It’s late summer 2019, so two years since I started writing and submitting short fiction — happy scribbling birthday to me! Let’s see what transpired since the last update:
New Publications and Acceptances
- Dragon Texts in All Caps, Spelk, forthcoming. (prose poem/CNF flash)
- Roots, Flash Fiction Magazine, forthcoming. (suspense/supernatural flash)
- Protected Species, Jellyfish Review: The Sunday Octopus, July 21, 2019. (sci-fi flash)
- Roman Holiday, 50-Word Stories, September 4, 2019. (literary micro)
- Spittin’, The Drabble, July 8, 2019. (literary micro)
- Lupus in Fabula, 50-Word Stories, June 19, 2019. (humor micro)
It was a relatively dry summer, but I wrote several new flash pieces that stretched me a bit, most of which are still out on submission, and had some micros published. The forthcoming “Roots” got snapped up within only two days of having been sent out. It’s my first venture into mystery/suspense, but I enjoyed it so much that it likely won’t be my last. “Dragon Texts in All Caps” is a piece I am really fond of, but have no idea how to classify. It’s nonfiction wrapped in a thin layer of metaphor, but it doesn’t have a narrative arc; it’s structured almost like an essay and reads like a poem. Can something be a nonfiction prose poem?
- Jellyfish Review ran an ultrashort-turnaround-time mini competition under the theme Penguins Ignore the Police, with the prize being publication on their new blog The Sunday Octopus. I wrote and submitted “Protected Species” in the span of only 2-3 hours and it won! I never win anything, so this was a big squee moment for me and a confidence boost. I encourage you to check out the story; I think it’s pretty solid even if not perfectly polished; a bit of roughness around the edges helps it maintain its charm.
- I am on the long list of the humorous short-story competition To Hull and Back with my story “Rough and Weepy,” which originally appeared in Riggwelter (issue 9, p. 42). This is my second year on this long list and I am again one of only two Americans (this year we’re joined by a Canadian). The North American continent clearly needs to become funnier! Still, placing in the top 40 out of 582 entries ain’t too shabby.
According to The Grinder:
- Submissions: 108
- Acceptances: 12
- Rejections: 60 (Personal: 16)
(I don’t consistently track micros or contests in the Grinder, so this is really for longer flashes and short stories, plus a micro here and there.)
Craft Development and Goals
- I read slush for a professional market with a month-long submission window. You can read about the experience here.
- One piece of nonfiction and one piece of mystery/suspense with supernatural elements written and accepted for publication (in keeping with my genre-broadening goals from here). Unfortunately, no new humor or longer short stories in the last three months.
- I have had several pieces held for multiple rounds at different pro-paying speculative venues and received a lot of positive feedback. Still no sale, but these motivate me to keep knocking on the doors of highly selective markets.
Good luck writing, everyone, and enjoy the nice weather!