I mentioned in my post, Publishing Powers, that it is always a good idea to branch out and try to either get yourself published traditionally or to at least enter some competitions.
And, several months ago, I did that very thing. I entered the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. Grand Prize is being published and $3000.
I got an email from them finally:
Well not the “Congrats you can stop worrying about the bills temporarily because you got some money! Oh and good poem too!” I was hoping for. I’ll admit that recently I was much more focused on the idea of the money than the whole getting my poetry out in to the world thing. So what? Money feeds you!
I am torn, though, on whether I should thank them for the courtesy email. They said that winners would know by October 19. 2012. If I hadn’t heard anything by then, I would have known and moved on. Instead, I get an email and all I can read of the subject on my phone is “81st Annual Writer’s Digest…” Deep down I knew it was the rejection. But, there was still that small bit of hope tantalizing my brain. And then the sudden punch of the “Of course…”
On the other side, at least they were nice enough to send out an automated “Sorry! You’ll get to learn all about the people who are actually good at writing in a few months, though!” email.
Now it is time for me to take my own advice and be comfortable with the thought that my poem does not suck and going up against over 9,000 people is kind of a bitch and one day, when I’m like 97, some place will say “Hey, this is pretty alright. Here’s $10 and your writing in a small corner of our publication.”
What I really need to do is seriously get to writing new material. I find it difficult without peers to read and critique my writing though. People can be serious assholes in writing workshops. But some people are genuinely there to help and give opinion on what works and what just has to go.
I’ll just sneak into a class on my old campus again and make them all read my stuff. Actually…I have an old professor who would actually be okay with that…hmm…