Monday, November 17, 2008

The Dandelion Wishers

Rejection doesn’t always mean your story is bad. I always tell writers this. A story is rejected for many reasons. I have a story I wrote the second year I started writing seriously, The Dandelion Wishers. I’ve always liked that story. It won a highly commended in a contest and it gave me hope that it had some merit others might recognise. Then I sent it off to a few markets and it piled up the rejections. I set it aside for a while and then sent it off to African Writing earlier this year, a fantastic showcase for some of Africa’s best writers. They accepted it and I was very happy.

But then African Writing disappeared. I thought it had gone under like so many good intentioned literary projects and The Dandelion Wishers had sunk with it. Well today they are back with full force (thankfully)! Read the Dandelion Wishers here as well as a lot of other great African writing.

15 comments:

deola said...

Thanks. You really make me feel better.

Lauri said...

Glad about that. I know from having recently helped sift through stories for an anthology, stories need to be turned down for so many reasons. Sometimes just as simple as another story is too similar.

Bola said...

In the past, I submitted pieces to African Writing. Those people run a shoddy ship over there. With the first submission, I got an e-mail from the editor saying he thought my story was interesting and would get back to me on whether he will use it or not. He never did. When I enquired, I received apologies and was told it was being considered for another issue. There was no response after that. Against my better judgment, a mate told me to submit another story this year which I did. There was yet again no response and again, when I enquired months later, the editor said he would dig the story out and get back to me soon. Never heard from him (even if it was for a rejection). I did not bother with them especially since both stories were accepted by other journals. If they intend to adopt a system whereby a writer should assume that their story has been rejected if they have not heard after a certain period, they should just say so and save writers from the aggro.

Lauri said...

Bola I relate. The second story they published of mine, Eddie Fisher Won't Be in Today, they published only part and thought they were done. They left off the whole ending! Then I wanted it submitted for the Caine and asked them but they didn't choose it because it was too short (because of their mistake). They did actually call me in Botswana from UK to apologise so I was appeased. But also, I had tried to contact them numerous times regarding this issue's story but never got any response. I thought they were out for good.

You are right, they need to be more respectful of writers. But I do know many of these literary mags are run by people with day jobs that keep them very busy. AW really started out with a bang, with some really heavy hitters there and to be honest I was happy to be part of it. Let's hope it's all teething pains.

ayomorocco said...

Hi Lauri,

Talking about the Caine Prize, I recall reading on your website early this year that Author-Me submitted your story for the Caine Prize. When exactly did they tell you that your story was one of the ones chosen to be submitted for the prize?

Lauri said...

That was last year and the year before. I didn't submit to them this year. Actually what they do is you submit for AuthorAfrica then at some point they choose three stories from the book to go to the Caine. They announce that list closer to the end of the year if I remember properly. Do you have a story with them this year? The way things are going it doesn't look like I'll have anything submitted at the Caine this year.

ayomorocco said...

Yes I do have a story with them and I was not sure how long it took them to decide on the three stories they will send. I read one of your stories submitted. It was the one that the woman killed the little girl (I hope I am not mixing your story up with someone elses). The title of my story is called Silent Night, Bloody Night. If you have some free time, you can have a look at it and tell me what you think.

Lauri said...

Yes, that's my story, God's Command it's called. it was inspired by a real incident in the bigger village where my home is, not where I live now.

I'm going to go and find your story just now. Good luck!

ayomorocco said...

My story was inspired by a robbery attack that happened in my house when I was away in boarding school. The real incident wasn't as gory or in no way warped as the story depicts, but I guess that is what fiction is all about. I so do hope that they choose my story.

Selma said...

I have just read your wonderful story. How do you do it? I really mean that. What a talent you have. I gasped after I read it, it was so good. Bravo!

Lauri said...

Ayo- I read your story. How sad! I had hoped she would change her mind at the last second. The brutality reminded me of Ian McKuen's book Saturday. (I can never remember how to spell his name) Good luck, I'll be crossing my fingers that they choose your story.

Selma- You're always full of kind words, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Cabistoolay,

My name is Ian McEwan. And if you are not Miss Cabistoolay, I am very sorry, but I can never remember how to spell your name, nor can I be bothered to look it up. It is so hard to google a writer's name.

Lauri said...

Excuse- McEwan. In the middle of writing that comment I rushed to my bookshelf searching for one of his books and couldn't find anything. I then realised I'd spent piles of money having left my dialup on so pushed send. Perhaps lazy, perhaps economical.

But thanks for your comment which I will accept as an attempt at humour, though it screams condescending.

ayomorocco said...

Thanks a bunch Selma for taking the time to read it and for your kind words.

@ Lauri, Thanks for reading the story. I have just ordered the Ian McEwan book you mentioned from Amazon UK. I shall continue waiting to see if it does get picked.

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