Archive | April, 2020

Setting goals & keeping focussed

23 Apr

Today I’m happy to have finished all my prep work for the May challenge.

That’s 31 stories & 2 spares to sub out. Spellchecked, a grammar pass, audioproofed (with a listen along, doing any edits) & layout.

It took about 5 days in total, including the time it took me to select all 33 of those stories. A lot of it is what I’d class as “invisible work”, or stuff the end reader will never know happened to the piece unless they follow this blog or my twitter feed.

I’m trying my to lift the curtain back on what I do “behind the scenes”, to bring a story to being able to submit it. The story needs to be absolutely the best condition, in terms of readability, grammar, no mistakes, consistancy and layout.

I want the editors where I’m sending these stories to have the best possible reading experience I as a writer can give them. Sure, it helps if the story is solid and enjoyable too, but all the niggly small things an editor might potentially reject your work for needs to be removed.

Then you’ve got a fighting chance at a sale.

The main problem with going through all these steps with so many different stories is it really takes it out of you, mentally and physically. It’s even tougher with being in lockdown, to the point where the last time I did this it took 3 days in total to do 38 stories. This time around it took almost a week, and I’m not in a hurry to be doing it again any time soon.

The main thing I found which helped me was to set a daily goal, to get a specific amount of stories done. I didn’t always achieve that goal, but I knew that with each piece I did, it was making my workload lighter for the next day.

It has been quite difficult to maintain focus on the stages of getting these stories fully polished and submission ready. Again, the daily goals have helped there, but I didn’t get to all of them. I don’t see that as a failure, more I over estimated my own ability or mental state at the time.

Never set yourself stupid targets you can’t possible reach. Goals should be sensible, reasonable, and within your grasp. Even if you fail to reach those goals, it’s still a helpful process as you’ve learned something about how you work as a writer, which will shape your future experiences.

I now have time to cooldown, to get myself and my mind ready for the challenge.

Challenge update

16 Apr

I’m pleased to say I have chosen my core 31 stories. I’ve picked 1 spare, so far, and I’m fairly sure I’ll be able to find at least 5 more as my extras.

EXTRAS:- Stories I’ll be submitting as additional pieces on days where I already have a piece selected. I don’t want to just send out 31 stories. 31 is a bare minimum. I managed over 60 last time, but a shit ton of markets were open at the time.

Markets have been tough to find, I want people to know that. I worked HARD. I mean crazy fucking hard sourcing places who paid & were open. I’ve done a lot of advertising, to entice other writers into joining in. I’ve no clue how many new people are going to join us this time around.

I’ll make a start on my prep tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who is and will be supporting me now & next month. It really means a lot to me.

So this was March 2020

1 Apr

I’ve made 120 new submissions. 95 rejections. 6 acceptances. 1 withdrawn, 0 not received.


36 Hours In The Space Force sold to B Cubed Press, Jan 20th 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) sold to Trouble Among the Stars, Jan 20th 2020.
Fillers was accepted by Again, Hazardous Imaginings, Feb 20th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar sold to Aphotic Realm, Feb 21st, 2020.
The Shaming sold to Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, 28th Feb, 2020.
A story was sold to a market on 22nd Mar, 2020. I can’t say any more yet.

There are currently 37 stories out in submission:-

Normally there would be a screengrab showing what’s out in submission here. Due to circumstances beyond my control, that won’t be happening this month. I actually wasn’t going to release an update blog at all this month because of that, but decided it wasn’t fair on my followers. My advice, also follow me on Twitter @RayDaleyWriter & you’ll always get the details of what has been rejected & when. I’m not saying you could use that info to work out which story I sold & where to, but you totally could.


A Tooth Fairy Dreams… Aether And Ichor issue 5. Jan 1st, 2020.
It Takes A Dragon. Flash Fiction Magazine. Jan 12th, 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5). Trouble Among The Stars issue 5. February 5th, 2020.
Super Fake. Future Syndicate II. February 6th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar. Aphotic Realm Magazine #9, Interstellar. March 26th, 2020


Summer At Camp Long Drop will be released in Ghostlight, April 2020. (TBC)
Bastard Space will be released in Wordland 8 possibly around Easter/April 2020. (TBC)
The Shaming will be released in Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, May 1st 2020.
Detecting Rogue Time Travellers (Practical Exam) will be released in Transmundane Press On Time anthology June 27th, 2020. (TBC)

When I get more solid dates on the to be confirmeds, I’ll announce them.


I’ve still got 9 stories left to hear back from the January Submission Challenge. There are also still 4 stories outstanding from the original September Challenge!
Tuck & Roll in Automobilia is still on-going.
Fillers won’t be appearing in Again, Hazardous Imaginings. I was asked to do a full rewrite which I wasn’t prepared to do, especially after being told “yours is the best thus far and the most fitting for the anthology’s theme.”

As you can see, I did make a sale recently. I haven’t been given permission to announce it yet, this is why there’s no “out in submission” screenshot. Sorry about that. As I say, beyond my control. I have to respect the publishers wishes.