Rejected. Again.

November 27, 2007 at 2:34 am (Uncategorized)

I was feeling tired and emotional even before I checked the Varuna website to see whether or not they’d announced the long list for the Manuscript Development Award. They have, here it is, and I didn’t make it.

They had 366 applicants. And they’ve whittled the list down to 35 names. Thirty-five. That’s a long list, all right. But apparently (the first 14,000 words of) my manuscript still doesn’t have what it takes to advance to the next round. The writers on the long list now submit the full manuscript. Then the long list is further reduced to 15 projects, which are sent in full to Harper Collins. Harper Collins chooses the 5 writers who are invited to attend the MS Development Award workshops early next year.

So there you go. I’m out. I did not make the grade. My MS is, again, getting absolutely no traction in any quarter. I can’t really describe how this latest defeat feels – I only just found out. Lousy. Upsetting (there were tears – there may be more). Headache inducing. Humiliating. Confidence destroying. Confusing, certainly, because I have no choice now but to once again question the entire enterprise. If I’m not a good enough writer to make it into a long list of THIRTY-FIVE names – the first of three selection stages – then maybe I need to just give the whole thing away. It absolutely gets harder (read virtually impossible) to continue justifying this course of action to myself and others when all I’m doing is repeatedly failing to make an impact.

It is not working out, is it? (no need to answer)

Just making the long list would have been incredibly validating. Even if I hadn’t made the final 15, I would certainly have felt incredibly buoyed by having been thought promising enough to make that first stage. But I didn’t. And – of course, how hilarious – for the first time, Varuna has decided not to send out personal feedback to rejected writers, but post a general essay. So…once again I won’t know what was wrong with mine. Oh, no, sorry, I can pay for a consultation. And I guess I’ll do that. Still waiting for the results of the MS appraisal. Now I need it more than ever.


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