I am sat in a supermarket car park checking my work email. This is my writing work email and it has been a week of polite rejections. You need thick skin in this business. So, I am sat there and up pops an email with the subject line ‘BBC National Short Story Award 2021’ – deep breath – I know in my heart of hearts that this will be a polite round robin email saying, ‘Thank you for letting us read your story…’ but. What happens next makes me whoop with joy.
Yes, there’s the ‘Thank you for letting us read your story…’ but what follows is: ‘We don’t publish an official longlist for the award; however we and the judges want to let you know that your story did make the Top 50 from almost 1100 entries, which is a huge achievement.’ Tell me about it! How many years have I sent my story off to this award? Too many to admit here. So, I whoop and my son asks me why I am whooping, so I tell him and he whoops and the shoppers pushing their trolleys over the car park watch us as we whoop wondering what has befallen us, madness, money or mayhem? No, just a wonderful rejection to give a writer hope. Doubt they would get that. Thankfully, the judges got my writing and took time to give a writer after a week of rejections, hope.
Oh, and the image, well it’s the title of the story. Now, I need to find a home for it.