Tag Archives: Submission Challenge

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.

May 2020 Submission Challenge update

9 Mar

All markets have now been checked. All are paying & open during May as far as I have been able to ascertain.

The rules are simple:- Try to sub a story to the market I’ve listed on the day I list it to be used. If you don’t wish to sub on that day or to that market, you don’t have to. In an ideal world, you’ll sub to all 31 markets and have (at least) 31 stories out. If you only want to sub 1 story during the month, that is totally fine! You don’t even have to use these markets, as long as you use a PAYING MARKET!

The private Facebook group was renamed, if you want an invite, message me via FB.

Feel free to get in touch with me on twitter @RayDaleyWriter if you are interested in taking part!

01 – Kanstellation https://www.kanstellation.com/submissions.html (themed)
02 – Abyss & Apex (Flash only!) https://www.abyssapexzine.com/submissions/
03 – F&SF https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/glines.htm
04 – Clarkesworld http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/submissions/
05 – Strange Horizons http://strangehorizons.com/submit/fiction-submission-guidelines/
06 – Interzone http://ttapress.com/interzone/guidelines/
07 – Daily Science Fiction https://dailysciencefiction.com/submit
08 – 3 Lobed Burning Eye https://www.3lobedmag.com/submissions.html
09 – Vestal Review http://www.vestalreview.org/guidelines/
10 – The Arcanist https://thearcanist.io/tag/submission-guidelines/
11 – Asimov’s https://www.asimovs.com/contact-us/writers-guidelines/
12 – Every Day Fiction https://everydayfiction.com/submit-story/
13 – AGNI https://agnionline.bu.edu/submit
14 – Beneath Ceaseless Skies http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/submissions/
15 – Cast Of Wonders (Banned books week) https://www.castofwonders.org/submissions/
16 – Sirius Science Fiction https://siriussciencefiction.blogspot.com/
17 – Ordinary Mortals Anthology https://www.rogue-blades.com/RBE-Submissions
18 – The Drabblecast https://www.drabblecast.org/submissions/
19 – Electric Spec https://www.electricspec.com/Submissions.html
20 – Metaphorosis https://magazine.metaphorosis.com/guidelines/
21 – Flash Fiction Online http://flashfictiononline.com/main/submission-guidelines-flash-fiction/
22 – (Hybrid Ink) Future//Tense: Sex https://hybrid.ink/submit/anthologies/future-tense/sex/
23 – The Future Fire http://futurefire.net/guidelines/fiction.html
24 – Not One Of Us https://not-one-of-us.pub/about/guidelines/
25 – Chrome Baby http://robindunn.com/chrome-submit.html
26 – Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/
27 – Nature; Futures http://blogs.nature.com/futureconditional/2015/04/19/how-to-write-for-nature-futures/
28 – Amazing Stories https://submission.amazingstoriesmag.com/guidelines/
29 – Bards & Sages Quarterly https://www.bardsandsages.com/contact_us/fiction_submission_guidelines
30 – The Dark Magazine http://thedarkmagazine.com/submission-guidelines/ (Dark Fantasy)
31 – Shoreline of Infinity – https://www.shorelineofinfinity.com/submissions/

All the above links are verified as PAYING & OPEN DURING MAY. Do not bump any links, most are open for short periods only (those which aren’t “always open” markets). If you struggle to find somewhere open, please use F&SF, Asimov’s, Interzone or Clarkesworld.

Be aware Clarkesworld have a 7 day cool off period so you have to wait once you’ve received a rejection/acceptance there. F&SF, Interzone & Asimov’s, you can send to as soon as you’ve heard back.

SPARES:- Weird Tales Magazine https://www.facebook.com/groups/Horrorwritersassoc/permalink/10156755935966581/ Subs end May 2nd Midnight PST
Cossmass Infinities https://www.cossmass.com/submit/ (Until May 14th)
Write Ahead/The Future Looms https://www.writeaheadthefuturelooms.com/submission-guidelines
The Centropic Oracle http://www.centropicoracle.com/mainpages/subguide.php (Currently Flash only)
Women of the Woods https://www.fabledcollective.com/anthology-submissions.html
Compelling Science Fiction http://compellingsciencefiction.com/guidelines.html
Andromeda Spaceways Magazine https://andromedaspaceways.com/submissions-manager/

Horror links:- Black Static http://ttapress.com/blackstatic/guidelines/
No Sleep Podcast https://www.thenosleeppodcast.com/submissions
Occult Detective Magazine https://greydogtales.com/blog/occult-detective-magazine/

So this was February 2020

1 Mar

I’ve made 100 new submissions. 72 rejections. 5 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.

