January 7th, on the Australian side of the dateline, is the anniversary of my beginning my campaign of submission to the short fiction market, and it’s an interesting exercise to compare figures with the first year.
After 730 days I have made a total of 750 submissions, 449 in the second year. I have a total of 41 placements, 32 falling in the second year. Currently I have 76 stories on submission, my record being 81. I have 633 rejections (392 in the last year), therefore my ratio of rejections to acceptances is running at 15.44:1 across the board, or a 6.47% acceptance factor from the beginning. For year two alone, the ratio is 12.25:1 or 8.16%. Both of these figures are way up from data one year ago (3.73%).
Averages can be misleading, but are interesting to consider. Average time between acceptances in the first year was 40.5 days. Given that there was only one acceptance in the first eight months of effort, you can see how meaningless this figure really is; in the last four months of the year, considered separately, it drops to 15.25. In the second year it ran at 11.4 days per acceptance, while both years taken together return a value of 18.8. That long dead spell in year one constantly skews the data. In absolute figures, during this last year time has varied between a maximum of 38 days to a minimum of less than one day.
I have scored four Honourable Mentions in the Writers of the Future Contest before becoming ineligible by qualifying as a professional – I now have seven placements paying US 6c/word or better.
Productivity has risen in some ways at a corresponding rate, while falling in others. In calendar year 2017 I completed 62 stories, ten more than the previous year, for a total annual word count of 247, 782 words (49, 999 words less than in 2016). I currently have 147 stories registered at The Submission Grinder.
As with last year, I can say the future holds a lot more of the same, maintaining pressure in every possible way, perhaps including some screen writing work, journalism and other areas, plus developing my presence with a number of titles – I have appeared twice with Flame Tree Publishing, twice with Compelling Science Fiction, twice with Phantaxis, and three times with Lovecraftiana, and improving on those numbers would be an excellent goal. I have penetrated the pro end of the market more successfully than I dared hope a year ago, and the third year will be an intensification of every aspect. There are times this is a seven-day-a-week job. My one thousandth submission will occur later this year, a milestone in its own right.
Stay tuned for developments!
Cheers, Mike Adamson