Finally getting one of these out in a timely manner. Here are my submission endeavors (and results) from October.
October 2019 Report Card
I’m still behind on my goal to reach 100 subs for the year. I’m sitting at 69 at the moment, which means I need to slam out 15 subs in November and December to hit 100. I think that’s pretty unlikely at this point, and I’ll end up somewhere in the high eighties (maybe). With 14 acceptances, I’m still within striking distance of last year’s number of 19, so it’d be nice to hit or exceed that, even if I don’t reach 100 total subs.
Eight rejections this month.
Mostly form rejection in October, with one rare no-response rejection. The personal rejection was a shortlist rejection and is worth taking a look at. See below:
This is one of those useful rejections that can sometimes highlight the idea that “good stories get rejected too.”
[story title] made it through to our final round of consideration, but unfortunately it was not a good fit for us at this time. We wish you the best of luck in finding a home for it elsewhere.
Thank you for thinking of us at [publisher]. We hope you’ll consider sending us more of your stories in the future.
This was a shortlist rejection, the story’s third. I know this one will eventually get published, but I just have to find the right fit. I know “right fit” can seem like a platitude, but I think it is one of the most common reason stories get rejected, especially good ones. It could be a wrong fit for the issue, the market, or they’ve simply published something similar recently. Hell, it could also be that you’re good story was passed over for better ones. Sometimes the competition is fierce. So, if you get a shortlist rejection like this, send that story out again right away (I did).
One acceptance this month, and it was a good one. Here’s the acceptance letter. You’ll note I’m revealing the publisher here. That’s simply because I asked and received permission from the publisher to announce the sale.
Thank you for sending us “The Back-Off”. The editors were impressed with the story, and we are pleased to offer to purchase the rights to use your work in an upcoming issue of On Spec Magazine. If the work is still available, kindly let us know with a brief note to [email address].
You will be sent a standard contract offer in due course, and we’ll let you know the next steps in the process.
I’ll be straight with you. I didn’t expect this acceptance. I mean, I don’t usually expect an acceptance, but there are certainly times when I feel I’ve got a better shot than other. Here, I thought I had no shot. And that, friends, is why you should never, ever, ever self-reject, no matter how much you think a market won’t be interested in your work. Send it anyway because you never know. Anyway, this story had been rejected a fair amount, but it kept getting these nice personal rejections. The problem generally was the story wasn’t horror enough for the horror markets or fantasy enough for the fantasy markets, so I finally got wise and sent it somewhere that published speculative fiction in a broad sense. That, uh, worked. 🙂
One publication this month from one of my favorite markets, The Arcanist. The story, “Small Evil,” took second place in their Monster Flash contest, and you can read (or listen to) it below:
And that was my October. Tell me about yours.