I made a short story submission this morning. It's been a few weeks since doing so. While I was at Duotrope, I tinkered around a bit with my records.
Let's face it: short fiction markets, unless they are some time-honored tradition kept alive by the good will and deep pockets of a benefactor, aren't built to last. Even non-paying venues take time and effort (and often cash) to produce.
Of the recorded 153 "acceptances" (some reprints, some markets which never published), I counted 61 closed (permanently) or dead markets. Granted, some of those "closed" were anthologies, but roughly 40% of the markets to which my work has "sold" in the past four years are gone.
It saddens me a little.
What doesn't sadden me is the story I submitted. The first bit from "Jack is Almost Eight":
Night was coming, and Jack was afraid.
The shadow man only came at night, the darkest nights. Jack held his covers close to his seven-year-old chin as if the blanket could keep the monsters away. His thin, light brown hair stuck in sweaty ribbons against his forehead. A television hum rose from the stairs and trickled into Jack’s bedroom. Evan was watching wrestling. He would smell of beer and sweat and a day’s grease from the shop. Jack could keep his eyes shut for a while, but only so long before fear nibbled away at the fringes of his seven-year-old brain.
Here's a hint (if you didn't catch it from the sample): more than one monster lurks in this story.
Have a great weekend.