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Random Thoughts and other delicacies

March 11, 2010

I’d like to start off with a nice thank you to everyone who has offered warm wishes and condolences and even logic-laced pep talks following my C-SD rejection.  I appreciate you all.  They do not, however, change the fact that I will be a bit of an ass until I hear from Clarion West.

I am a little bothered by the fact that apparently all of C-SD’s rejections have gone out but none of the acceptances have been claimed.  Odd way to conduct business, isn’t it?  What reason could they have to maintain the shroud of secrecy this long?  Don’t tell anyone if you make it, but we’ll let the people know they didn’t.  Seeing a list of people who made it makes me feel better about not making it (unless I recognize names and feel insulted that they “beat” me).  Right now it feels like these rejections are the “hell nos” while they whittle down the top few.  I find it hard to believe my stories fell into the “hell no” category.  They weren’t perfect, but they were better than last year’s stories that warranted a “very close” note in my rejection (that not every rejection received).

I need to remind myself that there are a wide range of writers who apply for Clarion.  Some are already either SFWA members or qualified to be.  Then again, I always hear stories about the writer who has neer sent anything to a magazine and gets into Clarion on the first try.  Do those things still happen?  Maybe.

I had a better showing with CW last year than I did with C-SD.  Surely that pattern will continue.  My inability to count pages may still hinder me, but Neile assured me it wouldn’t be as bad as I originally feared.  I’m still waiting for the first verified CW response to leak to the web.  I spotted a blog that suggested a CW rejection, but it could have been a poorly worded admission that they didn’t apply to CW at all.  I’m also waiting for any sign that acceptances come out, SD or Seattle.  The best sign would be a ringing telephone.  Last year, Jordan Lapp leaked his call very uncovertly on the CW forum and hysteria ensued for about three weeks over it.  Maybe they’e made calls and asked the acceptances to keep quiet, like C-SD does.  Maybe they haven’t gotten around to calling yet.  The question marks are driving me mad.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in good shape if I don’t get in to CW.  I’ve got the WotF win to ride and the WotF workshop to attend (for learning and hobnobbing), so I’ll still have a pretty good flight plan for becoming a real pro.  Not everyone will have that.  Was it selfish to even apply for Clarion?  Possibly.  I don’t get to be selfish much as a teacher, husband, and father.  So a little bit of writer selfishness isn’t so bad.  I’ll pay it forward one day.

One Comment leave one →
  1. lunapalma permalink
    March 11, 2010 3:00 pm

    Hi Scott,

    You have my condolences on the Clarion SD rejection and my best wishes for good fortune on your application to Clarion West. One thing to keep in mind about the anomaly in the rejections from SD (the straight up rejection this year versus the “apply again” rejection from last year) is that the application readers change every year at both workshops and the fantasy/SF genre encompasses a very wide range of approaches to stories. So, even though your application stories from this year may be better than they were last year, the tastes of the readers may be completely different. Have you read Vandermeer’s work yet or any of the anthologies that he has edited? His tastes may be at the opposite end of the spectrum from, say, those of the judges at WOTF–which, I think, is not necessarily a judgment against your writing. Certainly the competition at WOTF is much steeper than that for the Clarions, in terms of the number of entries. I don’t know if any of this helps, but, heck, as you say, winning WOTF is a wonderful thing, and you do have at least one workshop to look forward to this summer!


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