Day -2 : Rejected.

24 Hours Ago…

I was in the parking lot… because you see, all life changing events either happen while in a vehicle or in the bath – when I was paying religious homage to my twitter feed and out of nowhere a tweet saying “One acceptance letter (email) sent out today. More to come…”

My heart literally stopped beating.

And here’s why.

26 Days Ago….

It had taken me weeks and weeks to complete a short story that I wanted to submit to a local project here in Edmonton. I don’t want to mention any names but the competition was named after a temperature that only Edmonton and the North Pole frequent. Today was the day I was finally going to submit my piece. To say that I was stoked was a complete understatement. An acceptance would mean my story would be published in a book. Like an actual book. Do you realize how useful books are? You know when they aren’t busy being coasters or door stoppers?

So here was my chance to make the big time, and by big time I mean be a local celebrity. I would get free white chocolate mochas where ever I went and people in the supermarket would stop and recognize that I was the girl that wrote the terribly depressing short story about everything sad in the world. They would tell me how my words profoundly changed their lives for the better and that I was their super hero. I would look at them wide eyed and say “No, no, YOU are my super hero, without you I wouldn’t be here today.” They would fawn over me, drooling over my gorgeous Jimmy Choos and Chloe bag (I’m famous now – and ALL famous people wear their Jimmy Choos to the supermarket….duh.)They would tell me about their interpretations and tell me what my pros really mean. There would be no better feeling in the world.

So everyday since then, I waited with baited breath and anticipation for the obviously due acceptance. I had everything on my side, my story included the third world, revolutions AND loss. I nailed it.

Back to 24 hours ago.

I stared at the tweet, then rapidly moved my thumb towards the mail icon which had a little red 1 glistening in the sunlight. Preparing my acceptance speech in my head, I pressed the icon – only to find my bank statement.


OK obviously my email was on its way. Thirty minutes later, the next tweet went out. Imagining what I would wear at the exclusive writer’s party I checked my mail once again. Nada, zero, zilch, rien.

A wave of uneasiness filled my tummy. I decided to tame my acid reflux by indulging in some Indian food. An hour passed, and then two, and then three. Panic started to take over leaving me looking like this:


Six hours and four bags of Hershey kisses later, I decided to call it a night.


Checking my email every four minutes, I decided the only way I could find peace of mind was by doing not one but two classes of Hot Yoga. It’s like what they say about transference, if you want to feel better make something else feel worse. In this case it was my legs. Two hours of excruciating pain and twisting my body in ways that really aren’t natural despite what my instructor says, I stepped out into the cool – almost 40 below air. I grabbed a smoothie and reflected on the world’s beauty in my now zen state.

I had found serenity at last.

I then received an email.

Dear Shareen, we’re so sorry to inform you that your piece sucked and yay for you that you went through the Arab spring but that’s not really relevant to Edmonton right now. Oh and your piece lacked that lustre that would even allow us to consider your piece. But thanks anyways.

Ok that’s not what they said. But that’s what they meant.

I rushed home and did the only logical thing I could- I took a baseball bat to my IMac and in a nerd rage I smashed it into thousands of tiny pieces.

Ok that’s not what I did. Instead I decided to take out my frustration on some anonymous 14 year old playing League of Legends with me.

Ok I didn’t do that – well I did play League of Legends but the 14 year old in question was indisputably my superior at the game and insulting them would truly be a new low.


First thing I tried to do was rip up my thesaurus – like this


I didn’t have the upper body strength so I tried this:


When that didn’t work – I figured the only thing that would fix my life is if little A coloured on my face like this:


It didn’t work. Who was this guy that had the authority to tell me that my story was insincere and not relevant to the topic.

He’s a published author with a book?


My heart sank. My dreams were over.

Wait, what did he write? An under 60 page book that others deemed as a “terrible read.” “A book that was terribly executed.”

I guess I’ll trade my “artificial story” and raise you your own “Had I spent $10 to purchase it, I’d probably be asking for my money back.”


After reading reviews of his own work and eating a box of cinnamon sticks (that were made with love) I felt much better.

Because the truth is – what one person says doesn’t matter.

What is one person’s piece of trash could very well be someone else’s ego feeding treasure.

So don’t give up. No matter what.

Sweet Dreams world


Categories: Uncategorized

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16 replies

  1. Post it on your blog. That’s what I plan to do when I get my rejection email!

  2. I really enjoyed your short story ( and yes you should post it here ). It is a shame that it didn’t get chosen as I think it should have. That said such is life and even though it sucks you did try it, which is more than a lot of people can say, and you wrote a peice that you really liked.

    Share it with others and you will receive lots of positive feed back or at worst I would think constructive criticism, better than “artificial story”.

    On the plus side to all of this those cinnamon sticks were super tasty lol.

    You will be published one day and probably sooner than you think. 🙂

  3. ❤ Dean. Today I learned the valuable lesson to always bet on the computer geek.

  4. Hell, at least you submitted it, most people don’t even do that with their stories. Maybe when you put it online it’ll go viral.

    • You think so? Currently I’m debating the scary thought that he was right and when I post my story I’ll have to deal with the reality of it actually sucking… Thanks for your comment btw.

      • I mean, judging by what you wrote on your blog, you’re a good writer, and I’m picky about saying that. SO at least when you look at your story and try to figure out what the judge didn’t like, you have the raw materials for a new version of the story that you can rewrite. And then _that_ story might be the one that gets you into fancy shoes at the grocery store. 🙂

  5. Great post. Never let anyone, no matter WHAT their credentials, let you feel less than. When I worked with a literary journal a couple years ago I would get so disappointed in the choices they made. Editors and staff change regularly, and one person’s opinion, no matter how high his credentials go, is not for everyone.

    Sometimes they’re right. Sometimes it takes me a long time to change a piece.

    My rule of thumb is: 100 rejections before I consider changing, and only if I get the same advice twice. Because in the end, it’s numbers, politics and sadly, the *mood* of who reads the piece at a given time.

    Keep on keepin’ on. We need more female voices in the literary world.

  6. Alright folks, I posted the story. You should find it under day -5. Hope you enjoy – would love to hear your feedback.

  7. anybody can say rejected but i say “you have done good job!!!”

  8. “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
    ― Thomas A. Edison

  9. Hey, girl, when you submit your work you are on the porch barking with the big dogs! You’re keeping good company with every other author who finally got published.

    Also, thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ll be following your progress.

  10. I’m going to go to day 5 and see if i can find it. I’m anxious to read it.

  11. You totally rock!!!!!! I can’t say more now because I am at work, but I’ll be checking back later. Chin up……

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