Recently I received a letter in the mail informing me that I had (yet again) not been selected as the winner of a recent writing contest. Not a great surprise; I’m pretty used to getting bad news from publishers. This particular one, though, had my hopes really high — the contest judges were known for favoring my type of poetry, I had closely studied past winners and their work, and in general, I had prepared myself to take on this contest with the dead-level best of my abilities.
So much for that. In response to this letter, I took some of my own advice and revamped the manuscript, added in newer, even more high-quality works where they best fit, and spruced up the formatting a wee bit. I don’t anticipate that these changes will ensure my victory over 500 or 1,000 other entries, but at least I feel better about the whole situation. I am, by the way, submitting the manuscript to two other contests in response to this news also. Down, but assuredly not out.
I suppose the point of this post is, if you’re going to be a poet, you have to take the bad with the good. As my mentors would say, be persistent and don’t get discouraged. When you know your work is good, it’s bound to find a home somewhere. Pardon me while I go get this beautiful collection ready for its next journey. I’ve got work to do.
One thought on “You win some, you lose some…”
I have yet to submit to a contest, John, but I know I have to take that step. I keep revising my poems. Every time I re-look at them, I see how they could be better and so revisions take five, ten or more times. Good luck and know you are not alone –