First Rejection – The Upside

I’ve been swamped the last few weeks since finishing my rough first draft. I’ve had uni writing assignments, researching the next book, editing my novella for an upcoming writing comp, and my very first submission of work to a writing competition – the Bath Novel Award.

Last Tuesday was an exciting day indeed in the writerly competition world. There had been the winner of the Stella Award – Emily Bitto for The Strays, and the winner of the Vogels Award – Murray Middleton with his collection of short stories, When There’s Nowhere Else to Run, the day before.

For me, the day was all about the Bath Novel Award longlisting, which wasn’t until 9 pm Australian EST. All day I spent racing through my first edit, trying to get it in workable shape, in case, well, you know…in case, it just happened to have been longlisted.

The Songs of All Poets didn’t make it through. Only 23 unpublished manuscripts out of 806 entries, did.

Was I gutted? No, not really. I felt an immeasurable sense of relief that I’d got my first rejection over with. I know the ms is not ready. I only finished the first draft after I applied to the competition.

Now I have been given a sign that I have to make it better. Which is great, because I would hate for its current state to be the best it can get. I have a second chance to let it settle for a bit and come back to it.

I’m a firm believer in Right Timing.


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