Thank You, Anne

A fictional short story that I wrote last year received recognition in three different places.  It was published in a book that was a regional anthology of short stories and poetry, it was included in an online issue in an Alaskan publication, and it won second prize in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association annual contest.  Note: These were not three different stories, each with its own award — it was the same story that qualified in all three sectors. One story, three acknowledgments. Since then, I have sent numerous and varied short stories to contests, magazines, and to literary journals — to no avail. None. Well, not none, I guess. I have received countless letters praising the quality of my writing and saying what an enjoyable read my story provided.  It just wasn’t a “good fit” for their publication at the current time.  A good fit. That seems to be the common terminology.  I’m registered for a weeklong writing workshop in Oregon that takes place in mid July and after so many rejections of my work, I had been been second-guessing my decision to attend.  “What’s the point?”  I found myself wondering.  And then today, out of the blue, I came across an essay by Anne Lamott, one of my favorite writers, and reread it.  Three times.  “You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart — your stories, visions, memories, visions and songs. Your truth, your version of things, your own voice. That is really all you have to offer us. And that’s also why you were born.”  Thank you, Anne.  I’m sucking up my courage and getting ready for that seminar in July.

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