Sword and Laser Short Story Anthology — REJECTED!

In a tragic turn of events, the short story I submitted to the Sword and Laser Short Story Anthology competition didn’t make the cut. Obviously I wish my story had made it, but I’m not too torn up about it — can’t expect to win the very first short story competition you enter, after all! That would just be silly. And awesome. But mostly silly.

For all wondering, the short story was a whimsical fantasy rambling of mine entitled The Numismatist. I was thinking of posting the entire thing here, but I think I might try entering it into a few more competitions, so you’ll have to make do with a teaser excerpt instead:

Pounding his fist against the dented metal door, Mr. Quimbly shouted, “Anyone in?”

“Just a moment, if you please,” a voice rumbled from inside.

The door squealed open of its own accord, and a huge, gleaming claw attached to a scaly green appendage nearly the size of Mr. Quimbly’s entire body reached out. Mr. Quimbly yelped, stumbling back and nearly dropping his file.

“Forgive my rudeness,” said the same deep voice, and the claw retracted into the darkness. “I didn’t mean to startle you, little manling. Do come inside. I’ve already put the kettle on.”

“I—I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you,” said Mr. Quimbly, preparing to run.

“It isn’t, actually.”

The claw shot back out, hooked around Mr. Quimbly’s waist, and yanked him inside. Lying in the middle of the dimly-lit warehouse was a massive green dragon. Its iridescent viridian scales contrasted magnificently with the small mountain of gleaming gold coins on which it was nestled.

“Good heavens,” said Mr. Quimbly. “You’re a dragon.”

“Well spotted,” said the dragon.

The Numismatist — Michelle Proulx 2013

There you have it! As you can imagine, the situation rapidly deteriorates into silliness now that Mr. Quimbly is stuck in a warehouse with a dragon. I’ll probably give it another read through, maybe make some minor edits, and then send it off to another competition. I figure I have to win something one of these days if I keep entering things, right?

Never give up! Never surrender!

Unrelated link of the day:

This is so cool. Seriously. Go to this site and mess around for a bit. It’s really awesome.


Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

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36 thoughts on “Sword and Laser Short Story Anthology — REJECTED!

  1. CURSES! I too have been given the tooth flick by S&L. -smashes things-

    • Nooooooes! Aw man, that sucks. I get the impression that they had a LOT of submissions, though, so I don’t feel too badly. Too bad they don’t give use feedback on why our stories didn’t make the cut — would be useful information for future competition-entering 🙂

  2. Love the excerpt! Particularly the dragon’s voice. X) May the short story in full find a worthy home, someday!

    • That’s the dream! Maybe I’ll release a short story collection at some point … I’ll probably need a few more short stories for that to work though, lol.

  3. Looking forward to reading the rest of the story. And thanks for sharing http://weavesilk.com/, another great way to avoid cleaning the house!

    • Haha it’s really fun, isn’t it? Every time I go to that site, I feel like this amazing artist, and think, “This creation is brilliant! I must share it with the world!” And then I remember that I don’t actually have any artistic talent, and it’s just weavesilk.com being awesome 😀

  4. Those butts! Really, who can say no to saucy dragons and tea? DX

    Anyway, I like the excerpt. And as for the anthology: you should do that thang.

    • I mean, I might say no to the dragon, as dragons have a tendency to chomp on unsuspecting mortals. But I’d be far less likely to say no if the dragon was saucy and possessed tea. So … comes down to personal taste, I guess 😀

  5. Sounds like a good story, so good luck with future entries! I was so bummed when I got rejected from Writers of the Future contest 😦

  6. Sorry you didn’t make it, but the full story sounds like a fun read.

  7. Pingback: Not making the cut | The Aspiring Writer

  8. Great excerpt … I totally want to read the rest. Too bad you didn’t win, but hey that puts you in the company of many of the greats!! 🙂

  9. Definitely keep trying. I’ve entered a few competitions and won one of them and was on a long-list for another, so it definitely pays to keep trying. Also, you never know where it will lead and it certainly looks good on query letters to agents and publishers if you’ve won something or been shortlisted. Best of luck!

    • Thanks 🙂 I like entering contests … the only thing that annoys me is that some of the contests prohibit you from entering that story in other contests, which really elongates the whole contest-submission process. Le sigh.

  10. Gwen Stephens

    Sorry to hear it, Michelle. Unfortunately, rejection is part of the writing life, but sometimes it’s a matter of timing. Keep on keeping on!

    • Will do! I know a couple of other people who submitted really great stories to this contest and also lost, so … at least I’m in good company, lol.

  11. It sounds like the start of a good story. I like your humor-infused sci-fi.

    I don’t know the length of your story, but you might want to consider self-publishing it on Amazon and Smashwords. If it’s around novella length, then you could charge a dollar for it. Or, if it’s shorter, you might publish it for free as a way to get people interested in your writing so they’ll be more inclined to buy your book. It’s like giving a sample at the grocery store!

    • Oooh good idea! I mean, it’s only 1900 words, so definitely not novella length. And I don’t think there’s a way of publishing something permanently for free on Amazon, so maybe Smashwords? Hmm …

      • No, there’s no way to make something permanently free on Amazon (not that I’ve figured out, anyways), but it’s easy to have free stuff on Smashwords. I usually get several hundred downloads of Bloodsuckers, and lawyer/vampire satire is kind of out there genre-wise; straight up fantasy would get more d/l’s.

        You may even want to include a preview of your novel at the end of the story. Give them a few chapters to get them hooked, then tell them where they can buy it.

        • Ooooh that’s an even better idea! Although … I wonder if people might find that annoying, since even just a preview of the first chapter would be as long as the short story itself … so they would download the ebook thinking it’s a 4k story, but in reality it’s a 2k story and then a preview of a book. I don’t know … if you downloaded something like that, would you find it annoying?

          • I always mention in the description the word count of my story/book (sans previews at the end, obviously), so they know what they’re getting. Besides, it’s a free story; why complain about a free preview?

            Something I’ve seen even successful self-published authors doing is writing a stand-alone, mini-prequel to their book (or part of their book told from another character’s point of view or something otherwise related to it) for free, and then advertising their full book at the end.

            • Hmm … good point! Hard to complain if it’s free, lol. I’ll have to put it to a vote! Stay tuned to my blog for the inevitable “Help me decide what to do!” post 🙂

  12. Sorry that you got rejected. 😦 They don’t know a good thing when they see it! Here’s to the next competition 🙂

  13. Commiserations. Rejection makes us stronger. Apparently 😉

  14. Pingback: I need your advice RE: self-publishing a short story | Michelle Proulx - The Blog

  15. Oh, those silly judges! Just from your except, I believe you should have gotten some kind of recognition. Well, continue to persevere! Enter more contests and, if all else fails, publish your story to Amazon. You may as well try to earn back all those contest fees 😉 Plus, I want to read the rest of your story!

  16. Well, I don’t know – it hooked me!

  17. I didn’t make the cut either (shameless plug as well: http://kaiherbertz.com/2013/08/16/16-sword-laser-anthology-submission/ ), but all the stories and excerpts I’ve read so far were really good: this is great news for the anthology, which should be exceptional. I’m very much looking forward to its release.

    • Hahaha shameless plugs always welcome 😀 But yeah, the anthology should be awesome! Although I have a feeling I’ll get a little sad when I look at it, wondering what could have been 😀

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