In writing competitions, good news is rare, as most emerging writers surely know. Rejections come, one after another. Blows to your fragile ego. But here’s proof you should never give up.
In December, I sent out my short story, Departures, to over twenty literary journals, some more commercial, others more serious. The answers were standardized for the most part. “Thanks for giving us the opportunity to read your work,” they’d write, “but your story is not right for us.” My heart would contract a little more with each new e-mail.
After dozens of such e-mails, I decided that the story could do with some tweaking. I sent it off for critiquing and discussed it with friends (and members of my writing group). I considered giving it up. But every writer has stories they need to tell, and this was part of my narrative. Anyways, a new title was given, issues with backstory and viewpoint were fixed, and, on a whim, I decided to send it off to one last competition.
When the e-mail from Field of Words came this morning at 7:05AM Greek time, I was beyond pleased. I thrust my arms into the air and let out a quiet whoop. My kids, already clad in their school clothes, flung their arms around me and said bravo.
“But what are we celebrating?” they asked.
In reply, I showed my kids the site with my name on it and my story.
“You want to read it?” I asked my son, who’s a 3rd grader.
“No thanks,” he replied. “I’m good.” In his defense, he’s into Diaries of a Wimpy Kid at the moment.
I guess my message is twofold and you’ve probably heard it over and over:
1-Don’t give up too easily.
2-Ask for help.
If I’ve piqued your curiosity, you can read my character-driven story, Mother Seeking Son, by clicking here.
And FYI, the picture above is of Meteora, the setting that inspired my story.