Saturday, June 27, 2009

Submissions

According to his bio, Philip K. Dick once had seven short stories published in one month, June 1953. I managed to submit five stories this month. Of course, if Dick got seven published, one has to wonder what his rate of submission was. Back then, he obviously didn't have Duotrope to track his submissions; he typed everything, probably with carbon, and put it in the mail by hand. My acceptance ratio so far is 50%, which is higher than average. If his rate was as good as mine (granted, it was probably better), Dick could have been submitting 14 stories a month in order to get seven published, therefore, possibly, writing two a day. When did he revise? Did he have a crit partner?

Jesus.

There was a thread the other day on Absolute Writers Water Cooler where one author was asking others what their yearly goal was for submitting short fiction. Some people tried for six a year. It's sad, but I think that is what is going to be the dividing line between a writer who can call herself a writer, and one who just write as a hobby. You can't live on six stories a year. Some claimed to be working on novels; that's cool, but still... The payoff on a novel might be better in the long run, but short fiction will keep you active and engaged a lot more, not just in writing, but in the industry. Everything changes so fast these days, you've got to constantly monitor and submit and be be involved, get your name out there. If I ever decide to write a novel (which I am more and more shying away from) at least I'll have had X number of short stories published first. I'll have gotten my feet wet, and I'll have something of a following. That's what's important, after all.

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