2020 Writing Review Part 3: Acceptances & Publications

Today we’re getting to the good stuff, and in the third and final part of my 2020 writing review, I’ll cover the acceptances and publications I received last year.

Let’s get to it with some basic numbers.

  • Submissions: 87
  • Rejection: 68*
  • Acceptances: 19*
  • Acceptance Percentage: 19.8%/20.9%

The 19 acceptances I received in 2020 ties my yearly best. The reason the rejection and acceptance numbers are starred is because some of them (two acceptances and four rejections) came from stories submitted in 2019, which can change certain numbers, depending on how you look at things. I’ve accounted for that in my overall acceptance percentages. The first number is derived only from submissions and acceptances sent and received in 2020. The second number is derived from acceptances received in 2020 and includes those derived from submissions in 2019. Either way you slice it, I’m pretty happy with this number. Twenty percent is by far the best acceptance percentage I’ve managed in a single year, so, yeah, good stuff.

Okay, now let’s look at the types of markets that were gracious enough to accept one of my stories.

  • Pro: 9
  • Semi-Pro: 1
  • Token: 6
  • Contest Wins/Cashes: 3

Although I broke out contest wins and cashes into separate categories, what I was paid for each one would qualify as pro payment. Anyway, the bottom line is that I was paid for 13 of my 19 acceptances, and 12 of those were at a pro rate (as defined by the SFWA and HWA). That’s by far my best year for short stories, and I made enough money that I actually have to claim it on my taxes. 😉

Now the length of stories I sold in 2020

  • Flash Fiction: 14
  • Short Stories: 3
  • Microfiction: 2

No surprises here. I write more flash fiction than anything else, and that means I submit more flash fiction than anything else. My hit rate is also higher with flash, and though I do okay with short stories, flash has been my bread and butter acceptance-wise for more than a few years. So far I have a 100% acceptance rate for microfiction, but that’s based on a grand total of four submissions. 🙂

So those are the acceptance numbers, but what about publications? Well, I had twenty publications in 2020, most of which were for stories and articles I wrote last year. A few, of course, were for stories sold the year prior. I’ll list the 2020 publications that are free to read (or listen to) below.

Flash Fiction

“Second Bite” – MetaStellar – READ

“Fair Pay” – Flash Fiction Magazine – READ

“His Favorite Tune” – Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter – READ

“Childish Things” – The Arcanist – READ

“Stall Number Two” – Ellipsis Zine – READ

“Toward the Sun” – The Molotov Cocktail – READ

“Outdoor Space” – The Arcanist READ

“Liquid Courage” – The Arcanist READ

Short Stories

“Reading the Room” – The Overcast LISTEN


“Dead Bugs” – 50-Word Stories – READ

“Futility Defined” – 50-Word Stories – READ


“The Quest for the Perfect Publisher” – Dark Matter Magazine – READ

“First Contact: Cover Letters” – Dark Matter Magazine – READ

“Who Are You: The Shot Author Bio” – Dark Matter Magazine – READ

“The Perfect Page: No Fret Formatting” – Dark Matter Magazine – READ

And that’s my acceptances and publications for 2020. That also brings my writing review for the past year to a close. I hope some of it was educational or at least entertaining. I’d love to hear about your writerly triumphs in the past year in the comments.

4 Comments on “2020 Writing Review Part 3: Acceptances & Publications

    • I haven’t subbed to F&SF this year, no, but I certainly have a pile of very nice rejections from C.C. Finlay. 🙂

      As for what your rejections might mean, they look similar in wording to what Charlie would send. As you surmised, there are likely clues to what the new editor thought about the story in the specific wording. I’d say “this story didn’t quite work for me” indicates a standard form rejections, and “this story didn’t quite work for me as I had hoped” indicates a higher-tier rejection. Of course, that’s rejectomancy at its finest, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. 🙂

      Anyway, I’m looking forward to subbing stories to the new editor this year and hopefully scoring one of those elusive and vaunted F&SF acceptances. 🙂

      • Yeah, he announced it last month I believe. He’s stepping down to focus on his own writing. I too always appreciated his rejections. From everything I’ve heard and seen, the new editor seems great.

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