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Rejection or Runner-up?

June 22, 2010

A few weeks ago I entered the first scene of my novel into the Novel Journey Out of the Slushpile contest. (That was what prompted me to take another look at my query letter and post it for critique.)

Anyway, got the word a few days ago that I didn’t win. But the email I got was great all the same. They gave me feedback along with my rejection!


Many of the entries, including yours, showed a high degree of competency and skill, and your story was a runner-up.  Concerning your entry, the judges said, “a very good read,” but “some of the phrases felt overworked.” And, “I believe the author tipped his/her hand trying to set up the scene.” All in all, it made a good impression.

So now I have specific feedback on the first scene. I’m not entirely sure what it all means, but I’m thrilled to have it, and thrilled to see that there was praise mixed in the criticism. Now I just have to figure out what it means and how to apply it to the novel.

If I’m going to get a rejection letter, this is the best sort to get. 🙂

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