Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 Goal Setting & 2017 Review

I haven't had to date any checks yet, but the title of this blog post briefly threw me, so I'm expecting some incorrect dates coming up.

Now that it's a new year, it's time to review my goals for last year and see how I did. Much like last year, I set the goals then never looked back at them, so let's see how it went.

In 2017, I submitted 95 short stories.
I sold 6 short stories.
4 short stories were released.
I still have 12 stories pending that were submitted in 2017.
I withdrew 5 stories from consideration.
I had...are you ready for it? 80 rejections. Yeesh. Still not up to 100 rejections yet.

My goals for 2017, set back in January, were:

  • 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
Not too bad! I not only finished Novel #2, but am currently querying it. I queried it at PPWC and got an ask, but I've never heard it back since submitting it, so that's a no. I wrote at least one short story per month, with one a week for a short time, and finished the revisions I had pending by the end of January.

As far as appearances, I ended up appearing at 7 events, all of them so much fun! I've booked one so far for 2018, with some additional possibilities. Though I did not reach 100 rejections and 12 acceptances, I made the effort. And I wrote several stories outside my comfort zone, both of which were accepted! One has already been published, and the other is coming out in the coming year.

That leaves the things I didn't accomplish: finishing Novel #3 and evaluating #1 to see if I want to trunk it or move forward with it. Those will continue as goals this year.

For 2018, I'm setting the following goals:

  • Write a short story or flash piece each week (this is majorly pushing it for me, but I'm going to try.)
  • Read at least one book each week.
  • Finish Novel #3.
  • Start Novel #4.
  • Continue submitting short stories (aim for 100 rejections and 12 acceptances.)
  • Write short stories in at least three genres.
  • Write more nonfiction.
  • Query craft book.
  • Self-publish short story collection.
  • Evaluated Novel #1 to see if I want to pursue or trunk (though it's obviously trunked for now.)
  • Take more pictures.
  • Send workshop proposals to one conference new to me.
Of course, these goals are all well and good, but they are also fluid. I'll see what continues to be realistic, and I'll allow life to change things as needed. And, hey, I finished the short story for week #1, so yay!

Now for links. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing any of these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

The First Line is seeking flash and short stories that start with the line, "Leo massaged the back of his neck, thankful the meeting was finally over." Open to all genres, including nonfiction and poetry. 300 to 5000 words. Pays $5 to $50, depending upon story type. Deadline February 1.

ChiZine is seeking alternate history short stories for Other Covenants: Alternate Histories of the Jewish People. Open to all submitters. 500 to 15,000 words. Pays $.08/word CAD. Deadline February 4.

Subprimal is seeking poetry and flash fiction. Word counts vary. Pays $20. Deadline February 15.

Electric Athenaeum is seeking sci-fi and fantasy short stories, articles, poetry, and interviews with the theme "For Future Generations." 3000 to 10,000 words. Pays 50 GBP/story. Deadline February 15.

Circlet Press is seeking erotic stories inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. 2000 to 8000 words. Pays $25 for the e-print, and a possible $25 later for print. Deadline February 15.

Any of these links of interest? Did you set goals for 2017? How did you do? How about 2018? Most importantly, are you working your dream?

May you find your Muse.

*New Year Flags by OCAL,
*Dart Board image by OCAL,


  1. You hit most of your goals and did really good for not receiving a hundred rejections.

  2. Looks like you did very well last year. Good luck with all of your 2018 goals! I like that you keep them fluid, re-evaluating them now and then.

  3. Hi Shannon - you've done amazingly well - congratulations is all I can say ... 80 rejections could so easily turn into acceptances or new stories ... have an excellent 2018 - cheers Hilary

  4. I honestly can't even remember if I set goals for 2017 - if I did I certainly haven't looked at them since! You've done really well on them, and I'm sure you'll do just as well on this year's goals.

    1. I always forget to look at the goals I set until the beginning of the new year, BUT since I set ones that align with what I'm working at every day, I tend to complete them without remembering they were a goal. :p

  5. What a fantastic 2017 you had! I'm pretty sure 2018 is going to be even better for you :-)

  6. You hit a lot of goals in 2017. I wish we even had 7 writer events in this state to attend.

    1. I do think Colorado has an edge on writer's events. There are a lot of great groups. If I were willing to drive a couple hours, there'd be even more.

  7. Wow! That's a lot of short stories to get out. Congratulations.

  8. You did great on your goals last year. Best of luck this year and congrats on all those events. I do about three per year, maybe four this year.

    1. How many of those events are bigger cons/conferences and how many are smaller workshops and such?

  9. Congratulations on hitting so many of your goals!
    My only goal was to submit a story or novel query every week, and I did! (And one of those queries was successful - my first novel is going to be published in '19!)

  10. You know, I had one rejection NOT come in until 9 months later. 9 months. I had pretty much figured it was a no, but that's a long time to string out a query, eh?

    1. Two years ago I got an acceptance at nearly a year. It was crazy! I'd figured it was a rejection for sure, so probably the most surprising and exciting acceptance.

  11. Hey Shannon,

    Wow, you've been most prolific and well done, Shannon. Here's to 2018 being a most awesome and inspiring year for your good self.

    Gary :)

  12. That's awesome everything you accomplished last year! I've upped my short story goal this year. I signed a contract for 2 on Monday. So it's a good start. I did giggle at that final link about erotic stories inspired by Poe, and also found myself intrigued! I might try that First Line one.

    1. I want to try the Poe one, too. Can't help it. Wouldn't it be fun if we both ended up in the book? (Of course, I should have started it by now, but I want to get some Poe reading in first to get the beats down again.)

  13. Congrats on all you accomplished. Ooo, and good luck querying.