2008 Submissions Stats

My fiction submission stats for 2008:

46 submissions (all short fiction; two more than 2007)
47 rejections (seven more more than 2007)
1 story under extended consideration
2 contracts offered
1 contract accepted
1 story published

It was another interesting yet trying year. I continued to get passed up to head editors at pro mags, about half the time, and I continued to get a lot of “almost” rejections from editors at semi-pro mags. Which is good, but I’d rather at least be getting those “almost” rejections from the head editors at the pro mags, if not of course actually selling some stories. I’m still not consistently able to lure editors into my dense stories of round characters and lush settings.

In my stats post last year, I mentioned two stories in unresolved submissions situations and my hope that at least one of those would result in a sale. Neither did, which was very disappointing. This year, a different near-miss situation resulted in another story remaining under extended consideration. I should hear back on that in a month or so, and I’m hopeful on that one too.

Like last year, I had a contract offered that was soon rescinded, but in this case I was the one who passed. It was from an award-nominated semi-pro venue, but the editor had just that week made offensive public comments, including some directly to or about two excellent young writers who I know and admire. I wanted to sell that story worse than I can put into words, but after what the editor had done to those two people I greatly respect, I just couldn’t accept the contract. The story is still on the submission carousel and I hope it will eventually sell.

I did make one sale this year, after a seventeen-month dry spell. That was a great relief, and I’m delighted to find a great home for a very good story that had been misunderstood by editors at several top markets. And an exciting, up-and-coming home it is–Space and Time magazine. I’m very much looking forward to seeing that one published.

My story in Weird Tales last January didn’t seem to catch much attention from bloggers or SF/F review sites, so unfortunately there hasn’t been any coattail effect from it. Perhaps I can improve on that when my story in Space and Time comes out.

Overall, this year was similar to last year, which suggests I didn’t make a significant leap in the quality of my fiction. Or that my particular brand of character-driven secondary-world short fantasy isn’t a priority right now for the major markets. Or most likely, a combination of both. In last year’s post I mentioned I was working on specific strategies to improve a major element in my fiction. That effort is ongoing, and I am making progress. The coming year will show whether it improves my submissions results.

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2 Responses to “2008 Submissions Stats”

  1. Christopher Kastensmidt Says:

    Congrats, Scott! That pile of near misses should turn into lots of sales pretty soon. Hope 2009 treats you very well!

  2. scott Says:

    Thanks so much for the encouragement! I do have a few irons in the fire, and I have some better stories awaiting final rewrite, using those specific strategies I’ve been working on to improve some of my weaknesses. So I hope that will help me turn the corner–we’ll see.