And that’s a wrap on 2016, some might say mercifully so. As for how 2016 treated me and my writing career, I would rate the year as “not too shabby.”
Let us now turn to a whole bunch of stats because they are the super-duperest, most fun thing ever. Full disclosure: I love stats. It’s a personal failing, I know.
Total Submissions Sent: 54*
Better than last year but not nearly as many as I would have liked. The biggest reason I didn’t get as many short story submission out there is pretty easy to figure. I was writing novels for a lot of the year, the first of which was published in 2016. That ate a lot of writing time with, uh, more writing. Anyway, not too bad.
Okay, this is a better number, and it’s almost double what I did last year. I also increased my acceptance ration from 13% to 17%, a number I hope to raise even further in 2017.
Form Rejections: 29
I actually received more form rejection than last year, but since I primarily submitted to top-tier markets in 2016, that’s not too bad. In addition, I received a number of higher-tier form rejections from this publications, which tells me I’m getting closer to an acceptance (I hope).
Personal Rejections: 10
About the same number of these as last year. A number of these were for stories for which I received a further consideration letter but the publisher ultimately decided to pass. Disappointing, but still a step in the right direction.
Never Responded/Withdrawn: 1
Just one of these in 2016, and it was because the publication went out of business. Disappointing because the story was short-listed. Oh, well; it’s a tough ol’ market out there for small genre zines.
I still write a bunch for Privateer Press, and here’s what I did in 2016.
I finished one novel in 2016 for Privateer Press, Acts of War: Flashpoint, which was published in July. I’m currently writing another one, Acts of War II, and I’m blogging my progress as I go along. You can see those blog posts right here.
I wrote one novella for Privateer Press that I can’t talk about yet because it’s still going through revisions. I’ll have more info on that soon.
Short Stories: 4
I wrote four short stories for Privateer Press in 2016, one of which was published in No Quarter magazine, and three others that were part of an introductory product for Privateer’s primary game lines WARMACHINE and HORDES.
I also penned four articles for No Quarter Magazine, which is about par for the course. All of these were about the Iron Kingdoms setting.
Lastly, there’s this blog itself, and 2016 was my first full year of blogging. I couldn’t quite keep up with three posts per week like I had initially set out to dao, but I was routinely able to put out two posts. I learned a lot this year about the kinds of things folks like to read and the kinds of things they’re unlikely to read. One thing that will change in 2017 is the amount of self-promotional posts on the blog. I won’t go crazy, but I’ve got some big projects this year I want to talk about in addition to the usual rejectomancy stuff.
Here are the raw stats for the blog.
I didn’t write that many more posts than I did in 2016, and I think I likely should have done a few more. Again, the novels ate into my writing time, but that’s not a great excuse. This year, I’d like to get those numbers up and hit at least 10k visitors.
Here’s what my total output for 2016 looked like in hard numbers. It’s less than last year for a number of reasons, but I’m not too unhappy. Like last year, I’m only counting stuff I wrote that was either published or is slated for publication.
I’m not going to go into too much detail here because my goals basically amount to write and publish more stuff. Here’s a couple of things, though.
If you’d like to have a look at some of the things I published this year, here are some links to short stories you can read (or listen to) for free.
And that, friends and colleagues, was my 2016 in the wild world of freelance writing. How was your year? Tell me about it in the comments.
I can’t really give a breakdown of all my submissions and rejections for 2016 because I didn’t start to keep track of all that stuff until May. But I can tell you that this year, I had 24 poems and 3 fiction pieces published. That’s a big improvement over 2015, when I only had 6 poems and 6 fiction pieces published.
Also, I haven’t submitted in a while, but I did get an acceptance for an experimental fiction piece that should be published early this year.
Goals for 2017: I was asked to contribute a piece for an anthology called Horror Fairy Tales. My entry is a re-telling of “The Snow Queen” called “The Ice Witch.” That’s due in February, so finishing that is my first priority. Even though horror is normally not my thing, I’m having fun writing this particular piece, so I may attempt to write more of it in the future.
After that, I plan to get back to submitting poetry and fiction. I’m working on a few new things, so I’m hoping to get those out soon.
Finally, I started my Cuckoo Birds blog in 2016 but other than letting people know about publications, I haven’t posted much lately, so I would like to write articles for it again.
Hey, 27 publications is damn good if you ask me. Looks like you had a productive year.
I posted my own breakdown of 2016 at http://crimefictionwriter.blogspot.com/2017/01/2016-in-review.html , but here’re the key stats:
Completed and submitted 56 short stories.
Received 45 acceptances and 35 rejections.
Had 40 original short stories and two reprints published.
Amazing production. I dropped a comment on your blog as well.
25 submissions, 1 acceptance, 2 pending. My goal for last year was to crack a semi-pro or pro market and I did, so I’m calling it a good year. This year, I’m going for 75 submissions.
I read some of the shorts you listed. Scare Tactics was good – really good. The Father of Terror was pretty meh. Masks I felt needed a better ending – a quieter, more sinister one.
Thanks for reading, Quentin. If you liked “Scare Tactics, there’s an audio version of that one in the works. Should be out in a couple of months.
Aeryn, thanks for this post, and thanks also for stopping by the year-end writing review on my blog. Your posts about writing are always encouraging and–better yet–challenging. (As in, they challenge me to get off my duff and go write some more.)
I hope you have a great 2017!
Thanks, Jessica, and thanks for the many times you’ve mentioned Rejectomancy in your own blog. 🙂