Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Adventures in Rejection: Seeing the End Result

From time to time, writers are required to pay a fee to submit their work to certain places. This usually occurs when one enters a competition. In return, the administrators will send the entrant something, such as the issue of a literary magazine featuring the winners of a contest, or a copy of the chapbook selected for publication. This is all fine and well; small presses get a bit of support and writers get to enjoy some new works by their contemporaries.

The problem comes in when you've not placed in the contest. You still end up with a book, but it doesn't have your name in it. This can be a depressing experience. How, then, to deal with the disappointment?

Sometimes when a lit mag comes in after I've failed to gain entree to their pages, I sneer at the cover and then check the table of contents to see if anyone I hate managed to sneak their way in. This is because I'm an incredibly poor loser as well as a spoiled brat and get cranky when I don't have things my way.

More often than not, though, I sigh and add the mag to the growing pile of things I need to read. Losing is part of life, and we all have to accept that fact. If we're lucky, losing will not bury us under a pile of depression but fire us up and push us to make ourselves better.



  1. I like your honesty! Brave, insightful, tons of fun...

  2. Thanks, Timothy! It took me many years to be this honest, and I'm glad it's working out for me and my readers.