….if it’s spelled with a “g” does it sting as much?
(and does it become a hard g instead of a soft?)
The most frustrating part about receiving a rejection is the lack of explanation as to why my work is not being chosen. Yes, I understand that you received over A TRILLION entries for the contest and that you have had a SHOCKINGLY OVERWHELMING amount of response for your program, so you cannot afford to spend time letting those who were rejected know if they could improve their work or submit new work or if they should just stop trying because you don’t like the color of black ink the printer printed.
Which is a flaw in the system. It is. As Sophocles said, Writing is subjective.
He said that when Aristotle said, “Yo everyone, you can all stop trying because my main man Soph just wrote the most perfect tragedy ever. Give it up, suckassss.”
And Sophocles said “Let’s not alienate people like that, okay bro, because that really puts a lot of pressure on me”
To which Aristotle replied “I’m saying people should strive to be JUST LIKE YOU, take the compliment!”
But Sophocles would not take the compliment. He instead said “Arty. Writing is subjective. What may seem like brilliance to one mind may seem like utter garbage to another.”
I can only assume that’s how it went down.
So why do we get rejected? Can somebody give me an explanation, please?
And I’m not talking about explanations such as “you were just not what we were looking for”. Actually, if we’re just going according to your entry guidelines, I was EXACTLY what you were looking for.
Let’s take a random example from a random contest from which I received a rejection:
All One Acts must be well written, perceptive and entertaining. Well howdydo, I guess I’ll choose my strongest work, you know, the one that I know is strong because I’ve been workshopping it for oh, I dunno, three years? And gosh if it isn’t entertaining, I know that it is because I did a public workshop of it and people not only came, but they LAUGHED. CHECK
Comedy, drama or anything in between will be considered. Whoa, this contest will even accept genres that don’t fall into the category of drama and comedy? Then my sci-tragiromcomedy is sure to be a big hit! (I sent them a drama). CHECK
One Act plays should be 25 to 45 minutes in length. 35 pages = 35 minutes. That’s some statistic perfection right there. CHECK
Should be written in standard play formatting. No way! Write it like a play?! I did that, too! CHECK
Submission dates are NOW through FEBRUARY 11 2011 (postmarked). I opted to send it “NOW” so BAM DOUBLECHECK for it being early.
So why was mine Just not what you were looking for, Faceless Stranger, if it fell into your guidelines? Well, clearly, there are other factors- the subjective nature of art, whether or not it would be a good fit for the company or whether it really is just major crap and I’m just fooling myself into believing I’m a good writer.
(The latter part is NEVER TRUE. I’m talking to you, EVERYONE EVER).
Receiving “The Rejection Letter” is like staring into a void that echoes with the unanswered questions of your failure. It stirs up questions and insecurities and there is usually no real way of ever knowing why you were not chosen.
Wouldn’t it just be a better world if we could all be told Why? Wouldn’t that actually make us grow as writers and maybe even (dare I say it) become successful?
I wonder what Sophocles did when Oedipus Rex got rejected the first time he sent it off to We R Greekz for the One Act play festival about hubris in the Modern Century. Well, at least he kept writing.