Paddy Kelly Publishes in Analog

By Karen Hagersten

SWG member Paddy Kelly’s short story “Lonely Hearts of the Spinward Ring” appears in the April 2016 issue of Analog: Science Fiction and Fact. Analog is the longest running continuously published magazine in science fiction and historically influential in that genre. The magazine is known for its plausible speculations about the future and the way people might live.

Paddy has always been fascinated by the contact ads in the local newspaper and one day wondered how they might look if that newspaper was instead published on a multispecies space station. This short piece was the result.

Paddy's academic background is in physics, engineering and education, but it may be his experiences as a recovering on-line dater that readers will recognize in the vaguely desperate classifieds in "Lonely Hearts of the Spinward Ring." Paddy also writes poetry and novels and tweets as @spongepaddy. His rarely updated blog can be found at

So you’d like to be as popular as F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Danielle Steele?

Don’t write above school grade 8 or 9 reading level!

By Ron Pavellas

See here, by
Shane Snow: "This reading-level analysis will change the way you write."

The ‘Grade Level’ is determined by the “Flesch–Kincaid readability” screen:

I used this site to analyze a piece of my writing and received this information:

Reading Ease: A higher score indicates easier readability; scores usually range between 0 and 100. My score: 76

Grade Level: A score of around 10-12 is roughly the reading level on completion of high school. Text to be read by the general public should aim for a grade level of around 8. My score: 6.3

Additional information presented: character, syllable, and word Count; plus, characters and syllables per Word, and Words per Sentence.

Another site for text analysis: Online text analysis tool, where I find this for my text: Lexical Density : 27.0696.

“Lexical density… measures the ratio of content words to grammatical words. 
If you have a high number of content words, you’ve probably written a specialized academic text. If you have a low number of content words, you have a simple, easy-to-understand piece. Lexical density also considers the number of unique words. If you’ve re-used words, you’ve reduced your lexical density (this is why I get a higher score, it seems)." (Source)

Results of a Lexical Density Screen on three popular fictional works:

Pride and Prejudice             5.3758        
Huckleberry Finn                5.9580        
The Picture of Dorian Gray      8.6999
Mine                           27.0696           

Likewise, the readability screen:

Pride and Prejudice             68.0            
Huckleberry Finn                87.5  
The Picture of Dorian Gray      81.6
Mine                            76.0

So, who is your intended audience, and what grade level and lexical density do you think they will resonate with?

February Writing Challenge

Challenge begins

February 1st

Challenge details:

  • Write for 15 minutes every day.

  • At the beginning of the challenge, determine a word count goal. To be used in determining winner in the event of a tie. 

Challenge ends

Midnight, February 28th. 

Winner Announced: 

First critique workshop in February: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015. 


  • The adulation of your peers.

  • Tangible reward to be determined at a later date.