Why *how* you write matters to those who read

On December 20th of this year, a very nice thing happened to me.  I received a response from a contest I had submitted to back in the summer.

I completely forgot about it because a lot of time had passed, and I just assumed by then that I wasn’t selected.

The response I received did confirm that my story was not selected. But the way they worded their response is worthy of notice.

Dear Claudette,

Thank you so much for entering Stupid Cow in The Writer magazine’s Summer Flash Contest 2018 contest. We enjoyed reading your work and very much appreciate your interest. While your entry did make it to our second round of judging, our editorial panel ultimately did not select it as one of our winners this time around.

Please know how much we enjoyed your entry. Many thanks for letting us read your fine work. We look forward to reading more of your work in future contests.

Keep writing,

The Writer editorial staff

Do you see how encouraging, professional and positive the response is? The fact that my story wasn’t selected doesn’t even hurt me. And I say this as a person who struggled to publish anything most of my life, has low self-confidence and a host of other issues, and would rather stay inside her safe box than to venture out and take a risk.

Bonus? I made it to the second round. 🙂

This isn’t the first time I’ve faced rejection in a contest submission. In some cases, the effort was made to let me know I wasn’t selected, in other cases, there was nothing, just silence.

So why am I blogging about this particular response?

Well, the other responses didn’t touch me the way this one does. They were basically professional, template-structured replies, and in at least one case, a computer generated output (for lack of a better word) to acknowledge receipt and rejection.

I’m going to take the above response from the Writer staff as a sign of things to come in 2019. I have more stories to submit, to that, and other contests, and maybe I’ll even publish some here on my blog.

Feedback, creative critiquing, and encouragement work well for me, especially in written form. I respond well to words like this.

So here’s to all of you who want to write, and do, either here in WordPress, or elsewhere:

Keep Writing!

Happy New Year from me to you. ❤

23 thoughts on “Why *how* you write matters to those who read

  1. What a nice, professional, thoughtful “rejection,” letter. I love that! It’s those types of things that keep us going, isn’t it? I look forward to reading more of your pieces. Glad I found you! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Claudette, making it to the second round in a competition with The Writer magazine is a big deal. Congratulations! I agree that the response encourages rather than defeats. If only more publications would handle our submissions with such grace.

    Just a note on publishing stories/poetry on your blog. Many publications consider work posted on a blog to be “previously published,” thus ineligible for submission. At least here in Minnesota. It’s something to consider when you’re posting content online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I bet there are a lot of horror stories out there about how writer submissions are treated…I’m fortunate this one reached me and happy to share it with others.


  3. I had a wonderful response from a literary journal last week. ” it’s not quite right for us. While I liked the way the language of the piece conveyed the hustle and bustle of New York and the fight scene, I found myself wishing for a little more clarity as to what exactly Morris was doing.” I have send this short story to many journals and a few have expressed interest but when they add some details or personality, it ranks high on my list also. By the way, I am not changing the story. Congratulations on getting to second round.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, exactly. I have kept this story for awhile and rewrote, rewrote according to some kindly editorial comments. I am a little burned out with this but will look at again after the New Year with fresh eyes. I decline to tell you how many times I have rewritten this story.

        Liked by 1 person

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