It’s been an up and down day on the writing front. Well maybe a couple of days. Do I give you the good news or bad news first? Well, technically there doesn’t have to be any bad news. It’s all in how you choose to look at it. I’m working on that.
So there was this contest I spoke of briefly called #PitchWars. Basically writers submitted a query and five pages to four possible mentor picks. They were notable authors and people in the writing industry. If chosen they would then mentor you for a few weeks and then in January, with your polished MS and query letter, you submit to a wonderful array of known agents for the agent round. The mentors work with you and your novel to give you the best chance for scoring an agent. Basically the grand prize could be requests for your work and possible representation leading to a publishing contract.
Unfortunately, I was not chosen in the mentor round. I was prepared for that. So many wonderfully talented people entered the competition, and only so many can be picked. It was fun following the feed on Twitter and meeting new people. It was encouraging to put myself out there like that. All four of the mentors I submitted to gave me personalized feedback on why they passed, and I’m grateful for that.
So how am I taking the news?
*I’m disappointed, of course, but not discouraged; I’ll keep trying.
*I’m kicking myself for not changing a few things in my initial query/sample pages. I think I could have had a better shot. But this is how we learn. We can’t always know what’s right, and being given feedback from respected authors is a priceless tool in improving and moving forward.
*I’m sad none of my mentor picks requested more pages before deciding like they did with other authors. Maybe if they’d read just one page more their minds could have been changed or their connection grown stronger. But that falls on me for not making sure my first few pages accomplished just that. Remember that post I wrote on the importance of first pages? I could stand to listen to my own advice.
Overall, the people who were chosen deserve it; they are talented writers and the mentors really championed for them. I’m happy to say I was a part of this community and learned the things I did. Rejection always hurts. But we grow and we move on. It’s actually made me want to dive into writing again, and that’s always a good side effect.
The good news this week?
I placed second in a small short story competition between other writers at my university. There was no prize other than bragging rights, so here. I’ve bragged. Seriously though, I haven’t done many writing competitions, and it was cool to place and know my story was received well among the judges.
The even better news?
All the authors involved in the charity anthology got a sneak peek of the finished product today. It looks amazing. Seeing the table of contents with all the author names and story titles was really satisfying. Then the stories themselves and the author bios at the end made me proud to be among these people for this awesome cause. There are some great stories in there, and we are all excited to share them with you and give back to those affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy. It goes on sale on Amazon on December 23rd.
So yeah there were some good and bad moments lately, but really they were mostly good. One rejection doesn’t mean I’ll never be accepted. One contest isn’t my only option out there. I learned a lot and was included in something special. If writers quit and gave in after receiving one rejection then no one would be an author. It’s part of it. And even though you’re reading a response that says you aren’t being pursued further and you know that’s disappointing, there is good amongst that rejection too. It tells you how to improve. It gives you reason to persevere. It gives you hope that maybe the next one will be a yes. So don’t give up. I haven’t yet. Writing means too much to me to let it go.
Have you experienced rejection in the writing world? How did you react? Reply below!