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!
Two of the accepted stories were published in 2018.
On October 24th, Daily 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!