Every year, I write a year in review post about my writing. It's my annual check-in. How's it going? What did I hope to accomplish? What did I accomplish? As usual, I didn't accomplish as much as I hoped, but I still had some good things happen.
First, I started my Hat Project blog. I really underestimated the time it would take to not only take pictures of the hats as I wore them, but write the little essays that go with them. I also underestimated my desire for new hats! When I started, I thought it would take a year, since I knew I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 hats. However, not only have I bought a few more since I started, people have given more to me, with the result that I'm going to be blogging about hats longer than I expected. However, unless I go crazy buying hats or get given a vast collection, I should be finished this year.
It's been a very interesting experience. I set out to write an autobiography in hats, and that has meant revisiting happy, funny, and painful episodes in my life. I've also worn many hats out and about, some I'd always meant to wear (my grandmother's hats, for example) and some that I never imagined wearing in public (hello, green feathered hat!). The blog has sapped some of my time and energy away from my fiction, but I have enjoyed the process (except for constantly looking at pictures of myself). And I really enjoy publishing the little essays myself, without having to submit them to journals. Instant gratification and hats! What could be more fun?
I did have some fiction published this year, including one story that was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and one that had a very long road to publication after the first journal that accepted it folded before publishing it:
I also had an essay that was very close to my heart published and read on the radio, "Tracking Every Spoonful," in The Dirty Spoon. As the essay was very close to my heart, hearing it read on the radio was a wrenching and wonderful experience, and I feel lucky that my work was chosen.
I didn't accomplish everything I set out to do this year. I revised the opening of my novel but have yet to start sending it out again. I made fewer short story and essay submissions than I usually do. However, I did write some stories, including a new project that may end up being a story chapbook or full collection. Time will tell!
Thanks for reading my work this year. I really appreciate your support!
As I wrote in my previous post, I've been down about my writing, so I dreaded writing this annual "year in review" posting. What accomplishments did I have to talk about? It had been a terrible year.
When I started gathering information, I checked my number of submissions for the year. Hardly any, I thought. But, to my surprise, I had logged over a hundred submissions. Huh! Not a record by any means, but still a good number. What about short fiction publications? Maybe one or two? Nope, I had five. Again, not a record, but better than I remembered. And how had I forgotten that prize I won?
Discouragement not only saps us of strength, it robs us of perspective. I didn't accomplish finding an agent for my novel this year. But here's what I did accomplish:
Finishing the novel was huge for me. How had I forgotten? I think I'll have to revise the opening, but that doesn't change the fact that I finished and started sending it out. And in addition to the accomplishments above, I wrote a few stories that have yet to be published.
In my disappointment over not immediately landing an agent, I'd minimized or forgotten my other accomplishments. And who knows what 2019 will bring? Maybe my new year's resolution should be to try to keep things in perspective.
I hope all of you have a great 2019!
As is my custom, I'm taking a few moments to look back at my year of writing. This year my main area of concentration was revising the novel I wrote last year. I also was fortunate enough to have some short pieces published, and to participate in some other writing-related events. I'm thankful for the editors that published me and for all the people in the literary community who read my work and invited me to participate in writing gatherings. I know that most of them are writers themselves, often volunteering their time to give back to the literary community.
I'm also very grateful to everyone who read my stories, essays, and blog this year. I really appreciate your support!
Some of the non-publication highlights of my writing year included:
Online Short Fiction Publications
I was also extremely pleased to have short fiction published online in the following journals:
Print Short Fiction Publications
Two print journals published my stories this year, giving me the special satisfaction of having a journal I could hold in my hands:
In addition, I had an essay published. I write less nonfiction than fiction, so I'm always particularly pleased when an essay gets picked up:
Thanks for reading, and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2018!
It's time, once again, for my annual writing year in review. 2016 was a good year for my writing in a number of ways. Number one, I finished a first draft of a novel! Now I begin the long process of revising, followed by the long process of submitting it. So, no, you can't get a copy just yet :-). But it is an important milestone for me.
In addition, I had several short stories published in literary journals; in fact, it was a record year for me. I published seven short stories, including stories about a talking cat, a husband reincarnated as an opossum, Sleeping Beauty's insomnia after the prince wakes her, and a goddess knitting Eden. I also published more realistic stories, about lost love, infidelity, and the ongoing effect of an abusive parent. You can read some of this year's stories here:
I also had some essays published, including an appreciation of the movie Holiday, a discussion of literary thrift, and an account of traveling overseas for the first time.
I was even interviewed, by NANO Fiction, "Five Questions with Ann Hillesland." (The issue of NANO Fiction has not arrived yet, so the actual story will be in next year's round up).
All in all, a good year for my writing! Thank you to all the journals that published me, and to all of you who read my work. I appreciate your support!
Every year at this time, I take a look back at my publishing history for the year and look forward to the year ahead. This post gives me the opportunity to thank again the journals and editors who published my work this year.
This year I had five short stories and one essay published. First, the stories:
In addition to the short stories, I had one essay published. The essay was published in the local paper, which gave it a very broad readership. Some of my friends mentioned that they were well into reading the essay before they realized it was by me. The essay, Valuables, was published by the San Jose Mercury News in May. I appreciate the newspaper letting readers like me contribute.
In addition to the stories that were published last year, I also had some work selected for publication that has not appeared yet. So, in advance, I'd like to thank Spark, The Quotable, and The Laurel Review, and I look forward to blogging about those publications when they appear.
Wishing everyone a wonderful 2016.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and essays. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Bayou, The Laurel Review, and Sou’wester.
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