Thursday, March 20, 2014

Literary Grab Bag: Lit Camp, Handling Rejection and The Review Review (with Cappuccino)

This week brought more great news to my writerly world:
Congratulations! You are being offered a place at Lit CampWe had more than 250 submissions for only 40 spots. Everyone who was chosen represents the very best in fiction and nonfiction writing. It was a pleasure to read your work! 
Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, CA
Sponsored by Litquake and the San Francisco Writers Grotto, Lit Camp is an annual spring writers conference that takes place at Mayacamas Ranch, a retreat center in Calistoga, CA. Take a look at the rigorous Lit Camp schedule, which includes a Yoga for Writers workshop; free time to enjoy the hot tub, saltwater pool and spring-fed pond; and plenty of 'Booze and Schmooze' opportunities with writers, literary agents and editors of esteemed publications such as ZYZZVYA, McSweeney's, The Believer and The Rumpus. Oh, yeah, and some writing workshops!

The bad news: A couple of my writer friends didn't make it in. Which brings me to my next topic: Handling Rejection. I happen to know that these two are excellent writers; one just scored an agent and a possible publishing contract for her book. So here are some refreshing perspectives to share.

Helen Dring at Black Fox Literary Magazine makes the claim that "rejections will make you better":
You see, receiving rejections means two very good things. First, my work is out there in the world being read...   
Second, sometimes rejections come with feedback...
In her blog post, Rejections I Have Known, Susie Meserve reveals the good, the bad and the ugly (as well as sweet) in her folder of 282 rejections -- including some nostalgia for handwritten notes.

I borrowed the rejection links above from my weekly shot of The Review Review, which sends me an e-newsletter I never reject from my inbox. Amid all the spam is this constant gem, filled with fascinating tidbits from the writerly front, from interviews to blogs to lit mags to the ever-so whimsical parting words of its founding editor, Becky Tuch, who created the website from the ashes of rejection:
In the spring of 2008, I stopped submitting to literary magazines. As a fiction writer, trying to get my work published felt as futile and inconsequential as trying to write my name on a snowflake.
Here is how Ms. Tuch signed off this week. How can you not love a newsletter like this?

And that you white-tea sippers, you acai-berry chewers, you leafy-green consumers, you who love your antioxidants, you who are a dangerously free radical, you who are fit, you who are strong, and you there, just trying to get through the day without spilling food on yourself, is the news in literary magazines.

Well, it's not white tea or acai (pronounced 'a-sa-ee' -- it rhymes!) that's for me.


rosaria williams said...

Congratulations, Nicole. Have I told you that your blog is most inspirational? And, you are the most generous person I know?

PKB said...

Congratulations to you!

Nicole R. Zimmerman said...

Thank you to you both! Rosario, you are my most generous blog reader. ;)

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