In late summer 2019, it will be two years since I started writing and submitting short fiction. Time sure flies!
Here is what has happened since the last update in early January.
Magdalene, The Molotov Cocktail: Flash Legend Contest, May 2019. (dark literary)
Ephemera, 50-Word Stories, April 15, 2019. (literary)(reprint)(micro)
The Gold and Sand of Dhahab, Aphotic Realm, April 5, 2019. (dark sci-fi)
Happily Ever After, Dime Show Review, March 21, 2019. (low fantasy)
Rimor Mortis, Ellipsis Zine, March 11, 2019. (sci-fi) (reprint)
Troo Raccoon, Altered Reality, February 15, 2019. (sci-fi) (reprint)
The Flask, Trembling with Fear, January 27, 2019. (dark sci-fi)(micro)
I am delighted to have placed in the Molotov Cocktail Flash Legend contest! I took 8th place with “Magdalene,” which I think is one of the best stories I’ve written so far.
According to The Grinder:
Submissions: 69 (Pending: 5)
Rejections: 43 (Personal: 10)
I don’t track most drabbles or contests on the Grinder, so this is really for longer flashes and short stories.
My acceptance rate has gone down with respect to previous years mostly because I’ve become more aggressive about targeting pro and high-tier semipro speculative markets, i.e., I’m sending work to more of them (and thus getting more noes per story) than I did in the first couple of years. I’m still waiting for that first pro sale, but I’ve had several story holds with professional markets this year, even some that I thought would never touch my work. While it’s heartbreaking to get a rejection after a lengthy hold and having allowed myself to develop delusions of grandeur, I take it things are moving in the right direction and my stories are getting better.
I have several drabbles out on sub, one of them to a competition, all pretty good (in my completely unbiased opinion :-). I love drabbles; they are not easy to write well and are a great way (for me) to get back into the swing of things after a writing break.
I also have some long flashes out in the world, making their way through the slush piles. Most have had at least one previous hold at a pro market, so I’m really ready for them to find homes.
Goals for 2019
It’s interesting to see how I’ve done so far with the goals from my early January post:
- Keep reading short fiction, and broadly so, in terms of both genre and style
Doing pretty well, especially considering the workload at my job over the past few months
- Keep working; keep getting better
I wish I could write more, but I think the stuff that I do write keeps getting better
- Write a few more longer pieces (2-4k words)
I’ve written one short story at 2.7k words (genre: low fantasy) and had it published in Dime Show Review in March: Happily Ever After. Check it out!
- Write some nonfiction, humor, and/or literary pieces in addition to focus on speculative fiction
I’ve written several literary pieces, but not much humor or nonficiton. Everything I write these days seems to come out dark and scary!
- Try for more anthologies. Try not to skip The Molotov Cocktail contests
I’ve submitted work to several anthologies, had some holds, and I’ve placed in The Molotov Cocktail Flash Legend contest.
- Keep improving knowledge of the publishing landscape. Consistently target selective markets — don’t self-reject!
I’ve been doing this (*pats self on back*)
I had a really busy spring at work and ended up missing several submission deadlines that I really thought I’d make. I am bummed out about it, but the time (and energy) simply weren’t there.
I hope to make a few June and July deadlines (e.g., Cheap Pop and Mad Scientist Journal (closing!) in June; To Hull and Back humor contest in July), but I will also be reading slush for a pro speculative market this summer in the hopes of improving my writing, and the workload at my job has only somewhat let up, so we’ll see how things play out.
Good luck writing, everyone, and enjoy the nice weather!
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