Brooks Writes Stories: How Did It Go in 2023?

In mid-2017, I started submitting and tracking my fiction writing, and have since posted updates in 2018201920202021, and 2022. How did it go with my short stories in 2023? Meh.

  • In 2023, I submitted versions and revisions of 32 stories 108 times to 54 different outlets. This included one contest.
  • Between January 1 and December 31, 2023, I received 88 rejections (including one for a story submitted in 2021 and five for stories submitted in 2022) and five acceptances (5.4%, which includes two acceptances for stories submitted in 2022).
  • Select comments from editors included:
    • “…The writing and stylistic choices in this piece are very strong.”
    • “The story is well developed for the length, but…”
    • “If the premise is to point out that odd mindset, maybe having the narrator realize how weird it is might help.” 
    • “…brimming with comedic potential…but…”

Stories Published in 2023

Five stories were published by five different venues in 2023.

On February 3rd365tomorrows published “Use for the Humans” (324 words, 2 minute read). A video of chainsaw-wielding robots working in forests sparked the idea for this dystopian flash.

On February 5thThe RavensPerch published “No Big Thing” (601 words, 3 minute read). Life can be tough. At times, this means owning our situation and choosing to move on. The title came from a story told to me by a taxidermist friend of mine, while the rest of it took a while to work out as the story was rejected and revised 19 times before finding a home. 

On April 26th101 Words published “Smell Sweet Dreams” (191 words, 1 minute read). Inspired by an AirBNB stay in Miami after my daughter asked, “hey, Dad, what’s that smell?”

On June 20thApple in the Dark published “Aliens Want Space, Too” (386 words, 2 minute read). I credit my Mom for teaching me about the importance of space and the power of chocolate chips cookies.

On July 3rdAphelion published “Aliens Making Plans” (401 words, 2 minute read). My third story published by Aphelion includes actual aliens and a nod to Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Happy New Year and thank you for reading!

1 Comment

  1. Lawrence B. Schiamberg

    January 1, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    An admirable honesty and clarity of an author who fully understands and appreciates the development of writing skills.