Today the Ink Pantry sent out their rejection/acceptance emails to everyone who sent in submissions for the anthology. I sent in two pieces, both of which are already published on my blog here. Unfortunately I received the rejection email, when you put it like that it sounds awful, it's not.
Originally I wasn't going to submit anything and just help out behind the scenes but decided to go for it anyway. I chose a poem that my tutor had praised in his feedback and my story of my imaginary sister which was my highest mark from the course. I really loved these pieces and am happy to share them in my blog however I know they are not excellent.
Volunteering as a sifter for Ink Pantry has meant reading (anonymously) some of the 182 submissions that came in and deciding whether they deserved a green (definite yes) amber (maybe) or red (no) rating. You can read more about this process over at http://inkpantry.com/.
Some of these submissions were fantastic, (you'll have to buy the book to read them yourself but I'm sure you won't be disappointed) and therefore I knew mine wouldn't make the grade. Receiving your first rejection for a piece of writing is obviously not going to make you happy but you also shouldn't be sad about it either. It doesn't mean your writing is rubbish it just means that someone else's was ever so slightly more gripping or more polished; it doesn't mean you should give up, there is a limit to how many pieces will be chosen. This time may not have been your time but if you keep at it one day it will be.
The word rejection made me think of a few things today.
1. Being rejected by the first boy I ever asked out, yes I still remember it exactly and no I have never asked anyone since!
2. Being rejected for a job. I've had lot's of jobs but actually never failed an interview until about 3 years ago.
3. Being rejected for the job of sports day captain, I know what you're thinking and no I wasn't great at sports that's why I wanted to be captain so I could be involved but it didn't work out.
4. Being a Raggy doll!! yes I know I am not one but it made me think of the Raggy dolls in their reject bin. Look up the words it'll make you smile
So having my first rejection for writing was not a bad experience and it won't be my only one. Some of the authors we've been lucky enough to interview for the blog have mentioned rejections as part of the process. We have to learn from it and move on. I'm really happy to be involved with the Ink Pantry anthology and also with contributing to the blog (you can read my interview with the brilliant Sarah Rayner over there). Well done to everyone who was accepted and to those who weren't don't give up, keep writing and keep sending it off to places. That's my plan.