2009 Submission Stats

My fiction submission stats for 2009:

50 submissions (all short fiction; three more than 2008)
49 rejections (three more more than 2008)
0 new sales
1 reprint sale (audio)
1 story published

It was yet another trying year, even moreso than 2008. My stories continued to get passed up to editors at pro mags, and they continued to get a lot of “almost” rejections. Exactly like the two last years.

For the first time since I’ve been submitting, I went the whole year without selling a story. Calendar years, of course, are arbitrary demarcations, but that still was quite disappointing.

I did make my first-ever reprint sale, an audio podcast of my Weird Tales story “Excision” to Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. Which is very cool, and I look forward to hearing their podcast.

My story “Ebb” in Space and Time #107 got two glowing reviews in “mid-list” online SF/F review magazines (here and here), which was extremely cool. But, even though Space and Time is a well-designed magazine with a known name, “Ebb” didn’t garner any other interest and has not yet sold as a (audio) reprint.

Overall, this year was pretty much the same as the last three. My brand of character-driven, secondary-world fantasy isn’t a priority for most all magazines. Editors at major mags have said that my stories are too swords & sorcery for them; editors at S&S mags have said that my stories are too character-centered with endings that are too dark. So I’m caught in between.

But I can’t blame it all on that. I’ve written several stories in other styles, and they’ve gotten the same “almost” rejections. Which suggests I still haven’t made a leap in the quality of my fiction.

In the past two years’ Stats posts, I mentioned I was working on improving a specific element in my fiction. I think I made progress on that this year, but the jury is still out on whether it’s made a difference. I unfortunately only got two new stories out the door this year, one for the Homeless Moon chapbook and the other only recently sent out, so I haven’t yet gotten editorial reaction to it.

The coming year will tell whether or not I have made a significant improvement. I’m already working to get more new stories out the door this year, while also rewriting several older ones based on pro editors’ comments. We’ll see if that makes a difference.

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