My first rejection letter was when I was around fifteen. I entered the seventeen young writers contest and well, because I was not quite 'with it', I sent in a handwritten six hundred word masterpiece ( I believe the word count min. was 1200). All my hopes pinned on my story of a girls first kiss and first tattoo (unbelievably the same day!) Anxious, hopeful and a little sick to my stomach I checked the mail every day. When the creamy white envelope from seventeen finally arrived I was giddy with joy. I got MAIL! from a MAGAZINE! that everyone I knew READ! I'm pretty sure my hands were shaking as I tore open the envelope and......you guessed it. Ms. Treadway...we regret to inform you....
I was heartbroken.
I had already fantasized about telling my parents and throwing it in my brother's face and bragging to my friends....
But it was not to be.
Fourteen or so years later, I'm still no stranger to rejection. I've hit on strangers who laughed in my face (ok, that was once and I really don't want to talk about it.) my kids have spurned me for their father countless times and I'm pretty sure that even my immediate family doesn't like me sometimes.
Finally...Finally FINALLY I got a rejection letter with positive feedback.
I'd submitted two short stories to Harlequin back before the end of last year for ePublication.
Months and months had gone by with no word and I assumed just like all my other submissions, it wasn't even good enough for a form rejection, or it got lost in the mail.
Two days ago, I heard from Mary-Margeret Scrimger, an associate editor at MIRA (an imprint of Harlequin) actually heard from her, a personal email to me from her!!!
She said my story line was strong, but some scenes were unbelievable and the character introduction was weak (I'm paraphrasing)
She also said that they strongly advised me to continue with my writing, and they would love to see future submissions.
I know, it's still a rejection. And I'm still pretty heartbroken (I was proud of this particular story) but honestly, this is THE BEST rejection I've gotten. She told me what was good (strong, original story) and what was bad (far fetched scenes and watery dialogue). I can use that to make my other stuff stronger, as well as reworking this particular story for resubmission.
I still get a warm feeling just thinking about it.
Hope everyone has a great Mother's Day, I do have a post for mother's but it will have to be later today or tomorrow...