Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 in review

41 acceptances (vs. 42 in 2014).

32 rejections (vs. 21 in 2014).

37 short stories published (vs. 36 in 2014), 3 articles/essays published (vs. 1 in 2014).

I completed 41 short stories (vs. 53 in 2014).

I completed (to final draft) 153,000 words of short fiction (vs. 198,000 in 2014).

That's an average story length of 3,732 words (vs. an average of 3,375); the shortest story was 1,400 words; the longest was 7,000 words.

I completed and submitted an average of .79 short stories each week (vs. an average of 1.02 each week in 2014).

(I only track completed short fiction word counts, not words written for incomplete projects, nor words written for other forms of writing.)


My productivity decreased last year, my rejections increased, and my sales remained stable. There are several reasons these things happened.

1) I married and moved. Moving took up a great deal of my time during the final third of the year and still impacts me now as I prepare to sell the home in which I lived for 21 years.

2) I was engaged in a year-long writing-related project that involved no actual writing. I recently completed that project.

3) I continued to write a few stories just for me rather than for specific markets. These stories are often difficult to place because they don't clearly fit the needs of existing markets with which I am familiar. They often collect rejections while I work my way through potential markets.


Kevin R. Tipple said...

Congrats on the marriage. Somehow, that escaped my notice before tonight.

Are the bulk of the short stories that you place still with the confession mags?

Any trends in general short story wise you see? Genres getting more difficult/easier to work in?

Michael Bracken said...

25 of the 37 stories I had published last year were confessions; the remaining 12 included crime fiction, erotica, romance, and weird menace stories.

My view of the overall short story marketplace is rather limited, but I have noticed a tightening up in the market for erotic short stories. None of the anthology editors for whom I've written the past few years are currently acquiring for new projects, and publication of some erotica anthologies containing my work have been delayed. Though I can see the short-term trend, I have no idea what it means long-term.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Looks like you have a good mix outside of the confession stuff.

For what it is worth, I had noticed the same tightening in terms of market calls. I have also noticed that there has been a marked drop off in review requests for such projects. Like you, I have no idea what all this means long term. My only thought is that maybe Amazon tightened their key word classifications again and that has made it a little trickier from a marketing perspective.