A while back I entered the MsLexia First Novel competition for the first time. I’ve known about this competition for years, but never bucked up to do it. And it was a real heart-sinking feeling to get the rejection letter, because I had been feeling incredibly confident about entering City of Dis.
But every cloud is not without a silver lining, and I did get a nice rejection letter with a view of overall trends in this year’s submissions, which is useful if only for the fact that it makes it easier to forecast what kind of approach I should take towards future submission cover letters and the like. In addition, there were some nice comments about the quality of writing in the genre I wrote (dystopian) although I’m worried they may have mistaken my first 5000 words for YA, which the novel is not, as the content is far too adult in nature.
So: I’m checking off the bonus points for writing quality, and the bonus points for starting the dystopian adventure straight in the middle of the action, which the judges seemed to like.
I am interested to see who won the competition, as it would be good to compare their work with my own and see what I can learn from it.
And regarding MsLexia itself, it’s the first rejection that’s left me feeling this positive. I’m potentially going to be subscribing to the magazine as it seems to be a good place to nurture confidence.
My current peak of confidence might just be a case of good timing, however. I’m feeling stronger than usual after letting a friend read the first chapter last weekend. Her review was positive, and she wants to read more. So I just have to keep trucking, and will be using NaNoWriMo as a creative space to get some serious editing done.