In 2017, I began submitting and tracking my fiction writing and then posted updates in 2018 and 2019. How did it go during 2020?
- In 2020, I submitted versions and revisions of 33 stories 128 times to 64 different outlets. This included 5 contests.
- Between January 1 and December 31, 2020, I received 114 rejections (including several for stories submitted in 2019) and eight acceptances (6.6%).
- Several rejection notices included brief comments from editors. A few to give the flavor:
- “Too much to pack into a flash piece…”
- “Your avenging aunt is, of course, an attractive character, bringing justice…”
- “It so accurately shows how cruel kids that age can be! [but] …it’s not quite right for [us].”
- “Some great details put us immediately on stage… [but] …the narrator is lost in this draft.”
Stories Published in 2020
Seven stories were published by six venues in 2020.
On April 28th, Mystery Tribune published “Tour De Forest” (910 words, 4 minute read). This story went through several versions prior to finding a home. One outlet requested a stronger “sense of place” which led me to conduct more research on a mountainous region in France, where the story is set.
On August 4th, Microfiction Monday Magazine published “Business as Usual” (100 words; 1 minute read). I know a guy who knew a guy that wore corduroys with lobsters on them.
On September 5th, 365tomorrows published “Carried Away Forever” (558 words, 3 minute read). This story started as a contest submission in 2017 soon after the Las Vegas music festival shooting. It was rejected 13 times and went through multiple wholesale rewrites. It came together after switching the narrator from a man to a woman.
On October 30th, London-based Storgy published “Substitutions” (48 words, 1 minute read). The original idea for this microfiction piece arrived while I listened to an NPR story about Thanksgiving family recipes, and a person discussed a few of her favorite (and secret) substitutions.
On November 3rd, Daily Science Fiction published “Holes in the Fence” (935 words, 4 minute read). This story found firmer footing after a wonderful person and friend died in 2019. He made powerful arguments with a light touch. “Holes in the Fence” is dedicated to Jim Fendig.
On December 1st, Mystery Tribune published “Too Hip to Upgrade” (583 words, 3 minute read). My first published noir story: in a dark, futuristic Beantown, two criminals struggle to cooperate or get the job done.
On December 22nd, 101 Words published my Christmas-themed “Party Crasher” (101 words, 1 minute read). Based on the comments and emails, this has been one of my most popular pubs to date.
Enjoy the stories and thank you for reading!