A Spreadsheet for Writers to Track Story Submissions

A Spreadsheet for Writers to Track Story Submissions

I was talking to a writer friend a little while ago, and said writer friend mentioned not having an organized way to track short stories and what publications they’d been submitted to. I was aghast. Here’s the solution I use, which you are free to adopt, adapt, redistribute, etc.

Once you’ve got a few stories making the rounds at various sites, magazines, and anthologies, you really need some way to keep track of them. It would be all too easy to submit the same story to the same place twice because it often be months between submissions if a story gets rejected a few times (and they will). Editors do not like that sort of thing. It’s also nice to have some info on a publication and your past performance with them. If you know the editor, you can add that info in the notes section for future use. You can also track how much you’ve been paid, how many times a given story has been reprinted, and any important rights information (like if a podcast buys exclusive internet audio rights for six months, it’s good to track that so you don’t accidentally sell it to another podcast before the original deal has expired). It’s simple to add fields on the right of the sheet if you need to track additional data.

You might want to add a field for tracking invoicing, ie when the publisher is supposed to pay and if/when they actually do. I use a separate spreadsheet for tracking all my invoices, nonfiction and fiction, so I don’t have a field for it in this sheet.

There are two ways you can get this file for your own use. One is to head to the version I made in Google Sheets and go to “File>Make a Copy.”

The other way is to grab the Excel version, download it, and do whatever you want with it. The Excel version is literally the Google Sheets version downloaded as an .xlx file, so it’s basically the same. Just depends what platform you’re more comfortable with.

By the way, this sheet obviously uses dummy text for the story titles and publication names, but feel free to use them as writing prompts.