TagWriting

Stories 2019: How Did It Go?

In 2017, I began submitting and tracking my fiction writing and then posted a 2018 update. How did it go this past year?

  • In 2019, I submitted versions and revisions of 33 stories 111 times to 49 different outlets. This included 22 contests.
  • Between January 1 and December 31, 2019, I received 106 rejections (including some for stories submitted in 2018) and two acceptances (1.9%).
  • One losing story received an Honorable Mention.
  • Several rejection notices came with brief comments from editors. A few of my favorites:
    • “We felt the story was well written and confidently told, and we thought the relationship between [A] and [B] well established. We wondered if this piece may benefit from expanding beyond the flash form… we’d love to read more of your work.”
    • “The editors felt that it was a little cutesy…”
    • “There’s something satisfying about that punch at the end!”

Much of the feedback on my stories in 2019, and in previous years, included versions of “this should be longer,” so I have kept that in mind when revising and writing. 

Stories Published in 2019

Three stories were published in 2019, including one accepted in 2018.

On January 22nd and August 27thDaily Science Fiction published independent stories with the same cast of characters. Both capture what my friend Danny Hamsley calls the “curse of the big brain”, which challenges us as parents raising children, and as adolescents dealing with clueless moms and dads.

On November 4thMicrofiction Monday Magazine published “Cedar Balls” (99 words; 1 minute read). My brother and Reverend Jim Ignatowski inspired the seventh, critical rewrite.

Enjoy the stories and thank you for reading!

Stories 2018: How Did It Go?

In 2017, I began submitting and tracking my fiction writing in earnest. So, how did it go this past year?

  • In 2018, I submitted versions of 33 stories 76 times to 33 different outlets. This included 12 contests.
  • By December 31, 2018, I received 64 rejections and three acceptances (4.5%).
  • Two of the rejected stories did receive “Honorable Mentions” in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine flash fiction contests.
  • Several rejections came with brief notes from editors. A few of my favorites:
    • “…almost there with this piece…”
    • “…the exposition at the beginning stalled the story before it got started…narrator was over the top simple [and] stupid…”
    • “…the narrator has a rich voice, and the story is well told but constricted…this should be a longer story…”
    • “It wasn’t a bad story…I could see it in an episode of Tales from the Crypt.”

The three acceptances included my first professional (sold) stories, both to Jonathan and Michele at Daily Science Fiction. Thank you!

2018 Stories

Two of the accepted stories were published in 2018. 

On October 24thDaily Science Fiction published “Water Carrier” (591 words; 3 minute read). The idea for this story arrived during an NPR Driveway Moment. I remembered seeing The Gods Must Be Crazy, an indie film about a remote tribe disrupted by the arrival of a single Coke bottle, which proves useful and incites conflict. Then I imagined visiting a peaceful village lacking the ability to carry water.

On October 28th, 365tomorrows published “Day at the Office, Night on the Job” (353 words; 2 minute read). I remember hearing Bubbee, my wonderful grandmother, use the line “but the money was clean” once in a story involving (literally) dirty work. That line stuck with me and led to this story.

Enjoy the stories and thank you for reading!