12 Months, 12 New Short Stories (Plus: My First Full Manuscript Request!)

It’s time to generate some more new content. Given that my new mission is to always have something out there waiting to be rejected, I feel like I want some new stuff to send around.

To that end, I’ve embarked on a mission to write twelve short stories in twelve months. Started with a story called “Sprachlos,” which I wrote and edited in January. It’s about a literary forensics guy investigating a pseudonym that perhaps would be best left alone. It’s cute, amusing — I like it and have started to send it around. It’s already been rejected by Nightmare Magazine, and now it’s waiting its turn in the queue over at Cemetery Dance. 

February’s story is also now well on its way to first-draft-dom. It’s about a day in the early summer for a family of three living on a lake. They have a bad day. I hope to have the story drafted by the end of this weekend while Winter Storm Nemo does its thing to the northeast.

In other news, I sent a query to Random House’s new horror ebook line Hydra to see if they wanted to help me put out an improved version of Abraham Road. They liked the sample chapter and requested the full manuscript, and I’m waiting to hear back. It’s been over two months, so I expect to hear any day now. If they do end up turning it down, I’m probably going to spend a few weeks turning it into an audiobook.

As for those novels still waiting in the wings, progress is slower. I guess the problem is that, before I go down another long road with a full-length project, I’d like to have some validation that I’m getting the knack of this story-writing business. This year, it’s all about getting that first real acceptance letter for a horror story.


  1. QD said:

    Hello, did you ever hear back from Cemetery Dance? I’ve got one over there too. Best of luck with your writing!

  2. Hi – pleased to make your acquaintance.

    I’ve heard only that if you haven’t heard anything yet, it means you’ve made it past the first readers and your story is with the editors right now.

    I presume my rejection letter will arrive shortly. I’ve been watching the listings on Duotrope and Submission Grinder, and it looks like the editors are breaking out their hatchets again. A few 200+-day form rejected were received a few days ago. My story’s been with them about 162 days.

    Both sites (Duotrope and Grinder) still report an acceptance rate of 0.00%.

    My one hope is that the rejection I receive is at least personal. I can’t imagine waiting over 200 days for a D slip.

  3. QD said:

    That’s my thought exactly – it really is very unfair to keep a story 200 days and then get a form rejection. The editors should at least take the time to explain why the story is being rejected. Here’s to hoping we make the cut!

  4. Agreed, and good luck to you. I’ll be posting about the rejection whenever it hits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.