I’ve Always Been A Reject, Baby.

I’ve been contemplating how to write this blog post, and it’s taken me a while to figure out a way to tackle it. So I figured I’d do what I always do: I’ll put one word in front of another, reflecting how I feel, until I have a sentence. A few of those should, hopefully, make a coherent sentence and, assuming I don’t come across like a monkey with a typewriter, by the end I should have a completed entry.

It still doesn’t make this particular post any easier and yet, for the first time, I actually feel validated as a writer.

I’m not ‘aspiring’; I’m not a ‘wannabe’ any more.

No, I’ve not acquired a literary agent (yet), and I’m yet to published. So why this feeling?

Well, you see, for the first time ever in my journey as a writer, I’ve been rejected.


And you know what…it’s not half bad.

Temporary took a back seat to a short story I developed that existed within the same Universe – sort of like an extended universe concept, and yet it was able to stand completely on its own, with only a few minor references to the original story that birthed it by association.

It was always my intent to craft a story that could exist on its own merits, yet also easily slot into the grand schemes I’ve been crafting with the Temporary Universe. KO and Reaper couldn’t be the only Supers, after all. And so Mitsuko Nakamura was born. Neon.

It was a story that explored teenage angst, Tiger Mother expectations, dealing with an emotionally abusive relationship and, oh yeah, needing to somehow survive the onslaught of someone who has decided that the only way to make a name for themselves as a serious threat is over your dead body.


For those interested, here’s the e-mail, which I received on the 3rd Feb 2016:

“Dear Steve

Thank you for your interest in Book Smugglers Publishing and for the opportunity to read your story.

We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to submit your story for our consideration. Unfortunately, we have decided not to accept it for publication. We received hundreds of submissions and while we enjoyed many of them, we can only publish a small number of stories this year.

Please excuse this form email. The volume of work received has unfortunately made it impossible for us to respond specifically to your work, much as we’d like to do so!

Thank you again for your submission, and we wish you the best of luck publishing your work elsewhere.”

For the record, I, of course, hold no ill will whatsoever with Book Smugglers. Shell just wasn’t what they were looking for, and that’s fine. I wish them well, and look forward to seeing the finished product of collected Superhero shorts!
So the question becomes: do I attempt to send Shell elsewhere, hoping that another competition with a focus on Superheroes (seemingly a rarity within the literary world, comp wise) crops up, or do I contemplate other viable options that could be a possibility?
I really don’t know the answer. As always, I seem to be playing a game where I don’t have a firm grasp of the rules.
Though there has been one positive repercussion, which I suppose I would have felt either way: this officially marks me as a writer. One that happens to be in good (rejected) company.

Next steps:
  • Find other competitions
  • Write/Submit to those comps
  • Continue to edit Temporary
  • Somehow find representation
  • Somehow sell book
  • ?
  • ??
  • ?!?
  • Successfully segue writing into a career

Seems doable.

If you’re reading this and have any advice or thoughts on what a positive next step would be, either for myself, Shell, or Temporary, please get in contact!

Feel free to leave a comment or Tweet me @stevetendo



2 thoughts on “I’ve Always Been A Reject, Baby.

  1. Pingback: Where Ya Been, Steve? Where Ya Been? | Write Steve Write

  2. Pingback: ‘Cause Baby, You’re A Firework. | Write Steve Write

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