2020 Writing Review Part 1: Submissions

This year, I’m going to break up my year-end review into three or four posts so I can do a deeper dive into the data. I’m starting off with the raw submission numbers, and I’ll cover rejections and acceptances in their own posts, as there are separate points I want to make about them that don’t fit into this broad overview. Okay, so how did I do submission-wise in 2020?

  • Submissions: 87
  • Acceptances: 19*
  • Rejections: 68*
  • Withdrawn: 1
  • Pending: 5

My goal was 100 submissions, but I’m more than happy with 87. The number of acceptances I received in 2020 ties my yearly high, and I placed more stories with pro-paying markets than any other year. But let’s look a little deeper at the make-up of the submissions. First, how many distinct stories did I send and how many were written in 2020.

  • Distinct Stories: 40
  • New Stories: 20

I submitted 40 unique stories in 2020, and 20 of those were written this year. That’s about par for the course, honestly. Most of that has to do with how much flash fiction I write. I generally have a new and submittable flash piece every couple weeks. Now lets look at the length of stories I sent in 2020.

  • Flash Fiction: 27
  • Short Story: 10
  • Microfiction: 2
  • Novelette: 1

Well, none of this is surprising, save for the fact I actually submitted a novelette. The three to one ratio of flash to shorts is similar to previous years. Now let’s look at the genres of the stories I submitted.

  • Crime: 2
  • Fantasy: 9
  • General: 2
  • Horror: 18
  • Sci-Fi: 9

I’d say the biggest change of 2020 came in the genres of stories I wrote and submitted. In years past, I wrote mostly horror, and I still produced a fair amount of it in 2020. I also experimented, with some success, with other genres, namely sci-fi and fantasy. To clarify, with a few exceptions, my fantasy is strictly of the urban variety, and some of it does feature horror elements. Same goes with sci-fi. Still, I’m glad I stretched my legs genre-wise in 2020, and I plan on continuing to do so in 2021. Now let’s look at the markets I sent my stories to.

  • Distinct Markets: 45
  • Pro: 26
  • Semi-Pro: 15
  • Token/Free: 4

I sent stories to 45 different markets in 2020. I counted markets that ran contests and have regular magazines submissions as one market. Same goes for markets that have a newsletter and anthologies and so on. As you can see, I focused primarily on pro-paying markets, though I did submit to a bunch of semi-pro markets too. I cut down on the number of token/free markets I sent to, choosing those with a broad reach and a large audience that will read my work (one of those netted me big spikes in blog traffic). This trend will definitely continue in 2021, and I’m hoping to crack some of the big pro markets in the new year.


That’s it for submissions. I’ll do a deep dive into rejections next and then acceptances. I’d love to hear about your submissions in 2020, so tell me all about it in the comments.

One Comment on “2020 Writing Review Part 1: Submissions

  1. *Two of the acceptances and four of the rejections were for stories submitted in 2019. I’ll will account for this in upcoming analytics.

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