Hi all, I’m back… again… yes I know I promised to start writing more often… last time I wrote… what seems like an awfully long time ago…
OK, I’m dilatory. But I’m also determined, and probably lots of other adjectives beginning with D that I can’t think of at the moment. I really am going to write more often. And this time I really mean it.
So, what are my excuses? Well, I’ve been busy. I had assignments to finish for last term’s courses. I had a student anthology to get off the ground. I was volunteered to run a poetry competition. I’ve been looking for some way of making money. And I did sweet Nothing At All over Christmas…
Bits of news
I’ve managed to get £5K worth of funding for the student anthology! This is brilliant, as we can now do some really funky stuff, like have a proper website, do some interesting things for our performances, and even get a local film-maker to put together a short film.
I’m going to be an Official Volunteer for the Southwell Poetry Festival. This means that not only do I get to run the competition, but I can hob-nob with some very well-known poets (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to name them yet, but one of them might have been Poet Laureate not so long ago) and I get free entry to all the events.
I’ve started to pick up some bits of paid work, providing practical support for students with disabilities. I start note-taking tomorrow on a course entitled ‘Derivation of Algorithms’. Gulp. But it’s all money going into the bank account.
Classes started again this week, and I realised how much I miss my fellow students during the breaks. Note to self – make sure you make more effort to keep in touch with them outside classes.
Get to the point, Pip
OK, OK. Enough rambling. So, we’re nearly at the point of making the final selections for the anthology. We had 149 pieces submitted, from 26 people. I’ve reviewed all of them, and I’ve sent them all out to 6 other reviewers to get a broad spectrum of opinion.
I used a simple feedback scheme, reviewers say for each piece whether it should be definitely included (Yes), possibly included (Maybe), or definitely left out (No). I have about 80% of the responses in so far, and I can’t resist twiddling in Excel to find out what the trends are. I came up with a couple of interesting observations earlier today
82 pieces (55%) had at least one reviewer giving each of the three responses.
Of the 11 pieces (7%) on which all reviewers were all agreed, 8 were ‘Yes’, one was ‘Maybe’ and two were ‘No’.
I would draw the following conclusion from these observations.
If something you submit to a competition or a magazine or an agent or a publisher or whatever is rejected, that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
- It could just mean you didn’t hit one of the people that would have liked it.
- If it’s rejected, chances are higher that there are people out there who would disagree.
OK, the second point is (very) dodgy, and the evidence doesn’t necessarily support the first point either as my reviewers are not professionals, but I do think it’s a strong indication.
What I am taking away from this is:
Don’t lose heart. Even if your writing is excellent, chances are still high that some people won’t like it. You just need to keep trying till you find those enlightened agents or editors or competition judges who appreciate the delights that you present to them.
Here endeth today’s lesson. I have a list of subjects I want to blog about, so expect more soon 🙂