Dustan Moon wrote:First, congratulations to those that got honors. It means you are writing at a level that an NYT bestselling author feels obligated to acknowledge. It's the equivalent of an editor at a pro magazine saying, "This one didn't quite do it for me, alas, but please send me your next." Well done. (And kudos if you can name the pro editor that peronally typed "alas" on his rejections well over 100,000 times. You get a Scooby Snack.)
Second, one could argue SHM is the most useful rejection you can get towards winning this contest. You see, rejected finalists are burned, semis get a critique and are burned, but an SHM can be revised and resubmitted. *That's* the story to get some other eyes on, and your beta readers should be more published than you so you can get some wise feedback. So don't knock an SHM, embrace it and give it a big wet kiss.
Third, and I say this with all kindness, don't look for readers to build your ego, that's your mom, spouse, significant other, goldfish. Look for beta readers that are going to be brutally honest, because we are all making new writer mistakes. It's why we are here, trying to figure it out so we can advance. Again, try to find somebody that has some pro sales...they at least know how to craft a story that sells. And that's what all of us are most likely seeking, so we can have a larger audience for our stories than mom, spouse, significant other, goldfish.
Finally, put me down for email sub on the 30th. Rumors of my resurrection have been greatly exaggerated. : )
Fortune favor the brave.
It was Gordon van Gelder at F&SF who used alas in his rejects. Alas, he has since retired.