new short story collection. Out now!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


After failing to make the short list for the inaugural Lane Cove Literary Award with my short story Still It Bleeds, I recently received a rejection from a magazine which I had forgotten I submitted to. I keep track of all my submissions electronically because there's no way I could remember, so this morning I need to update my submissions history with another rejection.

Still it Bleeds is one of my favourite stories but it has been passed over 8 times now. I've had lesser stories, in my opinion, accepted more readily. I wrote it in 2012 which I think was my best year, so far, for short story writing. 12 stories of, again this is only my own estimation, high quality, mostly literary fiction. 3 of them were published while the others are racing to be next to find a sympathetic editor and the readers beyond.

What I think about myself and my work is both important and not important. It is significant because in order to continue the hard and lonely road of the writer, I must believe in myself and my ability. I must be satisfied that I am giving it my best. I must have the confidence to go on with only a quantum of encouragement, or none at all. I must remind myself that my work is good.

On the other hand, what I think of myself is inconsequential in terms of attracting readers. No matter how good I think my work is, I have to find someone who agrees. Initially I need an editor to dig what I do, and then I need readers. People have told me that they love my work. I will never forget the woman at the Meet the Author night at Dapto Library who told the audience that she thought Ashmore Grief was a great book and everyone in Australia should read it. Her words were encouraging but they did nothing for sales.

It's easy for me to write. I have to restrain myself which is what I am doing here. This was only going to be a mini Writing Activity Statement abut the latest short story rejection.

Share an encouraging word you received from someone about your writing, or about anything.

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