It’s official!

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hEarlier this fall I entered a local writing contest and tonight I received my first official rejection letter.  With the reception scheduled for this weekend, I had begun to suspect that if I hadn’t heard by now, I wasn’t a finalist. There was, however, a small secret against-the-odds optimistic part of me that was still hoping. (That’s probably the same part of me that created gauzy-edged visions of me reading to my adoring audience at the reception, graciously accepting praise, signing the associated publication with a flourish, etc.  All of this, of course, accompanied by a wonderful, inspiring soundtrack.)

The rejection letter was very nice, but direct.  “Today we have notified the winners of the competition so if you haven’t heard from us then we are very sorry and we encourage you to submit again next year.” (My inspiring soundtrack screeched to a sudden, jerking halt.) The letter went on to say that judges had a very difficult time deciding on winners and would like to contact some non-winning entrants directly to give them feedback.  So, now I’m wondering if there’s a second rejection in store–the one when no one calls to give me feedback.  And I’m kind of laughing at myself, but kind of serious as well.

When I submitted my entry, I had a long talk with myself about the fact that, for me, merely entering the contest was a winning step. Winning the contest would be delightful, but it wasn’t the point. The point was about taking another new step with my writing. While that remains true, the knowledge of rejection does carry a bit of a sting, and I have to say, a little adoration and praise wouldn’t have come amiss!

For now I’m going to print out my rejection e-mail and tuck it in my writer’s notebook. It’s a rite of passage, right? It’s also a testament to the fact that I tried.  And come Saturday I plan to dress up and head to the reception.  I will listen to the winners read and celebrate the wonder of writing.  For all of us took that step, wrote our words, and sent them winging out into the world in all their vulnerability. And to my mind, that is certainly worthy of some applause.

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13 thoughts on “It’s official!

  1. Oh, I have a growing pile of rejection letters–keep writing, keep putting it out there, keep entering! I hope one day I read a very different post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. arjeha says:

    I definitely applaud you. I don’t think I would have the courage to submit anything. You tried. That in itself is an accomplishment. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LSquared says:

    Congratulations, not only on stepping out and getting your first rejection, but also on going to the reception to enjoy and learn.
    I have not entered any writing in a contest. Sounds daunting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leigh Anne says:

    I hope you can hear my applause! You have done more than many and you should be proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn says:

    What an awesome attitude! You should be so proud as I’m sure you have many accomplishments!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous says:

    No Molly, they got it wrong. You are a winner.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. danrothermel says:

    Ah, such courage. As Key West’s most famous resident said, ““There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”
    (Ernest Hemingway). Hannah and I will be at your first book signing so please carry on. You remain our favorite Maine poet. By the way, I received 100 rejections (either by mail or by being ignored) for my book of poetry, Sweet Dreams, Robyn. Poets are resilient. Keep the faith. You are damn good!

    Like

  8. elsie says:

    Good for you entering! You are right, that step alone shows your willingness to be out there and see what happens. You are braver than many, that means me. Kudos to you and your growth mindset!

    Liked by 1 person

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