So… I didn’t make the cut at Clarion West. Again.
Now, before everyone jumps to the comments let me say that I’m basically ok. After all, I have the #1 search result on Google for Clarion West Rejection. In fact, I have 3 of the top 10 slots on page 1. Seriously, check it out:
That #1 ranking is last year’s rejection post, Writers Not Going to Clarion West – Rejection. The first is my original post about Clarion West ’08. The last one is a comment thread on LiveJournal.
Well, I have to laugh. What else can I do?
The letter came through last night. It said pretty much the same thing as last year.
Thank you for applying to the Clarion West Writers Workshop for 2009.
We are sorry to let you know that you were not selected for this year’s class. We had a near-record number of applicants, and because the workshop can hold only eighteen students we could not find room for all of the promising writers. We realize this is a disappointment, but hope you will apply to Clarion West again in the future, as your work ranked well with our readers.
We wish you the best with your writing and hope you have a productive summer.
In other words, I was close, but not close enough. I missed it by “that much.” Again.
Like others receiving their notices, I wonder what it was about my work that didn’t click with the readers. Last year, I dealt with this curiosity by sending out my work as submissions. Only to have them rejected… again.
Dealing with Rejection… Again.
You might look at rejection as an opportunity to improve or perhaps to find a more appropriate audience. You could also use it as an opportunity to beat your head against the nearest solid surface. I doubt that’s going to help make your writing better, but the pain should take your mind off the rejection.
Re-rejection is part of the writer’s life. If you’re going to write professionally, you have to learn to get over it and move on. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting. Didn’t you see the ouches above? Of course it stings, but you can’t let it stop you.
In my case, I’m sending my submissions to a few pros who are going to critique them. I’m paying for this service. We’ll see what comes of it, but at the moment it’s back to the keyboard.
Yes, that’s right… Back to the keyboard. I’ve got a lot of writing to do. Only 9 months until submissions open for Clarion West 2010.
[NB: A big thanks to all the folks at Clarion West for running such a class act of a workshop. I mean that seriously. The professionalism and kindness shown by the administrators is nothing short of amazing considering the high-maintenance writers they have to deal with on a daily basis. Hats off to the crew and to the readers who have to wade through all this stuff to find 18 worthy souls each year.]