Had some bad news in the mail yesterday. I received the results of a literary competition run by an Australian magazine. I had submitted three poems and three short stories. None was successful. [Update: That last sentence should read: “None were successful.” See comments for an explanation.] Same result as last year, but with a different set of poems and stories. Oh well, all it means is that the judges didn’t like what I wrote. Print them out and resubmit elsewhere is the usual advice at writers’ seminars and workshops.
The poetry judge actually made comments on every poem submitted. The only comment on one poem was “Inventive.” Mmmm, wonder what that means? Does it have some merit? Is it worth resubmitting elsewhere, or does it mean that the judge couldn’t understand it? The comment for the other two poems was “Attempt a rewrite”. Yes, I have done that over and over and over until they were both so different from the original draft that they were essentially new works.
Judging literary competitions must be a thankless task. I’ve never done it and I’m sure it is very hard. I’ll try not to be too despondent – and try again elsewhere. Trouble is, my hit rate has taken a battering in the last 2 years with far more rejections than acceptances. (My success rate is around 10%) You get that. Now on with the next project.