As much for myself as anything else, it’s nice to look back on a year and see what’s been achieved. Given that I’m always striving for more, it’s good to stop and remind myself what I have managed along the way. So here are some writing facts and figures for 2015.
I had no new books out this year, but I wrote some – more on that below.
New short fiction publications this year were:
“How Father Bryant Saw the Light” – Blurring the Line anthology (ed. Marty Young, Cohesion Press, November 2015)
“Reaching For Ruins” – Review of Australian Fiction (ed. Matthew Lamb, Vol. 16, Issue 3, November 2015)
“Old Promise, New Blood” – Bloodlines anthology (ed. Amanda Pillar, Ticonderoga Publications, October 2015)
“In Vaulted Halls Entombed” – SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest anthology (ed. Geoff Brown & A J Spedding, Cohesion Press, September 2015) (Novelette)
“Beyond the Borders of All He Had Been Taught” – Insert Title Here anthology (ed. Tehani Wessley, Fablecroft Publishing, April 2015)
“The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner” – The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (ed. Gordon Van Gelder, Jan-Feb 2015 issue)
That last one, selling to F&SF, is a real career high point for me. It’s my holy grail of sales and I finally nailed it. I’ve loved that magazine since I was a kid and seeing my name in one was mind-numbing. Plus, it’s just been listed on the Tangent Online Recommended Reading List, so that’s a nice bonus. Now to beat my best by selling to F&SF again.
As for the business of submissions, I made 37 short fiction submissions in 2015, so fewer than normal. But I got 8 acceptances, a couple of them pro, which is a higher ratio than normal. A few of those were solicited, so the strike rate is always higher that way than cold subs.
As for new writing, I wrote about a dozen new short stories, all of which are either sold or (four of them) out on submission.
I finished a novel that I started in 2014, which is now with my agent.
I wrote a whole new collaborative novel with David Wood which is now out on submission.
I wrote a novella of about 30k words that’s also out on submission.
And I’m halfway (about 50k words) through a new novel that I hope to have finished in first draft by the end of Feb.
Also in 2015, I won an Australian Shadows Award, for “Shadows of the Lonely Dead”, and was nominated for a second one for “Mephisto”, both short stories. And I was nominated for a Best Novel Ditmar Award for Bound, a Best Novella or Novelette Ditmar Award for “The Darkness in Clara”, and a Best Horror Novel Aurealis Award for Obsidian. And the Shadows Award winning story was reprinted in Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror. Not actual writing stats, but fucking significant writing achievements in the year.
So while there’s only been six new stories published this year (my lowest count since 2011), and no new books, I have nonetheless been very busy. That’s the business – nothing happens fast. But you have to work like a pro 100% of the time to see results. And they do come if you never quit.
Hopefully I’ll land a new book deal or two in 2016 – cross your eveythings for me.
How was your year? Productive, I hope. Let’s all try to beat our best in 2016. Happy new year!