Sunday, June 17, 2012

Finally, Non-Rejection!

(taken from contest website)

I got a surprising phone call yesterday from an administrator for the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest.  It's a SF/Fantasy short story contest that's been going on for over 20 years and has been a great avenue for introducing new writers to the world and giving them the toe in the door they've needed to hopefully, eventually get their whole damn foot into the publishing biz at large.  I think I've sent four stories in over the years.  For one I received a letter saying my story had made it to the semi-finals, which was encouraging.  This time I got a PHONE CALL (which after the letter seems so much bigger and more personal) from a very nice woman telling me my story has made it into the top eight for the quarter.  When I asked how may entries there were, she said, "Oh, thousands."  THAT is a good feeling!  Anyone who writes and gets pretty much no where (and even those who are now famous) can tell you that there is a LOT of rejection on the writers' road and to finally get a somewhere is a great encouragement.  Now these final 8 stories go on to another round of judging and 3 will be picked as the winners.  Even if my humble little tale doesn't win that final honor, it's nice to know someone somewhere enjoyed it enough to send it that far.


  1. As John McClain said in "Die Hard", "Welcome to the party, pal!" Congratulations! Yes, Finalist is an extremely rare achievement.

    I hope we'll see more from you soon.

  2. Thanks everyone! This post has gotten 5 times as much traffic as any of my others, and in just 24 hours! I get the feeling I'm living under a microscope and don't know it -- everyone can see me but I can't see them or where they're coming from, but I'm glad they're there! (just wish I knew how/where...)

  3. Someone (I have a Fifth Amendment right not to say who) found your post and linked it on Facebook, where it was discovered by members of the Writers of the Future forum:

    So yes, we're all watching you! We've been eagerly anticipating results for this quarter for a long time. You're welcome to come join us in anticipation.

    1. AH-HA! I saw the Facebook source and the forum source and have just posted an embarrassed and heart-felt apology on the forum (which I am a member of as of right now). i hope everyone sees it.

    2. The apology was a nice gesture, but unnecessary. By the time you had posted, my anonymous source had confirmed that she and someone else were the last two Finalists called. The point of the news embargo is primarily to make sure that each Finalist learns through a personal phone call (if possible -- one quarter a Finalist was deployed to Afghanistan and seriously unreachable). The last two called were specifically told that they could tell the world if they wanted to. But my anonymous source is holding back until official announcements. That's her choice, it doesn't have to be yours.

      The bigger concern at this point is the blind judging. Make sure no one knows the title or subject of your story. Oh, I'm sure close friends do already, but keep the info close to your vest. Even though my little blog gets little traffic, I always scrub all references to stories if I submit them to WotF. The most heartbreaking result imaginable would be to get this close and THEN learn that one of the judges reads your site and recognizes your story and has to disqualify you.

    3. Good point... I'm pretty sure there's only one friend of mine who knows which story it was. Hell, it's been so long *I* almost forgot which one it was! And thanks for keeping me in the loop on this, Martin.