At the most basic level, I simply accept stories that I like. There’s no secret robot algorithm that automatically blocks certain submissions and accepts others – this website is, at its core, just a curated collection of stories that were sent into me that I found satisfying enough to share.
I do try to give more chances to stories that use unique or novel plotlines, simply because I think we’d all get very bored if the actual output of the site was anything like the submission queue (spoilers: it would be a lot of Jeff the Killer ripoffs, haunted video games, very generic “I am behind you watching you read this” paragraphs, and lazy rewrites of stories that already exist on this very website).
I also do sometimes let a story through even if I’m not 100% crazy about it myself, simply because I think that it will be well-received overall. Most gamingpasta or serial killer stories that end up on the site would actually fall into this category – it’s not particularly my cup of tea, but sometimes people send in such pastas that, I think, still deserve a place on the site.
If you’re interested in what I personally gravitate towards: mythology and folklore, aliens/sci-fi, stories based on historical events/eras/legends, eerie/haunted locations, ancient/lost civilizations, exploration of unknown lands/worlds/oceans, glitches, time travel, alternate realities and dimensions – and yes, when done well, even ritualpasta can really entertain me!
This doesn’t mean that pasta about those topics are 100% guaranteed acceptance, nor does it mean that stories without those elements will always be passed over – however, if you tend to write about any of those subjects, I certainly hope that you’ll consider submitting as it brightens my day when I find one of my favorite types of pasta in the sea of Dexter-lites and Five Night’s at Freddie’s fanfics that so often swamp the queue.