Sold a Story to Books of the Dead Press!

I’ve written about this one–it’s the one I said would hurt if it didn’t get accepted.

For anyone new to submissions, pleased don’t ever do this. Counting on a story’s acceptance so much that you know you’ll be truly upset if it’s sent back, well, that way lies madness. Submit so many and write so much that you don’t have time to focus on just one story, and when the inevitable rejections come in, send them back out and don’t get discouraged. This is what I do most of the time.

This time, though, something was different about this story. It’s the longest original short story I’ve written, and the first one that really got to me as I wrote it. It made my daughter cry, and halfway through had her aggravated at me for pausing (I was reading it aloud to check for errors and goofiness, and she was in the room). I felt, for possibly the first time ever, that I’d written an entertaining, effective story that achieved what I wanted it to do.  That story and one I wrote the following week felt like turning points for me.  (That story sold, too.) Had it been rejected, I know I’d have had a bad few days, especially since it was written specifically for the anthology.

I didn’t open the email for 2 hours, because I’ve already had a bad few days, and didn’t want to make them worse. Then I realized that spending 2 days convincing myself it was a rejection to ease the blow would be the same as facing a rejection for the next 2 days anyway. I told myself to get it over with. And it was accepted.

Thrilled! Some of the names in other Books of the Dead Press anthologies include Ray Garton, Simon Clark, Tim Lebbon, Tim Waggoner, Mort Castle, Michael Laimo and Gary Braunbeck. People I’ve read in horror anthologies and places like Cemetery Dance for years and enjoyed. I don’t know who will be in this anthology, but I recognize names in every BotD book, so being accepted there is a genuinely big thrill for me. 😀

I’ve been so busy, and knew I would be, that I’m aiming for writing 4 stories this month whenever I can squeeze them in. One went down the first week, three still to go.

And so many stories to edit and get out the door. I’m discouraged with myself for sitting on so many for so long. I still have two written in Januuary I haven’t submitted yet! Out of the 31 separate things I’ve submitted this year, I have 13 acceptances.  Almost half of what I’ve sent out has been placed. I’m super pleased with that, so the odds are in my favor of placing at least a couple of the ones waiting to go. 

I’m at my lowest rate of circulating stories in a while–8 pieces to 4 markets, and 5 of those are Twitter-length, 2 are less than 1,500 words and one is a short humor non-ficcy/fic thing. It’s seriously time to get my full-length stuff out there! This is my goal every month, and one I keep falling short of time after time. Time to stop procrastinating those edits.

I can’t feel too badly about it today, though.  Yay, Books of the Dead Press!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 6:41 pm and is filed under Rejections and Acceptances, Writing Goals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. May 20th, 2011 | Madeline Mora-Summonte says:

    Whoo hoo! Good for you, Shelley. Congratulations! 🙂

  2. May 21st, 2011 | Samuel Mae says:

    I know i congratulated you on AW already, but i’ll do so again here: Congrats!

    And your acceptance rate is awesome! I’m envious 😀

  3. May 24th, 2011 | Shelley says:

    Thanks, guys! 😀

  4. May 24th, 2011 | NicoleMD says:

    Man, you rock! Keep up the good work.

  5. May 24th, 2011 | Shelley says:

    Thanks, Nicky!

  6. May 28th, 2011 | Amanda C. Davis says:

    Is it Zombie Kong? ^_^

  7. May 29th, 2011 | Shelley says:

    @Amanda: Yep! I keep thinking the name might change for copyright reasons, but maybe not.

    I see you have one in there, too. Congrats to us both. 🙂

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