Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016: A Writing and Editing Review

It's 2017! I'm excited for the new year, but I thought I'd start the blog this month with a look back on the year that was. I did a lot of editing in 2016, and some writing. I'm hoping to flip the proportions in 2017--and more on that at the end of this post.


But first, here's the work of mine that was published in 2016:

-"Expensive." This short story of mine was published at Daily Science Fiction, which makes it my first pro fiction sale. (The time I convinced my college paper to pay me ten bucks a week to write a serial satire of life on campus doesn't count.) I love the atmospheric mood of "Expensive," and I'm still pleased that I managed to fit a full story arc into such a short piece.

-"An Anonymous Source." Another fiction sale, this time for the superhero-themed issue of Havok. This piece was fun because--unlike "Expensive"--it started with an idea, not a mood. I had an idea for a very different sort of superhero story, and when I saw the call for submission for Havok's special issue, I knew I had to give the idea a chance to prove itself.

It did, and I love it. I'm actually kind of tempted to keep going with's the kind of short story that feels like it might want to become a novel someday. We'll see...

I also published some non-fiction. I had two stories appear in two different Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes: my story "Right" appeared in My Very Good, My Very Bad Dog and my story "The Joy of Dirty Dishes" appeared in The Power of Gratitude. I also had the fun of writing about romance, friendship, and some very silly knights for Christ and Pop Culture in my article "Galavant: Finding Meaning in a Merry, Mocking Medieval Musical."

Finally, I got to do some enjoyable guest blogging. I particularly enjoyed participating in "The Lent Project" and "The Advent Project" again.

(I also worked on some pieces that aren't published yet, but that I'm looking forward to polishing and submitting in 2017.)


Editing was where the bulk of my work hours went in 2016.

I did some freelancing this year, but most of my editing was for Kalos Press, where I got to help out with books like Surrounded by Evil: Saved by God, Nailed It: 365 Sarcastic Devotions for Angry or Worn-Out People, and Everywhere God: Exploring the Ordinary Places. I had the honor of representing Kalos Press at a local writing conference, and also had the chance to talk to some current students and alumni at my university about editing as a career.

I also worked on some books that aren't out yet, but that I'm really excited to see get published in 2017. (Seriously, folks, there's some great stuff coming!)

Finally, the big news is that I stepped down from my post as General Editor at Kalos Press at the end of the year. You can read the announcement from the publisher here. This decision came about as the result of a lot of thought and prayer. I knew some things were unbalanced in my life, so I spent a few weeks tracking my time (on paper, in 15-minute increments), and then took a day's retreat to pray through a new Rule of Life.

I hope to blog about that process at some point, but it's sufficient for this post to say that my mind was very clear by the end of that process of prayer, and though it was hard to resign (because I love the folks at Kalos Press, and I love the work!), I'm still happy with that decision, and I'm excited to see what's next!

What's coming next

The answer is... I'm not sure! I know what I'm going to be doing (writing, a lot--and maybe editing, a little), but I don't know what the outcome will be. Which is...par for the course, in this business. I know I want to increase my submission rate, and I'd be thrilled to be able to up my acceptance rate (though I'm actually pretty happy with my acceptance percentage--if it stays the same, I won't complain).

(By the way, for more nerdiness on acceptance/rejection percentages, and submission rates, check out this year-end wrap-up post over at Rejectomancy. Rejectomancy is such a great blog, and it totally confirms me in my geeky love of tracking my writing stats.)

But I'm grateful for this past year, for what I got to do, for all I was able to learn, and for the people I've had the joy of getting to know.

And I'm grateful for all of you who read this blog. I hope you  have a great 2017!

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

This post contains Amazon affiliate links; if you purchase a book from this link, I receive a small percentage of the purchase price.  (See full disclosure on sidebar of my blog.)


Anonymous said...

Great year, Jessica. I've been trying to crack Daily Science Fiction for years. It's a tough market, and that is definitely a gold-star acceptance. :)

Thanks for the shout out about Rejectomancy.

Here's to a productive and successful 2017.

Jessica Snell said...

Aeryn, I'm so honored you stopped by - and thank you for your kind words! Your posts about writing spur me on to write and submit more, and I'm grateful for that. Thank you so much for your blog!

Keith Buhler said...

Would love to read some of your fiction, Mrs. Snell! Thanks for the update.

Jessica Snell said...

Hi Keith! What a lovely thing to say. :) The linked story at Daily Science Fiction is free, if you'd like to take a gander at it. Am I right in thinking you're a Torrey grad, too? We seem to have a lot of Facebook friends in common...