My First Acceptance Letter

First Acceptance

Image: Morguefile

Tuesday morning I checked my email just as class was starting and was greeted by a long-awaited response from a literary magazine. Since I figured it was yet another rejection, I considered leaving it alone until after the lecture, but compelled by curiosity, I went ahead and read it.

Imagine my surprise when I found the words: “We love your poem and would like to publish it in the next issue!”

Wait, what? You want to what? My poem . . . Seriously?

Six months ago, I sent a prose poem that I wrote in September to that particular literary magazine. Only that one. I didn’t have high expectations. I’m no stranger to literary magazines. Or to getting rejected by them. And since it was the first poem that I was brave enough to submit, this was my way of testing the waters. My way of stepping into the realm of being a poet. (If you know me at all, you know I have struggled with the idea of calling myself a poet for a long time.)

I have been trying to publish a short story on and off for three years. Fiction has always been my alleged ‘strength’ — not poetry. But my short story has been rejected more times than I care to count (let me check the amount of saved rejection letters in my inbox), and yet, I sent one poem to one literary magazine — thinking it was just a way of stepping out of my shell — and it was accepted on the first attempt. The irony is not lost on me, that the first piece of my writing that I will get to see in print is a poem.

Alas, let this be a lesson to all aspiring writers. Keep going. Keep throwing yourself out there. The rejections will continue to come, but you never know when there may be a letter of acceptance thrown in the mix. It may be the one thing you never expected to see in print. It may be a step in a direction you never thought to go. It may even be a poem.

But write on, friends. Write on. And never give up.



27 thoughts on “My First Acceptance Letter

    • Thank you, Marcy! You’re absolutely right. The plethora of NOs make that one yes all the more special.

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  2. Emery and I were chatting briefly about you (it was all flattering). I told him you were eloquent with your words, even prose. An acceptance letter doesn’t prove it, but it points out what was always there. Glad someone else recognized it. Congrats! Go celebrate!

    • Wow! Thank you for such a kind compliment. 🙂 I did indeed celebrate a little bit, but now I’m back to square one. At the very least, it did give me a burst of inspiration.

      • 🙂 Being an expat in Singapore gives me lots to blog about haha. And I’ve been blessed with lots of time to write. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in Estonia as well. I know very little about that part of the world!

    • Thank you! I’m glad you found some inspiration from the post. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Wow, congratulations! The amazing moment of receiving that first acceptance letter really is something that you never forget – that overwhelming feeling that finally, finally, all that hard work is beginning to pay off. Congrats on this and many more acceptance letters yet to come.

    • Thanks! You’re absolutely right. It was really surreal — I’d been so conditioned to expecting rejections. But alas, now it’s back to the drawing board!

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