To the writers who've been chosen for Baker's Dozen 2014, I congratulate you and wish you luck. *High fives* Rock on!! You made it in!! I'm waving my pom poms for you and will be throughout the auction!!
To those who weren't chosen, well, I have a little more to tell you. I know how you're feeling right now, cause I've been in your shoes multiple times--I AM in your shoes right now, for the forth time. It's a not-so-great pit in your gut, attached to your heart which is probably kind of crushed. You may be feeling defeated, disappointed, sad and maybe even angry and/or bitter. Oh, so many feels... You've hit a bump. But it's okay. Let me say, if the road to publishing were smooth, everyone would be out for the ride. Everyone would get picked and everyone would go home with an agent and a book deal. But that's not possible. This is one contest, of many out there, in a subjective industry. And it's rare that writers walk away with an agent from contests. Most authors published have gone through a similar journey, and they'll all tell you that doing your due-diligence, polishing your manuscript, querying and revising as needed is still the way to go in traditional publishing--not putting all your chips down on agent contests.
Dry your eyes and take a deep breath. I'm here, holding my hand out to help you back up and to remind you that you wrote a freakin' book, and that is incredible. You're no longer an aspiring writer, you are an unpublished author, and that is pretty kick-ass. Not many people make it to their own story's "the end", but YOU have. You had the guts to enter when many others were afraid to. Pat yourself on the back and remember just how much of a star that makes you. Use this as a learning experience on how to deal with rejection, because it happens a lot in publishing. It's how you handle it and what you take from each one that's important. Just because yours wasn't chosen doesn't mean yours wasn't good enough, I promise. And you're certainly NOT ALONE.
Be kind and offer congrats to your fellow writer pals who were selected, cheer them on and give your support, say a HUGE thank you to Authoress and Jodi for putting their time and energy in, and be grateful to have had the opportunity to be considered.
Your time will come, as long as you're willing to continue on and roll with the punches. As long as you're willing to put in the effort and continue to grow as a writer and hone your craft. When you're knocked down, GET BACK UP. Heal from this, then go back, reexamine, find good critique partners and figure out what may have led to this "no". Can't find anything wrong? Then try again, send out some queries and enter some more contests. Maybe it's that your story wasn't their cup of tea (it's subjective, remember?). If after all that you're still getting rejections, then it's time to take off the author goggles and see your work honestly.
I'll end with one final thing as I hand you virtual chocolates and wine: at the end of all this, you have to always believe in yourself, because if you don't, it'll be hard to get others to. Stay positive, even when you're feeling the stab of rejection. It'll pay off.
Hugs to everybody and I'm here if you need me! <3