Ah, damn it. Glimmer Train rejected my submission to their New Writers’ contest. They held a short story contest in May for first-time submitters and unpublished writers. First prize was $1,500.00 and publication in their August issue. Their website says that submissions are given three different statuses: “In Process,” “Accepted for Publication,” and “Complete.” I’m sure you can guess what they all mean.
The judging was to be completed at the end of July, so I’ve been checking the Glimmer Train website obsessively. Every time I saw that my story was still “In Process,” I felt a surge of relief and then renewed worry.
So just a few minutes ago, I checked again, and there it was. “Complete.” But you know what? I don’t feel all that bad about it.
My entry is called Support Beam. It’s fifty pages long, double-spaced, and considering that I planned it, wrote it, and submitted it on a deadline, I think it turned out pretty well. I’ll post some excerpts from it here sometime. I feel a little disappointed that I didn’t win the contest: the money would have been really helpful right now, and I could have finally said that I’m a published author.
Still, the fact that I actually took the chance of entering, instead of assuming I would lose and brushing it aside…that fact means something to me. It’s like how I felt when I gave a few different girls my number. Sure, none of them ever called me, but the feeling of overcoming that burning dread, and walking face-first into the challenge, it was just so damn glorious that the rejection hardly mattered. I was flying high on that rarest of human qualities: courage.
Of course, there are also some positive things happening in my life to soften this setback: I’ve had some personal and creative breakthroughs, and I recently got in touch with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a long, long time, so the contest loss looks pretty teeny sitting next to these events.
Unless I’m in some sort of powerful denial, I can honestly say I’m not broken up over this rejection; I’m sure it’s the first of many anyway. So long as I pursue the joy of the leap, the thrill of taking the Great Chances, I don’t think that failing can ever get to me. Perhaps there’s no such thing as failing, if just trying feels good enough on its own.
Heh. Get me: holding forth like I know the secrets of life. I might just be repeating the mantras of the loser, but I don’t care. Writing feels good. Animating feels good. Trying feels good. I’m going to keep trying.