There are currently 42 stories out in submission:-

_out in subs


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 will be released in Aphotic Realm, Interstellar, mid March 2020. (TBC)
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 15 stories left to hear back from the January Submission Challenge. There are also still 4 stories outstanding from the original September Challenge! I’ve earmarked May for the next Submission Challenge, plenty of participants reported sales and that makes me really happy.

Unless another call goes out & I get accepted, I won’t be involved in Jouth Volume 2. Frankly, I think it’s currently dead in the water & I have listed my stories as withdrawn.
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.”

Summing Up The January Submission Challenge!

1 Feb

I’m not just going to say what was subbed where & what was rejected by who on which day, I’ll also give running daily stats & talk about what else happened as the month went on.

Today’s market was Fantasy & Science Fiction. I started the year with a story publication too! Aether & Ichor published A Tooth fairy Dreams… in their final issue.

01-Fluid State to F&SF,
Previous Iterations to Kanstellation,
I Hide Behind Cardboard Cliffs And Polystyrene Rocks to Cossmass Infinities.
No=0, Yes=0, Sub=3.

Today’s market was Clarkesworld. I had to bump Space & Time up the list too as they brought their closing date forward. This would prove to be annoying later in the month. We discovered 87 Bedford was closed today as well. You’ll see what problems that causes shortly too.

02-Scenario Twelve to Space & Time.
The Witch In The Fog to Clarkesworld Magazine.
No from Space and Time on The Sex Lives Of Robots.
No=1, Yes=0, Sub=5.

Today’s market was Daily Science Fiction. No issues submitting there, thankfully.

03-No from F&SF on Fluid State.
Monster to Daily Science Fiction,
Nightwing Fucks Shit Up to F&SF.
No=2, Yes=0, Sub=7.

Today’s market was Sirius Science Fiction. Totally fine submitting here. A good solid market.

04-No from James Gunn’s Ad Astra on House, Or Home.
No from F&SF on Nightwing Fucks Shit Up.
Nightwing Fucks Shit Up to Interzone.
One Of Us Is Lying to Sirius Science Fiction,
One Night Stand to Mythic.
No=4, Yes=0, Sub=10.

Today’s market was 87 Bedford, which was closed. After a bit of a scramble, I found Strange Constellations WAS open, thankfully.

05-Weird Old Wullie to Strange Constellations,
Starliner Down to F&SF.
No=4, Yes=0, Sub=12.

Today’s market was Strange Constellations. Guess who I subbed to the previous day? I found an anthology call open and subbed there. I also subbed to Infinite Worlds Magazine, because the anthology wasn’t a paying call.

06-No from Clarkesworld on The Witch In The Fog.
Bodge Job to Infinite Worlds Magazine,
Mushnik’s Guitar to Aphotic Realm’s Interstellar; Horror Among the Stars.
No=5, Yes=0, Sub=14.

Today’s market was Agni. I subbed there. On the right day.

07-No from F&SF on Starliner Down.
Stranding Room Only to F&SF.
Salvation to Agni.
No=6, Yes=0, Sub=16.

Today’s market was Visions. I couldn’t sub here because they were closed. So I subbed a horror piece from the  horror market list I’d also created. I’d made it, so why not use it, right?

08-Ghost Tour to Dark Moon Digest.
No=6, Yes=0, Sub=17.

Today’s market was The Overcast. Hooray for a day with no problems submitting there.

09-Two Little Birds to The Arcanist,
She, Of The Tribeless to The Overcast.
Timeshare to Hybrid Ink; Small Loves.
No=6, Yes=0, Sub=20.

Today’s market was Trouble Among The Stars. They were placed on this day as their closure deadline was imminent.

10-No from F&SF on Stranding Room Only,
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) to Trouble Among the Stars
& The Healer to F&SF.
No=7, Yes=0, Sub=22.

Today’s market was Constellary Tales. They were closed.  I had this market in reserve though.

11-They Who Dare to Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.
No=7, Yes=0, Sub=23.

Today’s market was Electric Spec. Their deadline was looming, so I’d placed them here for that reason. My 2nd story of the year was published today. “It Takes A Dragon…” went live at Flash Fiction Magazine.

12-Total Immersion to Electric Spec.
No=7, Yes=0, Sub=24.

Today’s market was Strange Horizons. You can only sub here on a certain day between certain times. The hoops you have to leap through JUST to submit a fucking story.

