Never Give Up

Cliff Garstang has a great post about keeping hope alive as a writer: Don’t Give Up! Truly, mental fortitude in the writing business is as important as the writing itself, especially in the beginning. As Fred Leebron counseled us during our MFA program, “Writing is a game of attrition. Don’t attrish.”

I’m very pleased to announce that I have not attrished, and any plans for attrishment that were being hatched have been ferreted out and squashed. The writing is going well on all fronts. I only wish I had more hours in the day.

A bit of excellent news arrived in my inbox yesterday. I won the League of American Pen Women Mary Mackey Short Story Prize for my story Viewing Medusa. This story is part of the novel-in-stories that I’m working on, so that’s doubly heartening. Also, that story has been sent out to over 100 magazines and journals without ever getting picked up (yes, I’m stubborn). It is also the story that helped secure me a Bread Loaf waitership and an SLS scholarship in a contest judged by Margaret Atwood. It’s served me well, but no magazine has seen fit to publish it. Am I alone in finding that odd? Well, until one finally does, I guess I’ll just keep using it to apply for as many good opportunities as I can. ๐Ÿ™‚







12 responses to “Never Give Up”

  1. Joan Hanna Avatar

    Congratulations on the PEN Award! Such fantastic, positive news!!!

  2. Matthew Salesses Avatar

    Mary, send it to me at the Good Men Project?

  3. katrina Avatar


  4. Mary Akers Avatar

    Sweet! Thanks, Matthew, I will. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Virginia Pye Avatar
    Virginia Pye

    This is good to hear, Mary. Thanks. 100 places: that beats even my record. And congratulations on the Pen prize. was that something you applied for? I haven’t heard of it before.

  6. Andrew Avatar

    Fantastic news, Mary, congratulations. (And I get depressed when a story gets rejected a third or fourth time. You are a shining example of perseverance.)

  7. Tania Hershman Avatar

    Congratulations! And it sounds like a very “useful” story so perhaps this is the way it’s meant to serve you, til the novel-in-stories is done??

  8. Mary Akers Avatar

    Yes, Virginia! It was a contest that closed late last year. I heard about it from a fellow writer just in time to submit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Mary Akers Avatar

    Thanks, Andrew. I suppose it’s perseverance…I do often wonder if it’s more not knowing when to give up, though. Or maybe that’s just two sides of the same coin.

  10. Mary Akers Avatar

    Thank you, Whitney!

  11. Mary Akers Avatar

    Thanks, Tania. That’s how I’ve started to think of it. ๐Ÿ™‚