Go for the Goal: 100 Submissions
Posted on July 12, 2018
by Aeryn Rudel
This year I set a goal to send 100 short story submissions. It’s similar to the 100 rejections goal, but the focus is a bit different. Let me explain why I’m doing it and subjecting myself to all those rejections. 🙂
Why 100 submissions? Here are my top three reasons.
- Number goals motivate me. This is more about me personally than any sage advice on submissions. I’m kind of a stats nerd, and these kinds of goals, as arbitrary as they are, keep me focused and push me to keep writing, submitting, and so on. Your goal needn’t be 100 submissions if you’re not a numbers person. It could be broader. Some like submit to more pro markets, for example.
- It keeps me writing new stuff. In order to send out 100 submissions, you need a fair amount of material to send. So I’ve been writing a lot more short stories this year. Sure, a lot of it is flash, but I’ve been pretty consistent with a new story every week or so.
- It’s pushed me to diversify. I’m primarily a horror writer, but the simple fact is I run out of horror markets pretty quick. There are a lot more fantasy and sci-fi markets, generally, so I’ve been writing more in those genres, with some success. Hell, I even wrote and sold a mystery story this year. Of course, a lot of my sci-fi ends up being horror/sci-fi and my fantasy is generally dark fantasy, but, hey, it still counts.
So, how am I doing with this goal? Let’s look at some numbers.
- Submissions: 73
- Pending Submissions: 8
- Unique Stories: 26
- Acceptances: 9
- Rejections: 55
- Withdrawals: 2
I’m satisfied with those numbers, and I’m well on my way to hitting my goal (and then some). I’m also happy with my acceptance rate so far (about 14% based on completed submissions), though I’d always like it to be higher. As usual, there have been a fair number of short-listed stories that ended up getting rejected, and I feel confident those stories will find a home and increase my acceptance rate down the line. Out of my 100-plus submissions, I’d really like to hit 15 acceptances, and I feel like that’s doable (he says, jinxing himself).
Got any submission goals of your own? Tell me about them in the comments.
As you know, I’m also going for 100 submissions this year. Right now, I’m at 60. I’m going to try to add 10 more by the end of the month.
My acceptance rate could be better: Right now, it’s a little under 9%, but considering that I only got one acceptance between November and March, it could be worse, I guess.
I think 9% is solid. I also think your acceptance rate is going to go up a lot. 🙂
Thank you. I appreciate the encouragement. 🙂
Also, I liked what you said about diversifying. It’s always good to try writing different things, even if you don’t end up getting them published.