Dusty old spreadsheet

My friend Dale Cameron Lowry recently posted a short story market accepting entries, and that call for entry ignited a little spark that got me looking through all the interesting tidbits on my computer and passing them along to markets where they might be seen and enjoyed.

Back in the day before self publishing, submitting short stories to magazines and anthologies was one of the main ways for a new author to break in to the biz. (Possibly, mainly for sci fi/fantasy, erotica, and literary fiction. Romance might be different.) Stephen King tells in his memoir On Writing about a spike in the wall where he used to stick his rejection slips until it was full.

My spike in the wall was a spreadsheet. Many markets I didn’t hear back from at all. The ones I did were mostly rejections. Rejections are funny things. I don’t take them personally but they’re still disappointing. I remember getting ready to give a keynote at a writing conference, and receiving a story rejection email just before I spoke. It was kinda surreal. A good reminder not to get too full of myself.

My Hard Drive

I can’t find my old spreadsheet, which bugs me. I know my original acceptance for several stories that are still active today are on there: Channeling Morpheus Payback, Hemovore, and Among the Living! But that was nearly 10 years and many computers ago. I have an old Windows XP laptop and a backup hard drive where the spreadsheet might still be lurking. I guess I just want to see.

And to pat myself on the back. Because I started a new spreadsheet thanks to that oddball spark (and Dale), and one of the first entries on it has already been accepted, a deleted scene from Hemovore that will appear in an anthology next year.

The new sheet is in Google Docs. Hopefully I won’t abandon and lose it.

ETA: I found it on that drive! Hemovore was the last item on it from 2009. One hundred submissions, fourteen accepted. Better ratio than I remembered, actually 😀

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