Thursday, 4 September 2008

Rejection and Results


Very down now. Two rejections from competitions in a very short time. Will I ever emerge? Will there be a book with my name on the spine.

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition had 700 entries. The shortlist has a very international flavour. Results at the Frank O'Connor Short Story Festival in Cork on Saturday 20th September.

Elizabeth Costello of Dublin, Ireland.
Natalie Diaz of Surprise AZ USA
Benjamin Arda Doty of Minneapolis USA
Colm Keegan of Dublin, Ireland
Genine Lentine of San Francisco USA
Anna May Mangan of Wembly UK
Terese Svoboda of New York USA
Cathy Sweeney of Bray, Ireland
Michelle Tandoc-Pichereau of Cotes C'Armor, France
Julia Van Middlesworth of New Jersey USA

Over The Edge 'New Writer of The Year' shortlist. Some well known names here:

Megan Buckley, Galway
Fiona Clark Echlin, Tipperary
Denise Garvey, Galway
Eamonn Harrigan, Galway
Brian Kirk, Dublin
Tom Lavelle, Galway
Wes Lee, New Zealand
Mary Madec, Galway
Donny Mahoney, Dublin
Alan McMonagle, Galway
Brendan Murphy, Galway
Mairin O'Grady, Kildare
Aiden O'Reilly, Dublin
Hans-Joachim Quade, Galway
Evelyn Walsh, Dublin

Winners will be announced by competion judge, Celeste Augé, at the Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, September 25th, 6.30-8pm, when the Featured Readers will by Colette Bryce, Des Kavanagh & Orla Higgins. The reading is sponsored by Poetry Ireland.

14 comments:

Peter Goulding said...

What I find - and I think I'm in a very similar position to yourself - is that you get a hell of a lot of rejections and just when you feel like giving up, along comes a little success that keeps you going for another six months.
I console myself with the thought that when the poetry and fiction literati finally recognise my genius I shall loudly berate those judges who dismissed me when I was just emerging.
Chin up - your blog is the best thing on the net.
Pete

Peter Goulding said...

Don't despair. This game is all about rejection and then, just when you're about to give up, a small success comes along that buoys you up for another 6 months.

Susan said...

Sorry to hear it, but you got further than I did: I didn't even make the deadline AGAIN this year.

I'm starting to think I'm completely hopeless when it comes to the big competitions.

Meanwhile I'll be wishing you some winning magic, and hoping for the best. I'm wrapping up my novel edits now and already getting nervous about agent rejections later this fall!

Hang in there--

Richard said...

Missed out on Sean O Faolain myself. Just noticed a daft grammar mistake in one of my entries, something I would've spotted a mile away five years ago but slipped out of my noggin between now and then. You have to ask how the comps are judged. If you've got 700 entries and there are five or ten initial readers judging the material before the shortlist or longlist is drawn up, will they be dismissive of other entries by the same writer coz of a grammar mistake in one story? They don't want Bad Grammar McGann winning their prestigious competition, surely? How "blind" is the judging? Three of my stories made the top 50 in a big prestigious comp a few years back (1500+ entries). Entered the same three the following year with a couple more, and only one of them made the top 50. The others didn't even place in the top 100. Whatever about the new stories I submitted, can the standard have improved that much in a year to push my other two entries that far down? Tends to make you a bit cynical: Is the judges' decision not to shortlist you based on how much money they'll make if you buy the anthology? If they include another two writers rather than acknowledging my entries again, will those writers buy the book to see their names in print, tripling profits with three copies bought instead of just the one? (And I know it's not great practice to send in repeat entries, year on year). Another point is the fact that the SOF comp had 700 entries, that's a lot of material for the judges to get through. If they're not really knocked out by the first paragraph in the competition story, I imagine your number's probably up. By the way, this is a gross generalisation about ALL competitions - I'm not trying to slate any one comp. Some of the competitions are massive, but you'll read the winning entry and think the grammar and spelling are atrocious, the plot's about as interesting as watching paint dry...If these judges aren't qualified to edit spelling and grammar, they're certainly not qualified to judge literary merit. Again, it's a generalisation, but I could give you a handful of examples just on the Interweb alone, and a few print mags and anthologies, to back up my point. Anyway, I'm a bitter, bitter man. Feel free to step in and agree or disagree.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hey, join the gang! Mine bombed too, if it's any consolation. Tis a great lottery, this comp business... lovely when it works, and when it doesnt, you sit and wonder what you could have done with the entrance money!

Onwards n upwards, and happy writing.

Have a hug.

BarbaraS said...

Aw, EW. Our day will come. You'll see :)

Try the Francis McManus next..?

Emerging Writer said...

I'm at the stage when I'm wondering why I bother. 2 in one week will do that. Should I jack it all in or stop submitting to competitions.

But the Sean O'F was judged by one judge who read all the entries so I don't doubt she read them all but certainly I wonder about some competitions. Anyway, life is based on chance. Say the judge had just spilled coffee on her trousers and then reads a story based in a burns unit. Not going to get very far, don't you think? But the same is true for your novel about the redeeming powers of love submitted to an editor whose wife has run off with the window cleaner.

Debs said...

Rejections are the pits. Mind you, despite feeling like I want to give it all up, I don't ever actually do so and keep going.

Uiscebot said...

I'm almost afraid to say anything because I got short-listed, but I think it's worth knowing that my story was turned down elsewhere - twice.

EM Kennedy said...

Didn't make the SOF shortlist but still hanging onto the tailend of the Over The Edge. Don't despair Kate, judges differ and writers......keep writing. There's no other option is there, it's what we do. PMA now! I can picture your book on my nookshelf name emblazoned on the spine! It's only a matter of time and a little luck. The talent is already there. Chin up....Evelyn

Emerging Writer said...

Uiscebot, you're a star. Did you rework the story much between rejections? Here's hoping you win

KAREN said...

Rejections suck. That's why I stopped entering big competitions!! Had some luck with a couple of smaller ones and the boost it gave my confidence was worth it. Don't give up :o)

on a small island said...

Also got nowhere in the Sean O'Faoilean.

Just console yourself with probably being in the anonymous top twenty, and submit the story for publication instead

that's what I'll do, once I finish sulking. Which might take some time

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks for all your comments. A rejection shared is a rejection diminished (not quite halved.)
I'm overdue a good sulk. I will sit here and eat cashews (chocolate being in short supply here)