Back in December, my mom sent me a Facebook link to a writing competition. It looked like a good competition to enter- all the rights to whatever story I wrote would be given to me, I would be given a copy of the anthology and the top 20 would receive publication and some kind of cash prize. The problem was, I only had a week to write said story.
So, I gave it my best shot, but didn’t expect much because I only had one week. Ordinarily I am fairly obsessive in my revisions. This gave me about three days to revise a little over 4,000 words. Not horrible, but ordinarily I would take a couple of weeks. I sent it off anyway.
Imagine my surprise and joy when I got the email in March that said that I was a finalist! That’s the top 5% of entrants (several thousand, according to the e-mail). I was happy with that because it felt like a very rushed process for me. Then a couple weeks later I got an e-mail telling me that I made it into the anthology. I was in the top 20! Joy, elation and real panic ensued.
“Panic?” you ask. “Why panic?”
I know it doesn’t make sense. However, I have been dreaming of being published- of seeing S.A. Rohrbaugh in print for so long (kindergarten)- that it became a very comfortable dream to have and felt very unlikely to happen. I was happy writing my stories at home and sending them off to receive rejection letters. I was thrilled with the rejection letter I received from DAW. It made me feel like I was doing things, that I had survived my first association with the publishing industry. Every author gets rejected at least once.
Don’t get me wrong, I was completely determined to be published- I wasn’t going to give up, but I envisioned it happening years later. So, to receive this e-mail from the Neoverse competition gave me two distinct personalities: “Yay! Kindergarten dreams come true!” and “The thing is happening! What do I do now?!”
This website was a big part of the “What do I do now?” It would appear that most successful authors have a blog or something akin to it. I had no idea until the contest expected me to have one. So, I bought my domain name and found Word Press. Voila! This tiny corner of the internet was born.
Pretty quickly, they sent me a contract to sign. I have never been more excited to receive a piece of paper, diploma included. My poor family was inundated with pictures. I appreciate their patience as I get way too excited about all of this. Actually, I would go so far as to say that I felt it might have been my imagination, some awesome fever-dream, until I got that contract.
However, the contract is just the beginning to a whole process. I set up a separate e-mail for author things. I was supposed to assign it somehow to the domain, but I would have had to pay for things I just can’t afford right now. So, I just set up a separate g-mail account. That may change in the future, but for now I am making do. Then, they asked for an author bio and a picture…and suddenly, there were sleepless nights.
I feel a need to explain that I despise pictures of myself. It’s an unhealthy level of loathing and I wish I didn’t, but there it is. Well, I finally did it! I took that author picture and sent it in (I put it on the website too to make myself feel more official).
I will get another crack at revision within the next few weeks and then the thing will happen. Respect the thing. As a matter of fact, you can pre-order the anthology on Amazon. That blew me away. My name on an actual website, for sale. Here is the link: Neoverse December 2015 Anthology If you click on the more, that’s where you see my name. Very exciting.
When it comes out maybe I will talk about the story, but I thought it was appropriate to talk about the process for this thing because it has been much easier than I anticipated and a lot of fun (the author photo aside).
So, that’s the thing. My thing…and it is happening!