2023 year wrap up

A summary of what I’ve been up to in 2023

Welcome back, everyone! (You may notice this is a different platform—due to the ethics of my previous platform, I’ve made a switch.)

I wanted to write a writing/publication wrap up for 2023 because it has been a wild year. I have been writing for a long time, and I had been making some progress in my writing and eventual publication in 2017-2019. Early 2020 was rocky (even before COVID shutting things down), and by mid-2020 I was experiencing burnout so bad that I basically wrote nothing for two years. Mid-late 2022, I started to write and seek out publication again and so 2023 is the first full year I have taken my writing seriously in a long time. This is also the first of those years where my life was significantly different, my career and home life more stable than they’ve ever been, which meant that what that looked like was quite different.

I chose to come back with a vengeance.

I’m honestly a little amazed by how much I’ve been able to accomplish this year. In this post, I’m going to talk about my submission stats for short stories (my focus for much of the year), a bit about my new publications, how much I wrote, other milestones for 2023, and then about what’s going to come in 2024.

As always, you can find information about all my works on my website, including links to everything I’ve published so far—and I mark which ones are available free to read! I also include content warnings on my site, should you want or need them.

The Stats and Publications

Submissions sent in 2023: 143

Rejections: 113

Withdrawal: 6

Pending: 14

Acceptances: 10

Man, that’s a lot of submissions! I’m proud of myself for amping it up this year, even if the vast majority were rejections (as can be expected—it’s a tough market!). But you miss every shot you don’t take, etc, etc, so I am glad I amped up submissions this year—it all worked out.

I have to admit, in the first half of the year, every rejection was hard. But as time went on, they became more commonplace. While some still sting, it became a lot easier as time went on to say “damn, onto the next!”

Now, the stories, in publication order…

“A House, A Haunting” – My very first publication credit, landing in June 2023! A short haunted house story, from the perspective of the thing haunting the house. I like to joke that this story is about the horrors of real estate transactions.

“The Sixth Tree” – The gentlest story I’ve published, and one that holds a special place in my heart. Some of the kind words I’ve received from this fantasy flash fiction since it was published in July have been incredibly touching.

“And The Mountains Melt Like Wax” and “We Suffer in Fire” – This double feature, along with a piece of art I made, appeared in August in Devout: An Anthology of Angels. This was an incredibly fun project to be a part of, and I’m humbled to have found a home with so many authors I respect and feel grateful to have become friends with. While “And The Mountains Melt Like Wax” is a softer fantasy story about trauma, “We Suffer in Fire” is a horror flash fiction about obsession. If you read them, you’ll see how they connect!

“The Graves You Dig” – I was honoured to be in the inaugural issue of Mouthfeel Fiction in September. My story is a flash fiction about obsession, love, immortality—and gravedigging.

“What the Sea Provides” – This story appeared in October in The Cozy Cosmic. This story provided an opportunity for me to blend tenderness with existential horrors, which is a vibe I love. It also earned me my first ever fanart! (Content warning: child corpse in the art.)

“the heart of an angel” – My first (and only) poem of the year, appearing in October for an event called Octoberween—a Halloween-themed writing event for a book club I’m involved in. I enjoyed the opportunity to experiment more with poetry.

“Your Heart Stops” – In a similar vein to “What the Sea Provides,” I got to explore the intersections of love and horror in this flash fiction that was published in October in Greater Than His Nature. I enjoyed playing with form for this one.

“Neighborhood Watch” – This neo-epistolary short was published in November in issue 28 of The Crow’s Quill. Anyone who’s had the misfortune of talking to me for more than five minutes probably knows I love found fiction, and this was a super fun experiment with the form, as the whole story takes place across social media posts.

“What About the Dog?” – There’s a story here, and maybe I’ll get into it more another time, but suffice to say, I decided to self-publish this one, and it was a long time coming! I expanded it from versions I had previously submitted, and it was a great learning experience and I’m super happy with the results. This story of pet ownership gone wrong is pay what you want ($0 minimum) on itchio. It’s currently an itchio exclusive, but I’ll be distributing it wide in 2024!

 What I wrote in 2023

While most of the stories I published this year were written in 2023, not all were, so I thought it would be fun to highlight just how much I wrote, as well.

Over the course of the year, I completed 21 short stories or poems, ranging from about 500 words (or lower if you factor in the poems) to about 5,000 words, and totaling over 45,000 words.

Plus, I’ve reached about 56,000 words on my revisions for Pray For Him, though I couldn’t possibly tell you how much is new, how much is from the old drafts, etc. I also have a few shorts I started or worked on that I don’t consider ‘complete’ as they are either partially drafted or need revisions before I am satisfied, so we’re not counting those right now.

I have to say, I didn’t expect it to be quite that many words!

 Other takeaways from 2023

I think the most valuable thing I got from engaging more with my writing in 2023 wasn’t the publications (though I value them greatly), but it was building my network of writing peers and readers. I have found a community of authors I admire and whose work inspires me, and readers whose excitement for a good, unhinged indie book has helped me gain the confidence and bravery to self-publish.

The decision to self-publish came in the late summer this year, and it came about largely because I have met so many incredible, dedicated authors and readers in this space. Truly, they all inspire me to be bold, take risks, and push myself further.

I can’t wait to see what comes next—for me and for everyone in my community—in 2024.

 What’s coming in 2024?

There are three main things I hope to accomplish in 2024:

· Announce an official publication date (aiming for early 2024) for my religious horror/queer exorcisms book, Pray For Him—and make it to the finish line

· Continue to publish short fiction, either through presses or by self-publishing it (and one is already scheduled for January 2024)

· Draft what will be the second long form project I publish—likely either a horror novella or a dark urban fantasy novella, TBD which project moves to the front of the line!

I hope there’s a lot to come in 2024 and beyond—and I hope to continue to build my reader and writer community as I go, as well.

Thank you to everyone by my side. Subscribe here or follow me on social media to keep apprised of what’s new—there will be more to come!

Looking forward to seeing what the future holds.