Although I just learned that Narrative magazine did not embrace my memoir excerpt -- Play Dead, Roll Over -- as one of its Fall Contest winners, the pursuit of success continues. As a writer, I must learn to accept rejection; otherwise, I should stop writing, or simply refrain from seeking recognition from literary journals and publishers. Now that Narrative has passed on the manuscript, I simply have to wait and see whether The Missouri Review (TMR) offers its $5,000 prize to me at the end of January, when the journal announces the winners of its annual contest. And if TMR passes, then I wait on Memoir (and) for a decision; and if Memoir (and) passes, then... hmmm... then I have to submit to other contests and literary journals.
Is it wrong to seek success with a publication that pays its writers in cash rather than in contributor copies? I do not think so. On the other hand, if I do not secure an award or cash compensation for Play Dead, Roll Over, then there are numerous publications -- particularly those interested in law enforcement-related themes -- in which I may be able to spark editorial interest.
Then there's the matter of obtaining a literary agent to represent me in pursuing a book contract for the book-length version of Play Dead, Roll Over on which I am currently working.
Tenacity is the key.