So I just got word today that my short story "Weightless" has been rejected for the Glimmer Train New Writer's Contest. I've been in the short story writing racket long enough not to take it all that personally. After all, only 1 to 2 percent of what a magazine gets sent is actually published. Still, I couldn't help but be hopeful this time round because the story is damn good and it's gotten lots of really positive feedback. If not an actual cash award, I was hoping to at least get on the list of honorable mentions. But no dice.
You try to be cool about these things, to accept more or less constant rejection with grace but it's not always all that easy. It's hard to pour all that time and emotional energy into a story only to toss it into a well and never have it come back up. "Thanks for your submission, but it's just not right for us."
I like some of the stories I read in literary magazine and some of them I don't. But what I can never really see is the difference. Why are they being published while I'm not? Sometimes I fear it is all just something as precarious as luck.
If nothing else, I suppose it's good I was born with a gambling nature....