View Full Version : Rejected and have to give up my grant.

04-11-2010, 01:04 PM
I'm one of those people who spent years writing different projects, using trial and error to figure out what worked in terms of rejections/acceptances, etc. before I even considered making a significant foray into the publishing world. I figured that with my health having effectively destroyed my G.P.A. and any chances at grad school (I had to take several years off and give up honors to graduate next month), now was the time to do some kind of workshop or publishing-related course.

First, I was rejected from Clarion and Clarion West. Disappointing but not in that dream-killing, soul-crushing kind of way, because hey, there's still Odyssey and the Columbia Publishing Course, right?

I actually won a grant/scholarship to apply towards CPC if they accepted me. I was not allowed to apply it to any writing workshops, but Odyssey is significantly less expensive for me, being nearer to the East Coast, so I figured I'd be willing to give up the scholarship if I got into Odyssey.

Thanks to my disease, I missed the mailing deadline for Odyssey.

I received my rejection letter from CPC the next day.

Now I have to give up the only real award I've ever won, because I don't think I can use the money for anything else. I was going to start an online publishing company with LSI, but I have no capital to do so and am reluctant to start one without any formal training in the industry, even though I've done two years of research.

It's too late to apply to other summer programs, and most of my classmates applied for jobs months earlier. It looks like I'll graduate from college several years older than everyone else with a terrible G.P.A., no prospects whatsoever, a job history with big gaps in it (thanks, disease!), and the added embarrassment of having to live with my parents and put them into more debt paying for my medical insurance of last resort, with no savings to move anywhere where I could have a decent shot in other performing arts careers.

I'm so frustrated that I wasted so much of my time applying for a grant I can't use and programs that rejected me when I'm already behind on my school work.

Normally, I would exercise to relieve the rage and frustration, but I broke my foot a couple of weeks ago on spring break.

This also nixes walking to the liquor store that has my drink of choice, so no alcoholic stupor for me.

My one comfort is that my disease requires taking NSAIDs for non-depression neurological reasons, so I can't cry for more than five minutes at a time even if I wanted to before I start to feel numb again.

At least I didn't apply for any MFA programs. Hey-o!

04-11-2010, 01:16 PM
Well that's absolutely miserable news :( Just one bit of bad luck after another...

I do hope things pick up very soon. It sounds like you could do with a change!!!

04-11-2010, 04:36 PM
That really sucks.

Is there any way to channel your pain into writing, instead of exercise or drinking? Like, maybe start with something really melodramatic and tragic, and then when you've worked a bit of that out, ease your way into something lighter?

(I started writing, as an adult, after the loss of a loved one. I spent a lot of time crying onto my keyboard, but I also found a pretty satisfying way of expressing my feelings, at least for me).

04-11-2010, 07:32 PM
I agree with Kate - can you channel it into your writing? Sounds absolutely miserable and I hope things start to look brighter for you soon.


04-11-2010, 07:40 PM
Big load of sympathy for you, at least equal to the load of horrible luck you've been having lately. I hope things get better, soon. You've done nothing to deserve this and if there's any justice floating around, your luck will turn. Meanwhile, yes, if you can, get on the writing. Be brilliant. That'll teach them to reject you, the bastards!

04-11-2010, 07:46 PM
You're still upright, with your hands on the keyboard. "Quitcherbitchin" and do the next thing. Now, if you would be so kind as to copy and paste that into a post back to me, maybe we'll both move forward. :)

My heart is there with you. The last six months have been the darkest of my life.

I could give you a run down of all the standard examples of folks who found success in their darkest hour, but you've heard them before, or seen them for yourself, right? You're smart enough to know them for what they are, somebody else's story, held up as hope. . Each one of our journeys is our own. You.. we, are making our own stories. Paying it forward, so that our story, somewhere down the road, can be used to give someone else hope. In that way, maybe our struggles are their own kind of success, yes?

Come conjugate with me:
You write. I write. We write. (And "suddenly") we have written.

04-11-2010, 07:51 PM
And there IS still Viable Paradise (http://www.sff.net/paradise/)...we're taking submissions until June 30. The workshop runs October 3-8.

04-11-2010, 07:58 PM
Get an Internship with one of the East cost publishing companies.

If you're interested in academic publishing, look at the HR/Employment lists at colleges/university presses.

04-11-2010, 09:07 PM
First: one hug of sympathy. That's just too many struggles back-to-back. I know how hard it is to keep your hopes up when one thing after another slams into you.

Next: one ray of hope. Don't worry too much about the being-older-than-everyone-else part. It actually doesn't matter a whole lot.

I couldn't figure out what to be when I grew up, so I dropped out of college. When I went back, I thought it was going to be awful, being older than everyone. Well, guess what? A whole lot of other people were the same age as me, or older. Lots of people change their minds as they go along, and have to start over again. Plus, in the current economy, it's happening all over the place. Recent grads can't find jobs. Experienced professionals have lost jobs. Everyone ends up with gaps in their employment history. Not great for right now, but it also means that as jobs start opening up again, you're not going to be in that different a position from everyone else. No stigma attached.

I agree with the advice you're already gotten: keep looking for other opportunities, whether other workshops or internships. You never know what you'll find, what it will lead you to. My example: I had to stay in school part-time to avoid paying back my student loans. So I took Spanish at my community college for two years. Met some interesting people who were all teachers. Found out speaking Spanish could get me a job Right Away. 20 years later, I have a career I didn't expect but absolutely love.

Just keep yourself open. Something good is out there. It just may be a struggle to find it.

04-12-2010, 01:23 AM
That sucks, but you lost me with projects, I'm one of those people who spent years writing different projects, using trial and error to figure out what worked in terms of rejections/acceptances, etc. before I even considered making a significant foray into the publishing world.

The only thing you want to spend years doing is writing and submitting as many stories as you possibly can. Clarion and Clarion West won't make you a writer, or an editor, or a publisher. Odyssey and the Columbia Publishing Course won't make you a writer, or an editor, or a publisher, either.

Nor will any disease that leaves you conscious stop you from being any of these things. Hell, I've been in a coma three times in the last ten years. I just counted this time as unscheduled vacations. Very relaxing, actually.

It sounds like you're still pretty young.

My advice is to stop worrying about courses, programs, workshops, G.P.A., grants, and everything else except writing a novel that so good it will make you twelve million dollars before the ink on the contract dries.

04-12-2010, 06:22 AM
Thanks, everyone. I don't feel so bottomed out today, just angry. Anger is better. Anger is useful.

I have to write a novella and a stage play this month anyway, so I might as well go back to those. School deadlines don't wait, either.

I'm in transit with the Office of Career Services here, but seeing as they pointed me toward Columbia because internships are nearly impossible to land in NYC right now (and I cannot afford to live in NYC without pay or health insurance), I'm not sure how much good they're going to do.

I wasn't trying to be defeatist (ha) with my disease, it just isn't very amenable to uncontrolled situations; live-in programs work well because someone can wake me up.

Maybe a literary agent just moved to Pittsburgh? :D

Thanks again.

04-12-2010, 06:52 AM
School deadlines don't wait, either

Just for me - is "school" the same as University (college?) Or is it high school? Or is it something else entirely? (Down here, we just have school, followed by University (or TAFE if you're good with practical skills like plumbing)