Monday, January 19, 2015


I finished and submitted my first short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,100-word Mother's Day story I started writing February 8, 2013.

Reviewed: "Mutable Memories"

My story "Mutable Memories" is one of many mentioned in Lloyd A. Meeker's review of the anthology Men of the Manor at the website Out in Print. He says:
"The most chilling, however, was Michael Bracken’s tale of a butler’s calculated theft and blackmail, Mutable Memories."
Read the entire review here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


I received my second acceptance of the year, this time for a 1,700-word confession.

2014 in review

42 acceptances (vs. 40 in 2013).

21 rejections (vs. 8 in 2013).

36 short stories published (vs. 45 in 2013), 1 article/essay published (vs. 0 in 2013).

I completed 53 short stories (vs. 40 in 2013).

I completed (to final draft) 198,000 words of short fiction (vs. 142,500 in 2013).

That's an average story length of 3,735 words (vs. an average of 3,563); the shortest story was 300 words; the longest was 10,000 words.

I completed and submitted an average of 1.02 short stories each week (vs. an average of .77 each week in 2013).

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


My productivity increased last year while my rejections increased and my sales decreased. There are at least two reasons for this:

1) I wrote a handful of stories just for me rather than for specific markets. Though I have already found homes for a few of them, these stories tend to be difficult to place because they don't clearly fit the needs of existing markets with which I am already familiar. They tend to collect rejections while I work my way through potential markets.

2) I attempted to crack new markets, and I put some effort into writing for markets to which I have not sold anything in several years and had not submitted anything to in quite some time. I had limited success with these efforts, though I collected some really nice personal rejections.

Friday, January 02, 2015


Today's mail also brought good news: My story "Kiss of Life at Midnight" appears in the February True Confessions.


2015 began with depressing news: My first rejection of the year was waiting in my inbox when I logged on January 1.

Today's acceptance--my first of year--more than makes up for yesterday. This acceptance was for a mystery to be published in a small press anthology.