Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tales from the Writing Life

Here's an excerpt from a letter I received from a literary journal (that shall remain nameless) that runs a well-known annual contest:

“Dear Leslie: Congratulations! Your fiction submission, [THEY GIVE THE EXACT TITLE HERE], has been selected as a semi-finalist for the [CONTEST NAME]. While the semi-finalist designation does not include a cash prize or a reading by the final judge, we hope that your standing in the competition pleases you.

“You can be assured that your work was read by editors who wish that they could publish all the sincere and well-crafted work that is submitted to [JOURNAL TITLE]. Your manuscript was distinguished from 588 poetry submissions (emphasis mine) as a semi-finalist in the [CONTEST NAME], meaning that it was among the top 30 manuscripts. …”

Perhaps it was distinguished from the other 588 poetry submissions because the lines flowed all the way to the right edge of the paper. Or because it went on for 25 pages. Or because there was a plot. And lots of dialogue. And characters. A setting.

How unique to contain all those qualities. Or maybe not, considering my submission was a short story!!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.