

But it’s also rather inconsistent. A story I submitted within the last year showed up in unfiltered months ago.

I think there’s a different queue for each separate type of story (NAR, NAW, NAL, NAF, etc.) and also a separate pipeline for stories from other sources, a la Reddit.

I’ve seen Reddit stories come up within months of the original posts on the site there - sometimes weeks. But that too depends on the tag that the story is being filed under, some stories make it early, and others I get deja vu about a year later.

My personal experience: One submission I made in May-June 2019 made it to Unfiltered in Mar 2022. The story itself made it to the main site in August 2022. Meanwhile, I’d lightly edited the story and put it up on the forums in August 2021, and it seems that was the reason why the OG story was found and put up a year later. It also went through a tag change - I’d submitted it under NAHopeless (since defunct, now those stories are under the Inspirational tag) but it was published under NALearning.

Meanwhile, a comment I had made in August 2021 on the forums here was identified as post-worthy in July 2022 and made it to the main site in October 2022.

Effectively, my experience as above says that the submissions forms are the slowest of all pipelines, and stories that are almost print-worthy from other sources tend to get published faster.

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