13-No from F&SF on The Healer,
Fair King, Fell Low to Strange Horizons,
The Healer to Clarkesworld.
No=8, Yes=0, Sub=26.

Today’s market was Every Day Fiction.

14-No from Daily Science Fiction on Monster,
no from Interzone on Nightwing Fucks Shit Up,
The Age Of Chivalry to Every Day Fiction,
Shoulder Surfers to Forge Literary Magazine.
No=10, Yes=0, Sub=28.

Today’s market was Strange Fictions. Submission Grinder listed it as “permanently closed” hence submitting elsewhere.

15-Save State to Utopia Science Fiction,
Simon Says to F&SF.
No=10, Yes=0, Sub=30.

Today’s market was NewMyths.

16-The Fight to NewMyths,
Ghost Tour to The Dark.
No=10, Yes=0, Sub=32.

Today’s market was Chrome Baby.

17-No from Electric Spec on Total Immersion,
no from NewMyths on The Fight,
no from The Dark on Ghost Tour.
The Scars Of War to Chrome Baby,
The Uninvited to Black Static.
No=13, Yes=0, Sub=34.

Today’s market was Flash Fiction Online.

18-No from Forge Literary Magazine on Shoulder Surfers,
no from F&SF on Simon Says
& no from ServiceScape Short Story Award on In Hot Water.
On Common Ground to Flash Fiction Online,
Say Again, Over to F&SF.
No=16, Yes=0, Sub=36.

Today’s market was Metaphorosis Magazine. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to sub there because of the way they make you format a story to such an exact way. In the end I just did it anyway. Tell-Tale Press were closed for general subs, Andrea invited me to sub to her anthology call. Well, I wangled an invitation. Right place, right time.

19-No from Black Static on The Uninvited.
Sidekicks to Metaphorosis,
The Shaming to Tell-Tale Press; Nabu Carnevale,
Ballroom to Tell-Tale Press; Nabu Carnevale,
& The Dionesian Wave to Tell-Tale Press; Nabu Carnevale.
No=17, Yes=0, Sub=40.

Today’s market was Mithila Review. First sale of the month! 36 Hours In The Space Force was sold to B Cubed Press. I actually made 2 sales on this day but didn’t get permission to announce the 2nd sale right away hence not announcing it here.

20-No from F&SF on Say Again, Over.
No from B Cubed Press on Volunteers Needed.
36 Hours In The Space Force was sold to B Cubed Press.
The War Machines to Mithila Review,
Say Again, Over to Aggregate.
No=19, Yes=1, Sub=42.

Today’s market was Space & Time. I’d already had to bump it up the list to get in before they shut, so there was a bit of looking around for an open paying market today.

21-No from Clarkesworld on The Healer,
no from Cossmass Infinities on Cardboard Cliffs.
The Man Who Borrowed My Clock to Planet Scumm,
Assessment to Curiosities.
Volunteers Needed! to Space Force; Building a Legacy.
No=21, Yes=1, Sub=45.

Today’s market was Asimovs. I was also given permission to announce my 2nd sale of the year! My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) was sold to Trouble Among the Stars on Jan 20th. As I knew I wasn’t going to be submitting to Analog on the 26th, I moved Asimov’s to there.

22-The Ripples Of Time to F&SF,
Stray Kids Come Back to Hybrid Fiction.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) SOLD to Trouble Among the Stars.
No from Metaphorosis on Sidekicks,
no from Newfound on The Very Next Best Thing To Being There,
no from Curiosities on Assessment.
No=24, Yes=2, Sub=47.

Today’s market was Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

23-Dragon Bait to Beneath Ceaseless Skies,
Somewhere, It’s Still Paris to Electric Spec.
No=24, Yes=2, Sub=49.

Today’s market was Interzone.

24-Stranding Room Only to Interzone.
No from F&SF on The Ripples Of Time,
no from Beneath Ceaseless Skies on Dragon Bait
& no from Kanstellation on Previous Iterations.
No=27, Yes=2, Sub=50.

Today’s market was Three-Lobed Burning Eye.

25-Grandmothers Shoes to Three-lobed Burning Eye,
Top Field Tanks to All Worlds Wayfarer.
No=27, Yes=2, Sub=52.

Today’s market was Analog. I already had a piece there, and knew they had a backlog of at least 4-5 months so I used Asimov’s instead. I also pitched a couple of stories to Andrea Dawn at Tell-Tale & she said go ahead, send them, so I did.

