A “glowing” rejection —
Today, I received a ‘rejection’ from a writers’ festival for a manuscript that I entered in their inaugural literary competition. Despite the fact that I didn’t win, I am thrilled that the prize/festival director took the time to provide a considered analysis and brief review of my manuscript. Here’s what I received:
We have now selected a winner in our inaugural Vox Bendigo Fyffe Prize.
May I please thank you once more for entering. We had a tough time choosing one winner, and very much admired your [manuscript]. These are disturbing texts, but well controlled and developed. The strong imagery evolves with force, taking the reader into the “anxious life” you describe so well, towards that sense of hope you leave us with.
We wish you all the best with your future writing.
For writers, this is a rare and all-too-welcomed occurrence. Other writing comps and festivals usually ignore unsuccessful writers and their manuscripts, making it all but impossible to get feedback and encouragement. What the director of the Bendigo Writers Festival’s Vox Bendigo Fyffe Prize did, in only so many words, is one of the most inspiring moments in my writing life. It provides the motivation to develop my writing more and a strong encouragement against the struggles and challenges of this solitary craft. Kudos to the festival director (who is also an esteemed author) and the committee. I wish every single festival, writing comp or grants funding body is as generous as they are.