It's been another, approximately, 4 months...
Cribbed from my last update post, I write goal and goal update posts for transparency. I strongly suggest you find yourelf a small writing group with goals similar to yours - whether it be short fiction or novels, indie publishing or traditional routes - because these groups will be vocal about their goals, activities, and struggles than the average social media or blog writer.
Why four (4) months? Because it's short enough that it doesn't feel like everything has happened all at once, but it's long enough that I don't feel like I'm not reporting change.
On the day of publication of this blog post, my goal was to have submitted sixty (60) of my yearly goal of nintey (90) stories. I am at exactly sixty submissions as of today.
Giving this an On Course 🏃🏻♀️
Rejections and Acceptances
I have ten (10) submissions out at this time. I've had two (2) acceptances this year - one for Manawaker Flash Fiction podcast for a reprint for "Submerged" and an new, original print of "W.F.A. #31" for Worlds of Possibility. This number hasn't changed since my last update. I seem to get all my acceptances in the spring. I'm hoping the increased submissions will change that pattern of the last few years.
I always aim for 100% rejection because I really don't have control over acceptances. I've also gotten a higher rate of personal rejections so far this year than in years past. This is a good sign.
Giving this an On Course 🏃🏻♀️
Short Fiction Writing Goals
I was already very much in the weeds on this goal for my last update. Knowing that I was at 3 stories out of 17 at that point. If I had tried to get back on track I should have aimed for either drafting or polishing one story per week since. That's another 17 stories.
Well, I was draftintg a novel through the beginning of June and took a writing break in mid-June for two weeks. That wasn't the initial plan, but I'm statisfied with that course anyway.
Then I participated in the Clarion West 2023 Write-a-Thon Flash Fiction Groups. My goal was to submit a story to them weekly for the five (5) feedback weeks. I accomplished that!
I also ended up writing another novelette in July on top of the poem and flash for the workshop. I've also polished one of the flash stories from the workshop and started its submission journey. All in all, again, I'm satisfied with where this has gone.
Giving this a Smelling the Flowers and perfectly fine
No good news since my last update. I have all the responses I expect I'll get on my first novel that I queried.
I have started querying the second novel as of the end of May. Querying is going faster this time around. For that I'm thankful.
Here's hoping for better news next update.
Novel Writing and Revision
I finished the novel I wrote April - June at about 82,000 words. I plan to let it sit until September (that 90 days that gets thrown around as a suggestion to let novels rest) and pull it out for revision. I'm very happy with that drafting process and that I have something new to work on.
Meanwhile, I have seven (7) pieces of flash, short fiction, and poetry to revise and get on the short story submission grind. Ideally I'll finish all of those in the next couple of weeks. I'll update you on if those manage to get finished by the end of the year, let alone this wild goal of 2 weeks.
That leaves the 23k novella I wrote in February/March to revise still and the 10k novelette I wrote in July to revise - hopefully by the end of the year. Those sit between short fiction and novels. They won't be queryable, but depending on how things shake out, I will be on another submission path with each of those.
That's it! I've been productive in the writing front, and less successful in the acceptances, requests, etc front. Wish me a bit of luck for this last part of the year.
It's an even month, when I usually talk about giving or receiving feedback. I'm going to mutate that into talking about getting mentorship, which may involve getting feedback.
Types of Mentorships
There are multiple types of mentorship programs.
What do you need? What do you want?
Free or paid?
This post has been edited to add a section on choosing a free or paid program at approximately noon Pacific time on Monday August 14, 2023.
"Money flows to the writer" is often heard in writing circles. This is meant to help writers to avoid schmagents and scammy Publishers. In certain fiction circles, one is advised not to pay submission fees and in others, it is standard procedure to pay submission fees. However, paying to attend conferences and workshops is not a part of that particular advice, since those are expected to be improving your craft and not as a direct publication exchange. It does contribute to a "pay-to-play" mindset that we must be careful about.
That said, consider your budget for learning and improving your craft and career.
Some of the links below are free to applicants and some have fees. Some cost thousands of US dollars. Other than trying to avoid scams (please comment or email me if I've linked to a scam), I've included both free and paid opportunities below. In this edit, I've marked those that have fees/tuition.
There aren't that many mentorships that focus solely on your career. Often, career gets lumped into a combined mentorship. For a career mentorship, you already have to have an idea of what you want for your career. Are you a short fiction writer? Novelist? Both? Often you'll have to focus on one per mentorship. What craft advice can you use? This won't come in the form of feedback on your work but rather craft books and other reading for you to learn from. What tools might help you advance your career?
A few of these are available through
The most well-known of these was Pitch Wars, where a specific manuscript was selected by a mentor who helped with revising until it was polished for a showcase for agent interest. Many Pitch Wars mentees went on to find agents (with or without their mentor's continued assistance) and a portion of those secured book deals. However, Pitch Wars is no more. In fact, the last couple of years has seen the ending of many similar programs.
All of these programs require you have a manuscript or a short story that will be revised and polished during the mentorship with the goal that you'll use the learned revisions tools on your future manuscripts.
Find opportunites at
Look for these from
Workshops can also lead to mentorships. All the in-person and online workshop intensives will require you have a manuscript you submit. You'll often have teachers who will spend time discussing craft in group and sometimes individual settings, along with group critique. These are also given with the idea that you'll take these learned lessons for revising future manuscripts. There are a ton of annual workshops.
SFF/H related workshops
There is a ton you can learn by joining writers groups. My favorite are Discord groups. Many like Facebook groups or email groups or web forum groups (like Codex). These are not individual focused mentorships, but you might learn a lot about career and craft that you would not have discovered on your own. Keep your eye out for groups that might provide you these oppotunities.
Some suggested Discord groups - these link to webpages where you can find the Discord invite:
This was not in any way meant to be an all-inclusive list of mentorship opportunities. It is meant to encourage fellow writers to look into mentorship opportunities as ways to improve their careers and crafts. Do you have suggestions on mentorship programs and groups? Please leave a comment!
July might have been rough to follow my short fiction recs. Mastodon was the best place to get my weekday morning suggestions reliably. I started the month on Twitter, but have since abandoned my account. Three weeks ago, I joined BlueSky and have started posting daily there - though without a scheduler, it's a bit random throughout the day. Here are all twenty-three (23) in one place for you
Smokelong Quarterly published
Lucy Ignores Death by L. Sorviero in 2020
Princess Shipwreck by Tessa Yang in 2017
The Haunted Tea Set by Sarah Jackson was published at Bone Parade in June.
Egg / Shell by Avi Burton was published by Kaleidotrope.
Cossmass Infinities published The Bullet in My Pocket Has Your Name On It by P.A. Cornell in June.
If There's Anyone Left published
And Again, We Try by Allison King in 2022.
Poignant science fiction story about family immigration decisions.
River Mumma Remembers by Tonya R. Moore in June.
The Care Giver by Frances Ogamba in 2022.
A story about a mortuary worker who sees the ghosts of the bodies he works on.
The Hamster Machine by Andrew Kozma was published by ergot.
What happens when you need a lot of hamsters?
Writer of spec fic.