26-The Burning Towers to Tell-Tale Press Nabu Carnevale
& Exactly The Wrong Shade Of Green to Tell-Tale Press Nabu Carnevale.
Starliner Down to Asimovs.
No=27, Yes=2, Sub=55.

Today’s market was The Weird And Whatnot. Couldn’t sub here today because their web domain had expired, so another scramble for open markets.

27-No from Asimov’s on Starliner Down.
Stranding Room Only to Clarkesworld,
The Uninvited to Tales to Terrify
& Caught Red-Handed to Interzone.
No=28, Yes=2, Sub=58.

Today’s market was Liquid Imagination. Guess who closed early? They did, leaving me yet ANOTHER scramble for somewhere open. It’s a good job I’ve got over 500 finished stories to sub, isn’t it?

28-No from Clarkesworld on Stranding Room Only.
Second Site to F&SF,
The Death Of Tony Fashion to Flash Bang Mysteries.
No=29, Yes=2, Sub=60.

Today’s market was Not One Of Us. They were open, I subbed there.

29-No from Hybrid Fiction on Stray Kids Come Back.
No from F&SF on Second Site
& no from Analog on Body Banks.
Breaking Down A Cursed Sandwich to Not One of Us.
No=32, Yes=2, Sub=61.

Today’s market was Augur. Who were closed. I went with Silver Blade who I’d discovered a few days earlier.

30-No from Three-lobed Burning Eye on Grandmothers Shoes,
no from Interzone on Caught Red-Handed.
The Sex Lives Of Robots to The Weird and Whatnot,
Wizard Of The Day to Silver Blade Magazine.
No=34, Yes=2, Sub=63.

Today’s market was Timeworn Literary Journal. I didn’t feel I had anything which fitted their requirements, so went insane and subbed to several places. Thanks to an email reminding me Compelling were open, I subbed there as one of them.

31-Starliner Down to Compelling,
Idiots Of The Underworld to F&SF,
Simon Says to Interzone
& Bizarre Life Triangle to Tales from the Moonlit Path.
No from Interzone on Simon Says.
No=35, Yes=2, Sub=67.

So over 31 days I submitted 67 stories in total. Had 35 rejections. Sold 2.

Comparing this to the September 2019 Challenge, over 30 days, a total of 56 stories were submitted. I received 20 rejections and made 1 sale.

I submitted more, sold more, and got more rejections. Obviously I still have a lot of stories still out there.

What’s next? I’ve already made the decision to run the challenge again in May of 2020.

If you took part, I hope you achieved everything you wanted to. If that was to sub 31 stories, I hope that happened. If it didn’t, heck, it’s not a complete disaster. However many stories you got out, it’s better than none. Congratulations to those who made sales, or make sales when your replies finally come in. If you decide to join me in May, I’ll be happy to have you along for the ride again. If you take part for the first time, I’ll be just as happy to see you on my crazy train.

Remember the hashtag #SubmissionChallenge


Ray Daley @RayDaleyWriter

So this was January 2020

1 Feb

I’ve made 67 new submissions. 35 rejections. 2 acceptances. 0 withdrawn, 0 not received.


36 Hours In The Space Force was sold to B Cubed Press, Jan 20th 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) was sold to Trouble Among the Stars, Jan 20th 2020.

There are currently 52 stories out in submission:-

out in subs jan 2020


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) will be released in issue 5 of Trouble Among the Stars, Feb 3rd 2020.
Super Fake will be released in Future Syndicate II, Feb 8th 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. (TBC)
Detecting Rogue Time Travellers (Practical Exam) is due in the Transmundane Press On Time anthology May/June 2020. (TBC)

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


Jouth Volume 2 is officially postponed until further notice.
Tuck & Roll in Automobilia is still on-going.

A quick catch-up & apology

28 Jan


I’ve been doing the January Submision Challenge and it has been taking up most of my time. Not just the actual submission part of the event, but having to find new markets on the fly, picking extra stories and geting them ready then putting them out.

A few of my markets closed early, one  web domain expired (Hopefully that’ll get sorted soon) but there were a few days where I had to scramble to pick new markets then choose stories appropriate to their wants & guidelines.

I’m not going to reveal any stats info in this post, obviously, I want you to read my “So This Was January 2020…” and “Summing Up The January Submission Challenge” posts, which may end up both being the same thing.

I haven’t completed any new stories yet this year. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to, but my focus is more based on submissions again, like last year.

There’s plenty going on. Stick around to find out what that is.

I’ll be posting again Feb 1st, catch up with you then.