State of Rahul’s Writing Career

Yesterday I finished my forty-ninth story since I began writing seriously, approximately a two and a half years ago. Since then I have sold seven stories to various low level zines (two in print, the rest online). I have trunked seven stories, three of them for overtly political themes that I just didn’t really handle well.

That leaves me with 35 stories still in play. Ever since I sold the very first story I wrote, I’ve been fairly confident that I can sell all of these stories to someone, somewhere. Of the stories, ten are pretty bad. I won’t be embarassed if they sell, but I’m definitely not going to revise them. The next fifteen (which are mostly comprised of stories I wrote during my freshman year and last summer), are decent. They’ve mostly been around the block once or twice, but I think they can be placed somewhere. Most of them could use at least one sentence-level revision (going through it and deleting clunky prose, rewriting things, etc).

The last ten are stories I’ve written during the last six months. These stories are my best. The problem is that the majority of them are not science fiction, they are literary stories. I have no idea how to market that sort of thing. I also like these stories enough that I’m planning fairly more revisions for some of them. None of these stories have yet been submitted (save one that I sold to my campus newspaper, hey a circulation of 10,000 is nothing to sneeze at).

Six of my stories are currently out, including one that is in the 3rd round at Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. I really want to send the last twenty-nine out into the world before I leave for Clarion. To be honest, I am tired of them, and most of them are never going to get any better. I’d prefer to get rid of them before I can come back and view them with contempt. However, submitting twenty-nine stories is quite a daunting task. Where the hell am I going to stack them all? That’s the dilemma that inspired this post. I think that tonight I’m going to concentrate on flushing out the dregs, and tomorrow I’ll work on where to place the work that’s actually good. I don’t know why I’m worrying about this right now, I still have two finals to study for and I need to pack/clean my room (which is a complete mess).

Comments (



  1. alexotica

    That’s some prolific writing. You should be proud.
    My first non-genre market picks would be: The New Yorker (via snail mail), The Atlantic Monthly, McSweeny’s, Harper’s, Indiana Review, Alaska Quarterly, ACM, Zoetrope, Carolina Quarterly, Greensboro Review, Boston Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Boulevard, plus certain contests (pick up a copy of Poets & Writers for upcoming deadlines). YMMV.
    Here are some links to guidelines for non-genre short fiction:
    And SF author Mary Anne Mohanraj includes non-genre fiction in her listings as well:

  2. aimeempayne

    I had all my stories out, and have been letting them sit as the rejections come in. I usually like to get them right back into circulation, but I’ve decided that I don’t want to think about it during Clarion.
    Of course, I’m not quite as prolific as you are. Yet. 😉

  3. but_nooooo


  4. mroctober

    For literary stories I recommend going to your local chain bookstore, paging through any lit magazines they have to see if they might be right, going throught he latest Writer’s Marketplace and sending them queries.

  5. mallory_blog

    Right now I :heart: Duotrope because they have quick links to a large number of the more user friendly publishers (mags) including lots of literary ones and they add more every day.
    Here’s the link:

    1. blotterpaper

      Re: duotrope
      Wow thanks, Duotrope looks pretty interesting. I have a copy of Writer’s Market 2005, but it is a pretty unwieldy tome

      1. mallory_blog

        Re: duotrope
        My pleasure!
        I’ve enjoyed the way they let you see who allows email subs etc… and there are even stats on response times which helps in setting up your submission tracker.