It's always fun to recap the year then look ahead to what I'd like to achieve. Setting goals helps me think through what I want to do and how I want to end the year.
I submitted short stories and flash fiction 77 times in 2016. This is not 77 stories, just submissions, since I turn the rejected ones back around. In 2015, this number was 60.
I had 4 acceptances in 2016. This is down from 9 the previous year. I know why, and I'll address that in a minute.
I had 9 stories published in 2016 (the 4 accepted, plus end of year acceptances from 2015.)
6 stories submitted in 2016 are still pending.
Which means I had 67 rejections in 2016. Not up to my 100 goal yet, but creeping that way.
And here's another stat to add: I had 4 speaking engagements in 2016. A standalone for Pikes Peak Pen Women, 2 workshops at Pikes Peak Writers Conference, 3 panels at Denver Comic Con, and 4 panels at MileHiCon. In addition, I participated in 5 signings. So cool!
Last year, my goals were:
Finish first revision of novel #2 (UF above).Done! Do a second pass through on novel #1 (YA above).Done! Start novel #3.Done!
- Continue writing short stories, revising them, and submitting them. One per month would be fantastic, and give me time to focus on my novels, but we'll see. Nope (did not achieve one per month)
Finish all short story revisions pending.Done! Submit those short stories once revised.Done!
- Have one of the novels (#1 or #2) ready by April, so I can query an agent at PPWC. Nope
Continue experimenting with my writing and finding the joy in it.Done! Get back to my photography (what? I just slipped in a non-writing goal...)Sorta Continue with the horror reading/review challengeDone!
Not bad! I mentioned above that I know why I didn't have better numbers. It's the same reason I didn't have my novel ready by April, and the same reason I didn't get more short stories written. I got insanely busy between two volunteer jobs, and it did not let up until the end of May. My writing suffered severely, which actually led to a mega bout of depression about having fallen behind in my writing, as well as destroying the progress I'd made the previous year. It wasn't until school got started again that I caught up on my writing, so we'll see what happens with these new stories I've got out. I've also pulled a couple to do some re-writes on.
My goals for 2017, understanding that I set goals knowing life is fluid, and that my goals and circumstances may change at any time, are as follows:
- Final revision on Novel #2
- Query Novel #2 in April at PPWC
- Finish Novel #3
- Write at least one new short story per month
- Finish current pending revisions
- Continue to book speaking/signing opportunities (so far, I have 1 definite and 2 possibles)
- Evaluate Novel #1 to see if I want to continue pursuing it or trunk it for now
- Continue submitting short stories - aim for 100 rejections and 12 acceptances this year
- Write for at least two themed issues or anthologies that are outside my normal comfort level
I think that's more than enough goals for now. Part of me wants to achieve one short story per week, but I don't believe that's realistic for me right now.
Onto links! Bear in mind that I'm passing these along, not endorsing them. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.
Broken Eye Books is open for submissions to their anthology Ride the Star Wind: Cthulhu, Space Opera, and the Cosmic Weird. They want space opera combined with cosmic weird horror. Short stories of 3000 to 6000 words or flash fiction of up to 1000 words. Pays $.08/word. Deadline January 31.
The First Line puts out a quarterly first line, which acts as the prompt for a story. This quarter's first line is: "Eddie tended to drift into whatever jobs were available that would pay the rent." Story should start with the first line, which cannot be altered. 300 to 5000 words. Pays $25 to $50. Deadline February 1.
Skirt! Magazine is open for submissions to their January theme: The All In Issue - stories about going all in, taking risks, etc. Personal essays relating to women and women's issues. 800 to 1100 words. Pays $200. Deadline February 1.
Mofo Pubs is open for submissions to two literary erotica anthologies: Hotel and Sacrilege. The title is also the theme. 1000 to 5000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline February 3.
Splickety Havok is open for submissions in the theme Tyrannosaurus Reads. Think Jurassic Park. 300 to 1000 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline February 10.
Bundoran Press is open for submissions to a science fiction anthology entitled 49th Parallels: Alternative Canadian Histories and Futures. 1500 to 7000 words. Pays $.05CAD/word. Deadline February 14.
Creative Writing Ink holds a monthly writing contest. Free to enter. Short stories up to 3000 words or poems up to 40 lines. Any genre/theme. Prize is web publication and £10 Amazon GC. Deadline January 31.
The Chicago Tribune is sponsoring the 2017 Nelson Algren Literary Awards. Fiction short stories up to 8000 words. Prizes of $500, $1000, and $3500. No entry fee. Deadline January 31.
Did you create goals for the year? How about last year? How did you do on those? Do you do resolutions or goals? How strict are you about your goals? Do you go beyond goals and make a plan to complete each item? Are any of these links of interest to you?
May you find your Muse.