A few days ago, Go Teen Writers had an essay contest about how teen writers are respecting their dreams to get published. Today I learned I’d placed in the contest!

Here’s my essay. Thanks to GTW for the opportunity!

   File:TsunamiHazardZone.jpg

  I can’t surf.

     A boogie board and high tide is enough to make me wipe out. But when it came to writing, I never let the warnings of rejection tsunamis get to me. I always figure that, if I worked on my craft, pushing myself to write the best fiction I had in me, I’d worry about publishing when I had something worth sharing.

     Then, last year, something changed. I was encouraged by several published authors to pursue publication. I’d hoped for this for years, but it took that affirmation to give me the courage to submit.

     So I sent out a few stories to test the waters. They were rejected. I sent more, determined to receive at least ten rejection letters before the end of the year.  

     Then something unexpected happened. I had a short story accepted at a small literary magazine.

     After that, I continued submitting with exponential force, determined to repeat the rare occasion. Acceptances didn’t pour in. But they did trickle. Scholarship competitions. National contests. Even publication with a prestigious literary magazine.

It’s all thanks to that initial encouragement from fellow writers. Without those kind words, I wouldn’t now have a near-finished novel, ready to submit to agents this summer.

Right before a tsunami strikes, the water always peels back from the shore, gathering into the wave. I’m cautiously optimistic. But I know that, no matter how many rejections I face, they’ll eventually build the wave which, God-willing, I’ll ride to success.

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