So much for that.

June 30, 2010 at 7:49 am (Uncategorized)

Well, the Penguin Varuna Scholarship shortlist of thirty names is up, and I didn’t make it. This means my entry isn’t proceeding past Varuna’s gate to be delivered to Penguin’s door for its consideration.

I don’t know what else to say. Maybe I’ll find some words tomorrow. Then again, maybe not.



  1. LBJ said,

    Your talent, drive, sheer passion and lust for life shines through every word you write. It is simply a matter of alignment between timing and opportunity that remains.

    • doctordi said,

      Thank you, Llewie. You sure know when to pick your comments on this blog! Thanks for everything, including continuing to believe in me despite this relentless series of knock-backs. I think it takes a special kind of person and a special kind of courage not to lose heart in a battle you didn’t choose.

      Timing, opportunity and… oh yeah, a lot more work. Thanks for everything, Llewellyn. I love you.

  2. Lilian Nattel said,

    I’m so sorry about the disappointment Di. I know you’ll bounce back. Hang in there.

    • doctordi said,

      By the merest thread at the moment, Lilian, by the merest thread. But thank you, I’m currently trying to recover my bounce.

  3. Pete said,

    Sorry to hear that Di. (560 entrants is a lot though. And I see they like regional entrants, whatever that means. Non-Sydney maybe?)

    • doctordi said,

      I think 560 is a huge number of entrants for a writing prize in Australia… obviously in much more densely populated countries it’s a trifling total, but I think it’s a great indication of how many Australians are reading and writing, and if I take my own disappointment out of the equation, that’s something to celebrate.

      Yes, there is an official emphasis on regional writers, so for those writers living outside the capital cities. Promoting regional writing was the stated aim of the program in its first incarnation. 17 regional writers out of the shortlist of 30 is a fantastic result for them, but yes, it made it harder for us city folk to crack. Still, 13 managed it. I can qualify it with all the bells and whistles in the world and still come down to the basic fact that my entry (the first 50 pages – some of the best in the entire MS) didn’t cut it where others did. I have no choice but to think about that.

  4. plumbean said,

    you will make it! your writing is so strong! when i got really down (during the nutty agent search–yuck) i googled great authors who got rejected. it is a staggering list! i believe in you!

  5. doctordi said,

    Thanks, Priya. Yes, there is a lot of solace – frequently sought! – in those amazing stories of rejection and failure and perseverance and eventual hard-won triumph. I never, ever tire of them, and I might go hunt out a few now! Thanks for the vote of confidence… whatever remained of my own is currently frothing in the toilet bowl.

  6. litlove said,

    Oh sweetie, I am so sorry to hear that. God rejection sucks. Lie low and look after yourself, and when you can manage it, don’t lose faith. You know we all believe in you absolutely. 560 is a HUGE field.

  7. doctordi said,

    Thanks, LL. I can tell you unreservedly that comments such as ‘we all believe in you absolutely’ are a core reason why I can maintain any sort of faith at all. You and everyone else truly give me so much, and that support is like a lifeline at times like this.

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