Let's universally acknowledge that 2020 has been a shitshow. So, I’m going to pack up the lockdowns, the anxiety, the social distancing and all the new normals, put them all in a box, and shove them to the side. Because when I look at 2020 from a writing point of view—it’s been a cracker of a year.
The year of the short story
I wrote and published a LOT of short stories this year. (You can read how I inadvertently set myself a goal to write a story based on each of the 12 zodiac here.) However, when I went back and did the tally it came to way more than I’d thought—15 overall with acceptance number 16 coming out soon.
Include a Saggitarius short story I’m waiting to hear back on and the unedited short-story turned novella—I wrote 18 short stories/novelettes/novellas this year!
I’m bloody stoked!
Year of the mashup
2020 was also the year for mixing and mashing genres. It’s been great fun and I’ve learned a lot as a result. These projects included:
A sci-fantasy climate change novelette Dingo & Sister, published in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine Issue #78.
A science-fantasy space opera novella, working title: Children of Draugr
A fantasy-western novelette, The Secrets She Eats, published in Libra (Zodiac Series #10) by Deadset Press.
A horror-western short story, Scorpion’s Sting, coming soon in Scorpio (Zodiac Series #11) by Deadset Press.
I won a thing
Okay, technically it was a three-way tie, but the world behind a writer's desk is full of rejection, so I’m 100% taking it.
'Firstborn', Pop-Up Submissions Winner, Litopia, 15 May 2020:
How does it work? Pop Ups is a weekly YouTube show where hopeful writers submit the first 700 words of a project to see how it fares under the scrutiny of an agent and a couple of writer guests. Each week features roughly five submissions.
Edited a couple of things
Shoutout to Austin Sheehan and Deadset Press for trusting me with these projects.
Gemini, Deadset Press, May 2020.
Aries, Deadset Press, March 2020.
Pisces, Deadset Press, February 2020.
Just look at those beautiful covers:
Signed my first novel
Via a Twitter pitching contest! In fact, I ended up with two publishing offers from two different pitching contests at the same time (#PitDark and #SFFpit for those who are interested). At some point, I’ll get around to blogging about this in more detail. Until then, I’m very pleased to say that The Rarkyn’s Familiar, the first of a trilogy, will be published by Parliament House in 2022.
70,000 words of book two drafted
Well, that was a wee fib. It’s actually sitting at 67,478 but 70,000 sounded much better in the heading (I’m rounding up, okay? And I still have 12 hours until midnight!). Given I only started this draft back in September, I'm pretty pleased to get this far in three months. All those short stories from earlier in the year have done wonders for teaching me to write to deadlines, even if they are self-imposed at this point.
Total words written in 2020
And for a final why-the-hell-not, I threw all my creative words from this year into a document to see the grand total:
*Does not include editing rounds.
Other writing stats
3x Twitter pitching events (SFFpit, IWSGPit and PitDark)
Yep, pretty chuffed with that. Pandemic or no. All the same, I'll be raising a glass tonight and hoping for a slightly less apocalyptic 2021.
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