My 2019 Year in Writing (And Also Sometimes Not Writing)
A report on submissions, rejections, and some Medium stats for the year
For the past few years, I’ve been doing a year-end writing round-up/goal setting post, and it’s time for the 2019 edition. You can find the 2018 version here.
So first up — submission totals. I write humor, travel, and an assortment of random other things. Some things (like humor and essays) are typically submitted as full pieces. Other things (articles and travel pieces) are typically pitches. So this reflects a combination of the two. This year’s numbers:
- Submissions: 93 — Some of these were pitches that contained more than one idea and many were pitching/submitting the same idea to multiple pubs. It looks like there were about 39 different pitches/full pieces, pitched 51 different markets, and I sent out and one piece that was submitted 8 times before it found a home.
- Rejections: 66 (31 actual rejections, 28 non-responses, and 3 random other things like a pitch expiring in a submission system).
- Acceptances: 22
- Pieces still out for consideration: 5
- Assigned pieces: 3
- Acceptance rate for the year: 24%. My previous year’s rate was 31%, but that rate is really subjective since it really just depends on the places I’m submitting to.
A few other specifics:
- Types of pieces written: 14 humor pieces, 6 travel pieces, and the rest were a mix. One type of piece I did more of this year was author interview pieces, and I’ve enjoyed them and hope to continue doing more next year.
- Top rejecter award: New York Times. I sent 10 pitches/submissions to different sections and was able to maintain my 100% rejection rate with that pub. I got a couple of nice “try us again” rejections, but those are not quite as nice as the NYT finally saying yes to something. Maybe 2020 will be my year.
- Rejection runner ups: I also received 7 rejections from McSweeney’s and 6 from New Yorker Shouts.
- Collaboration: I worked on some collaborative pieces for the first time this year, which I really enjoyed. They included this McSweeney’s piece…