I received an e-mail today from the folks at the Writers of the Future contest.* I submitted a story as part of the third quarter of 2012. And of the thousand or so quarterly entries, I received an Honorable Mention.
Now, that doesn’t mean I get any money or publication offers. But it does mean my story ended up in the top 10-15% of stories. It means my story was read all the way through, perhaps more than once, depending on the judges. But it also contained enough errors to keep it from going further.
So, on the one hand, it was a rejection. But, on the other hand, it was a qualified rejection from a very prestigious genre contest. So back to work. Back to writing. Time to identify and fix my errors. To quote Beckett:
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
*For those who are unfamiliar, yes, L. Ron Hubbard started the contest. And while there is a link to Scientology, the contest is kept almost entirely separate from the Church, and it is highly respected as a source for identifying new talent in science fiction and fantasy writers and illustrators.