Writing Wednesday – At the Closing of the Year

Final Tally

So, this year my goal was to submit something once a month and to be better about reprints and finding homes for reprints. I succeeded, I think, by both measures, and frankly, I’m chuffed.

The final numbers?

I submitted 17 pieces for publication (5 of which were reprints), and I had 8 acceptances (including 4 reprints). I also only got a single whopping rejection. Everything else just went unanswered (and as such, is an assumed rejection). That’s probably my least favourite part of the whole writing gig: silence. Finding out you didn’t make it isn’t great, but when it comes with a rejection, at least you know and can start working on the piece for a new home. When it’s floating in the void, you either have to (a) follow up (which always feels awkward) or (b) wait for the table of contents to be announced and see you’re not on it.

But that’s the gig, no?

Those numbers don’t include the YA novel or my upcoming collection (which would boost the “new” stories by six and the reprints by six), but those were under contract, so there was no real “rejection” opportunity there.

So. Next year? Next year’s plan is to be a bit more specific with my goals. I still want to submit something monthly, which is what I’m starting to think of as my bare-minimum plan, but I also want to accomplish one novel and (at least) one novella.

The biggest thing? I don’t want to set myself up for failure—I fight pretty hard not to be disheartened at writer folk who can honestly say, “Oh, I only released eight novels this year, it was a slow year for me!”—so I believe the one novel, one novella, twelve “other” (monthly and short) submissions is the way go to. If I try to do more than that, I’m risking my brain melting from the screen time, so… no. I’ll never be the novelist who has multiple books out in a year. Even doing the collection and the novel alongside each other this year was taxing. Lesson learned.

For sure, though, I do want to write another holiday novella. It was so damn uplifting to have something queer chosen-family positive to talk about throughout the holidays this year. I think I’m going to attempt a “fake relationship” story: “Faux Ho Ho.”

What are your writing goals for 2018? Do you struggle with output comparison woes? You may very well be the “more” someone else wishes they could manage.

Open Calls for Submission

And now, the open calls:

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul—Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Mischief Corner Books—Open to submissions for various themes, including Legendary Love, Everyday Heroes, Cowboys and Space; these are open rolling calls, so no deadline.
  • NineStar Press—Open to submissions for various length prose, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and horror; Click “Currently Seeking” header for details; word count limit variable.
  • Spectrum Lit—This is an ongoing patreon flash fic provider, 1,500 hard word count limit; LGBTQ+ #ownvoice only; ongoing call.
  • Best Gay Erotica for the Year, Volume 4—Cleis Press; 2,500-5,000 word count limit. Original stories strongly preferred; deadline January 5th, 2018 (but the earlier the better).
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to F*** Them—Circlet Press; Erotic short stories with magical beasts and shapeshifter tropes; 3,000 to 7,000 word count limit; deadline February 1st, 2018.
  • Lost—NineStar Press. LGBTQIA+ romantic pairing. Both HEA and HFN are acceptable, Click “Lost” header for the theme. 30k-120k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • Happiness in Numbers—Less than Three Press; Polyamorous LGBTQIA+ anthology, non-erotic polyamorous stories that explore the idea of “Family”; 10k to 20k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • MLR Press—Quite a few different themes are open; 10k to 40k word count limit; deadlines vary, but the earliest right now is April 30th, 2018.

2 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday – At the Closing of the Year

  1. I’m still trying to figure out my 2018 goals. I fell short of all of the ones I set for 2017, which I attribute to a combination of a full-time day job for the first time in three years, and depression. Medication helps, but for me the biggest impact of depression is it’s a thief of concentration. It’s hard to hold enough of a novel in my head at one time now, especially with much less time to devote to it overall.

    I’d like to submit a story a month, which I think is doable, but I’m also running out of finished stories to send. I’d also like to finally finish the novel revision I’ve been working on all year. That, or I just need to set it aside and… well, I haven’t quite figured out what to do instead of that.


    • The whole point of goals (to my mind) is to motivate rather than complicate. If (scratch that: when) I fall behind on a goal, it starts to actively demotivate me instead. So it’s always about wiggle room for me. Hence the “once a month” general guideline, but being okay with it turning into “12 over the course of the year” so I can use good months to get ahead.

      I don’t know. You know you better than I do, and from one spoonie to another: measure by successes. You submitted things. That’s a success, period.


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