Tag Archives: Submitting

The First Rejection

On Sunday I received my first official rejection. I submitted my story “The Final Camp of John C. Harris” over a month ago. I had hoped I still wouldn’t hear for a few weeks, since most rejections at this journal seem to be clumped around the one month mark. The longer I waited the more likely my story had made it past the first round of readers and was in an editor’s hand.

33 days later, I am a statistic.

I’ve been a little worried about my reaction, but I feel totally ok. I’m not upset. I aimed high and I didn’t make it. And so? It doesn’t mean I won’t make it in the future. I don’t think it even means this piece of writing was bad (though I do have some plans to rework it). Maybe the reader absolutely hated it, but even if she did– so what? I’m still learning. I’m still growing. I’m not some literary savant; I’m not going to get it right every time. And I am 100% okay with that.

I think this is one place where costuming/theatre is a huge benefit. I deal with rejection ALL THE TIME. For my entire career I’ve dealt with it. Some gigs are harder to lose than others, but so far, it has always worked out. And I comfort myself: it could always be worse. At least I’m not an actor.

As Kyle said with a huge grin on his face: “Hey! You just got your first journal rejection!” And so I have. Glad that step is behind me. Onward and upward.


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The Big News

About a month ago I received a very nice surprise in my inbox: an email from Orson Scott Card’s assistant informing me that I had been accepted into Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp this summer. I will spare you the details of what happened next because they are not exactly flattering. Suffice it to say that after some celebration I accepted my spot and secured it with a decent chunk of change.

The timing is perfect–it’s the week before I go back on contract, and I found out the news immediately after receiving the balance of a design fee for an extra gig that almost killed me this spring. That extra work is paying for the entire experience which keeps us from having to nickel and dime daily life for the next 6 months.

Over the last few weeks I’ve made plans, secured a hotel room and booked flights (plural because Kyle’s coming out with me the weekend before so we can go esplorin’– I’ve never really been out west!).  I’ve read lot of alumnus(ae)’s blogs about their experiences and, while it’s not a direct preparation because I will take none of it with me, I’ve been using my summer to write like crazy. 

I hadn’t said anything publicly about any of this because…well…I don’t really know. Part of me was afraid they’d gotten the wrong girl? Maybe people would find it strange that a costume professional who’s actually making it also wants to be a writer? That one professor from my early college years will be right and I have no real talent and you’ll all want to know how it went after I’m done and it will have been awful, awful, awful? Whatever the specific reason: it was fear based. I was scared.

But you can’t move forward if you’re consumed with terror, and I’m not interested in spinning my wheels. So here it is again:

I am one of 12 (or so) writers who made it into Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp. I am proud and amazed the first page of my little story showed enough promise to get me through those doors. I am also incredibly grateful that I get to participate in such a cool workshop. It’s going to be a long, exhausting, emotional week, but I’ll be ready. Those Midwestern farmer and manufacturer genes are good for something– I’ve never been afraid of a lot of hard work.

For a description of what I’m about to go through you can check out the official page, or do some google research. There are many amazing authors who have been through the whole process before.


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The First Submission

I just submitted a very short story to a blog. I really, really like the super short format, it’s only about 150 words long. I think it allows (forces?) people to write with mystery and brevity. I think mine is good, but still my stomach churns and gurgles at the thought of rejection. You would think as my adult life has been spent in theatre, which is full of rejection, I would be a little more immune to the fear, but so far, I have not.

Ah, well. As they say: nothing risked, nothing gained.


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