The Minnesota Book Awards rejected my application to be a judge. They were polite about it, saying I was a "qualified applicant . . . [they] were unable to place in a judge position." They hope that I will consider applying to become a judge next year, and they dangled the possibility that they might be in touch if "an assigned judge is unable to fulfill his/her assignment". Nice, but I won't be holding my breath.
When I told my honey, I called it "my first official literary rejection." Always precise, he reminded me that it was actually my second literary rejection. Thanks, dear. I needed that reminder.
I had successfully repressed the memory of my actual first official literary rejection.
It must have been the fall of 2008. A local writing center was offering a class for writers wanting to learn how to revise their novel. A writing sample was required to be admitted. I chose to submit the first pages of my very first novel written the previous November.
Being a procrastinator, I did no revision on the writing sample, I just turned it in on the last day and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, I was not admitted to the class.
But I ignored that rejection and kept on writing. Now here we are in 2013 and I am enrolled in a seemingly similar class from the very same writing center. No writing sample necessary. I am enjoying the class very much, learning an incredible amount about myself, my novel and writing in general.
So maybe the best did happen way back in 2008. I've grown more confident, written a lot more novels, and am happy taking on the new challenge.
I know as a writer I need to be good at accepting rejection. So, thank you, Minnesota Book Awards, for helping me practice this important skill.
Nano Update, Day 7:
Plot? Main character and girlfriend are going out dancing
Word Count? 12678