Yesterday I received an email from Mash Stories, it was their quarterly competition I entered last month, the email thanked me but said I had failed to reach their short list and encouraged me try again next time. I will be honest I was expecting it.
Now that is not to say I think there was anything wrong with the piece I submitted but I think it was certainly wrong for this competition. I have been listening to podcasts of the short listed entries for the last few issues and realise that the piece I wrote was too simple and not clever enough. It could be that the three words that have to be included just did not inspire a more complex story, it maybe that my writing style is not consistent with what they are looking for, I guess we will find out more about that when they send the feedback I requested. But I do think it is the simplicity of the story that was my downfall. many of the other stories have a more Sci-Fi/Dystopian feel, the words for this month were ankle, fashion and criminal and I did find once I had an idea in my head I could not shift it or get past it, this is of course something I can learn from and learn to find ways to get round maybe I should write the first story then once the initial idea is out of my head maybe a second story I have to think about more will be the one more suited for submission.
The fact is it would be easy to cry into my coffee but the fact I submitted in order to be rejected is a huge step forward plus the fact even before feedback I can see areas in which I can improve and have a plan to implement that are positives. The other positive is you guys get a flash fiction to read this Sunday and you can let me know what you think of it, remember I don’t mind criticism as long as it is constructive.