I’ll start by saying the honest thing – this rejection hurt.
It was at the end of a bad day, towards the end of a rough week. It was a magazine, Bridge Eight, that I admired, and that I felt my story – The Blue Rose, one of the strongest shot stories I’ve written in a long while – was very well suited to.
It knocked my confidence. Bad enough, but my story is also a submission for my MA, so it had me questioning that.
Honestly, my confidence is still a little less than it was this time last week, but it’ll get back there.
I just have to keep writing.
Keep trusting my talent, technique, and hard work to carry me where I want to go.
A week or so ago I saw a tweet from Julia Churchill, children’s and YA agent at A.M. Heath, which said:
These sorts of opportunities shouldn’t be missed. I’ve found that while many agents are always after new talent, most are (some would say rightly) prioritising their current authors ahead of finding new ones. That Julia was beyond what an agent would normally do, and go to Twitter, to invite new submissions, this was what made me decide to submit.
I touched up my story synopsis for The Travelling Circus of Babel, gave the first 3 chapters the once over for any spelling/grammar mistakes, and then completed the form to submit.
I should hopefully hear back within 6 weeks.
‘Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Facing any kind of rejection in life is never easy and its never fun, but, like 12-year-old on the Internet who’ve slept with your mam, it’s an inevitability of life. It’s certainly an inevitability of a writer’s life.
Below is the email I got from Lighthouse Journal.
As rejection letters go, it’s kind and optimistic. And, being as objective as I can be about my own work, I knew it wasn’t a smooth fit when submitting it.
I’m lucky that I’m early enough in the life of a writer to not take rejections too hard, especially when it’s a constructive (rather than dismissive) rejection like this one
Thank you to the team at Lighthouse for reading my story, and I’ll certainly be submitting again in the future.
http://www.bridgeeight.com/ and https://atlasandalice.com/
Of all the short stories I’ve written for my MA, the one I’m most happy with is The Blue Rose, the story of a writer and his muse, and the often torturous power of the imagination. Inspired by (amongst others things) Ruby Sparks and Howl’s Moving Castle, it’s a story that slots into a number of genres – I wrote it as a magical realist piece, but when I workshopped the story, I got back responses of metafiction, supernatural, fantasy, and literary.
I was fortunate to find two literary magazines with current submission themes suited to my story. (I’ve found so many magazines asking for themes that I’d never dream of writing, it gets disheartening after a while).
I should have an answer regarding my submissions by mid-July, so keep an eye out for a accepted/rejected post around that time.