My word for the year is “explore,” and boy have I been out there exploring new things. So far this year I’ve gotten into cheese making, tried out for BookRiot, and the move closer to work, which is resulting in some fun new neighborhood explorations. Recently I quit talking about a goal of mine and did something about it: I submitted a short story for publication.
I’d been doing fiction writing rather consistently on an idea I have for a novel, but I got stuck and stalled out. I was out web surfing for submission locations, and I found a publication with a unique premise – every short story in an issue has the same first line.
I looked at the sentence for the fall issue (“Mrs. Robinson was too busy to die.”), and I immediately knew where I would go with it. After writing the first draft and polishing it a bit, I sent it to my professor friend, and he gave me some excellent suggestions. The end result was that I submitted something that I am proud of, especially for a first short story.
The submission due date was August first. The website said they get responses out to authors in two to three weeks. I checked the home page last week, only to find out that they had had a record number of submissions. How do I keep unknowingly choosing crowded fields to compete in for my first time?
I heard back from them late Monday night. It was a rejection email, and that did not discourage me at all. As much as I wanted it, I would have been shocked if my first story got accepted anywhere. The wording of the email made me admire the publication all the more. The first sentence was, “Thank you for letting us read ‘Blending In.'”
Although the prompt for their next issue doesn’t do it for me, the one for their sister publication, The Last Line, does. I’ve already started plotting out that submission.
If anyone would like to read my short story (it’s actually flash fiction, only 1,000 words), email me at Tammy at grownupnowwhat.com and I’ll send you a link and the password to a page on this site. (If I make my story a post, it is no longer considered unpublished.)
I’m so proud of myself for trying new things and continuing even when the first result is not complete success.
What was the last activity you continued with even after a setback? or Has anyone else received a rejection that spurred them to do better?