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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Tuesday 2 January 2018

2017: A writing year

Tomorrow I'll be meeting my writing buddy, Wendy, to review how we performed against our goals for 2017 and to set new targets for 2018. Yes, teacakes will be involved. You can read about Wendy's writing year here. For me 2017 has been a true rollercoaster year with some spectacular highs, along with a deep, dark low. The low was a personal one when my mum died suddenly in February. I'm still processing that loss and her passing has triggered some difficult emotions and memories, along with extreme anxiety at times. But this is a writing blog and I'll focus on what I achieved in 2017 ...

For the geeks here are the stats:
Short stories written = 4
Flash stories written = 6
Features written = 2
1 new novel started
Crime novel was called in by 6 literary agents but sadly no offers (and very little feedback as to why...)
I was also commissioned to prepare and lead two writing workshops: one on writing for competitions and the other on micro fiction. Both were successful with a good turnout.
Competitions entered = 42 requiring fees, 21 free entry
  • Successes (i.e. long/short listings, placements) = 13
Submissions to magazines/anthologies/online opportunities = 22
  • Acceptances = 10
Income = >4 times what I earned in 2016, it has been a very good year for getting paid to write! However, I am still a long (long) way off paying income tax, which is my ultimate goal (albeit an odd one!).

Here are some of the places my work was published in 2017:
Thresholds Short Story Forum
Writing Magazine
Take-a-Break magazine
50 Word Stories
Reflex Fiction
In the Moment magazine
Flash Fiction Festival Anthology ONE
Brighton Prize Anthology
I YOU HE SHE IT Experiments in Viewpoint anthology (Huddersfield University)
Paragraph Planet

The Prosecco and Walnut Whips came out for the following successes:
Regional Winner (Canada & Europe) Commonwealth Short Story Prize, which included publication on Granta (links below in A-Z), £2,500 prize and an all expenses paid trip to Singapore for the prize giving. It was the high point of my year and of my writing career to date. Writing Magazine also published my 2-page article on winning the prize.
Other paid wins/placements included:
Runner-up Retreat West themed flash comps x2
2nd Prize GRIST Point-of-View comp
2nd Prize Flash500
3rd Prize Reflex Fiction Autumn Flash comp
Story of the month on 50 word stories

Notable listings included:
Longlisted for Mogford Prize, Reflex Fiction, Flash500 Novel comp (for a speculative novel)
Special Commendation for Fabula Nivalis prize
Shortlisted for Flash500 Novel comp (for a crime novel) and Bridport Flash Fiction.

Looking back at these stats makes me realise what a good year it has been. Odd, because I felt it was a bit of a wasted time as I hadn't written as much as previous years. Much of my success/publications came from work written before 2017, which demonstrates the 3 P's of writing: Persistence, Patience and Positive thinking. So I'm hoping new fiction written in 2017 will start to prosper and find good homes in 2018 (and beyond). I'm also really fired up to write new fiction: long, short and perhaps even some drama.

Finally, I looked over the stories published in 2017 and animals feature in many so I thought I'd end with a brief A-Z of animal themed stories that came out last year.

B is for Bird: Twitching, shortlisted for Bridport Flash Fiction and to be published 2018 FLASH: International Flash Fiction magazine
C is for Cat: Pandora's Cat, 3rd Prize Reflex Fiction - read it here
D is for Dragon: Skylighter, 2nd Prize Flash500 - read it here
H is for Hare: The Frost Hare, Brighton Prize Anthology (published in paperback) AND Hare, published on Spelk, read it here
R is for Rat: Positive Outcome, Runner-up Retreat West - read it here
S is for Swan: Inheritance, published on Reflex Fiction - read it here
M is for Moth: The Naming of Moths, published on Granta (CW Prize Regional Winner) - read it here
W is for Whale: Fish of the Sea, published Nov issue In the Moment magazine
W is for (Were)Wolf: Lunacy, Runner-up Retreat West - read it here

Did you achieve your writing goals for 2017? What new writing projects do you want to start in 2018? Please share ... and KEEP WRITING


  1. Tracy
    So sorry to hear about your mum. That must have been a terrible blow and I'm not surprised it's had those effects on you. It will take a while, so be gentle on yourself. You have done brilliantly with your writing this year - I am in awe of the number of competition entries, the magazines you've been published in and your successes - especially winning the Commonwealth Prize and that fabulous trip to Singapore!! Amazing. Well done you. I look forward to seeing what you do in 2018. You are an inspiration! Helen x

    1. Thank you for such lovely comments, Helen x

  2. The lessons I have learned during this last year is that persistence is essential, but so too is variety. The more I vary my style, length, target market etc, the greater the chances of success - or so I tell myself. Congratulations on a good year under difficult circumstances. Here's to a happy 2018.

    1. Thank you, Julia. Wise words on variety and I completely agree. Just wish there was less pressure to write/publish novels when there are so many other great forms of writing to try ...

  3. Some fabulous highs, Tracy. Such a pity your mum wasn't there to celebrate with you. I lost my mum last January and although my writing achievements are considerably fewer than yours I wish she could have known about them! Here's to your tax-bill in 2018!

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your mum too, Lindsay - we're both have difficult anniversaries approaching. Congrats on your successes, especially winning Hysteria short story comp - we can both claim that one! 2018 can only get better. Best wishes xx

  4. What a fruitful writing year, Tracy, and all the successes so richly deserved. I especially loved the beautiful The Naming of Moths and it was wonderfully exciting to see it published in Granta.

    I'm sure 2018 will bring great rewards again for your exquisite writing. Your mum must have been so proud of you xxx

    1. Bless you, Joanna, for your lovely words. Thank you for all your support and good wishes throughout 2017. It was so lovely to get to meet you last summer - hope we can meet again in 2018 xx

  5. You had a great 2017 - I hope 2018 is just as good.

    1. Thank you, Patsy. Trotters crossed for everyone :)

  6. What a brilliant writing year - though I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's death. I very much hope that next year you are busy filling out your Tax Return. For what it's worth, it's also an ambition of mine, too!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. Good luck with your ambition too - it could be our year :)

  7. Despite your very sad loss, you've had a brilliant year, Tracy - especially with the Commonwealth win. Our teacake and goal setting meeting was inspiring as always and I look forward to reading about more of your successes (and eating more teacakes) in 2018.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I'm looking forward to hearing all your news too & more teacakes (goes without saying) :)