I started writing short stories in 2017 after reading about the Ray Bradbury challenge. Bradbury recommends writing a short story a week, and that it isn’t possible to write fifty-two bad short stories. I aimed to prove him wrong.
At the end of the year, I had thirty-six completed short stories, fourteen of which were deemed good enough—after much revising—to submit for publication. Since I began, I’ve sent these fourteen stories out seventy-seven times total. Six are currently pending. Five were accepted for publication, three of which have been published.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve had sixty-six rejections, not counting the rejections from agents I’ve queried. Novels don’t count.
So I wondered. Would I have better luck if I wrote short stories specifically for submission calls? I’m about to find out.
I stumbled across a submission call for a dark romance. Lucky for me, I had exactly that in my “story starts” folder. After some frantic revision, I sent it off. While waiting for a response to the submission, I reread the story–a mistake because now I’m perseverating. I think I made three errors—not typos and not grammar. Fixed, I could have improved my story arc. Serves me right for rushing.
Next, I found a submission call for a horror story similar to a premise I’d been trying to get on paper since 2017. I managed to complete the piece, but here come the doubts. Is it an overdone trope? Is the twist predictable? Are the characters likeable—especially the main character? Do I have too little exposition? Too much? Is the dialogue stilted? Is it overwritten? Underwritten? Enough descriptive detail or too much?
Time will tell. I have to keep reminding myself to embrace rejection, be patient, trust the process, and learn to be lucky.
4 thoughts on “Submission Calls”
Good for you! You inspire me to persevere. Fingers crossed for you. Hugs xx
And good for you, Selina. for persevering. Never give up.
You are going Strong, Lucky Lady!