History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

December 2020 and Overall 2020 Recaps

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 199
Acceptances received: 3
Rejections received: 95
Stories withdrawn: 2 (+3)
Resubmissions: 112
New Submissions: 8
Stories out at the end of the month: 216

Another month with a whole lot of submissions (though fewer than last month). New submissions this month were again seven new poems and one new short story (boots). About normal numbers of rejection for this submission level, and a few stories either withdrawn from non-responsive markets or never responded to.

Acceptances this month were all for flash fiction stories. I haven’t signed the contract for one of them yet, so I’m still keeping that hush hush. The other two were “A Modern Mary Shelley,” which appeared at Burial Day Books, and “Hearts in Motion,” which will appear in the first issue of New Maps.

As for my December goals, I wound up shelving Beagle Wizard again. I really like the characters I’ve developed for this story, but I just can’t seem to find the right story to highlight them. So I’ll probably be working on a third outline before I attempt writing it again. I did finish with the tweaks to Promise Me Nothing and got it back from my proofreader right before the end of the year, so it’s off to layout. I revised boots and got that sent out. I finished drafts of three of my Drawlloween stories (smile and goblin as planned, but also leaders). And I wrote seven poems over the course of the month, all of which are out looking for homes. I also started one other poem that needs probably one more stanza, and I wrote the first draft of a flash piece that needs heavy revisions.

In January, I’m planning to:

  • Proofread Barren in preparation for publishing in April
  • Write four new flash fiction pieces as part of an online contest (fifth piece to come in February)
  • Write the rest of a Drawlloween short story (angel)
  • Start writing the rest of another Drawlloween short story (grave)
  • Revise smile and goblin
  • Write three book reviews (two of which are already done at this writing)


And now, here’s my 2020 recap:

My numbers for 2020:
Stories out at the end of 2019: 169
New Stories Written: 84 (13 short and flash pieces, 71 poems)
Old Stories Making the Rounds: 164
Total Submissions: 1004
Total Rejections: 903 (+29)
Total Acceptances: 17 (+8) (-1)
Stories out at the end of 2020: 216

Last year, I fell 2 submissions shy of hitting 1,000 submissions for the year. This year, I exceeded 1,000 (by 4, but that’s still exceeding!) for the first time ever. In a year that often felt like the dumpster fire pictured above, this was a major accomplishment!

My acceptances this year were lower than last year, but also pretty good. I had 8 stories/poems submitted in 2019 that were accepted in 2020, and then 17 pieces submitted in 2020 that were also accepted. The -1 on this line is a market that accepted a story, but then folded before they got around to publishing. I did, however, get a kill fee on this story, which is the first time that’s ever happened!

I didn’t write as much new stuff as I wrote in 2019, and a chunk of my new poems went directly into a collection without making any rounds of submissions. But I still got a good number of new pieces written, and I’m happy with the stories I did write this year. I also spent time working on a novel (due out in February 2021), a novella (Sure Shot in Las Capas: The Case of the Absent Star), and several short story/poetry collections.

Looking back at my 2020 goals, here’s how I did:

  • Find an agent

This goal was one I worked at but didn’t meet. I sent out Promise Me Nothing to agents, but I didn’t get any bites on it. Instead, I decided to self publish that.

  • Lady Huntsman novella

Got this done and published.

  • Four new novels

This did not go as planned. I tried writing on of these novels twice. I didn’t get far either time. The humorous sci-fi I thought about writing instead turned into a poem. And the two YA novels haven’t hit my plate just yet. Since I’ve written a lot of previous novels during my lunch break at my desk, that got upended when I spent more than 3/4 of the year working from home. And while I LOVE working from home, I haven’t always used my free time during the workday as efficiently as I did in previous years. The big hit was my novel writing.

I did, however, wind up turning a piece of flash fiction into a children’s book, which I also illustrated myself. So that was an added novel-like treat for 2020.

  • 14 short stories

13 instead of 14 isn’t all that bad! Plus I got a lot of poetry written, plus about half a dozen starts to stories that I’ll finish up in 2021.

  • 18 book reviews

16 done in 2020, plus some comic book reviews that I wrote when I didn’t have any pressing novels or collections to review.

  • Two collections

I wound up publishing three collections in 2020, which included What If I’m a Merfolk?, which was the result of my doing Mermay for the first time in 2020. I wrote about 20 merfolk and water-related poems in May, and packaged them together with some stories and other merfolk poems I had written previously.



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