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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Goals Revisited Part 2

Moving on in my reflection of 2010 (part 1 is below), I reviewed the goals I set for myself professionally. Here they were:

1. Apply for tenure. As of August, I will have been a full time tenure track professor for 3 years, which means I'm eligible to apply for tenure. The process is somewhat convoluted and slow-moving, so I don't want to aim to actually get tenure in 2010. Tenure affords me many things: Greater job security, a (slightly) larger salary, opportunities to apply for travel funds, and eligibility to be nominated for a plethora of awards and grants that the college offers faculty.

2. Publish another short story.

So, how'd I do?

#1: Success! Turns out, since I teach at a community college, not a 4 year university, this process is very simple. I had assumed it was going to be a long, complicated business (as it is for those who teach at universities), but I discovered that it really just involved signing some papers, and viola! I now have tenure.

#2: Also a success! If you are interested in that sort of thing, you're welcome to go here and have a read. This story's publication actually has kind of a funny back story.

See, the magazine hosted a dialogue contest that began in late summer and closed in the early fall. It was a unique contest for a literary magazine; for one, the perimeters of the contest were rigid: tell a story using ONLY dialogue, you couldn't even use dialogue tags, like "he said." But for another, the editors notified writers of their rejection on a rolling basis, so if your story submission fell out of their top 5 favorites, they'd let you know you were out, and then they gave you another chance to re-submit.

The first story I submitted was initially a top 5 fav, but after a few weeks, it fell out of favor and I was out. I thought to myself, "No way I can come up with another story along these lines." But then, I did. I re-submitted. And I got what I call a "rave rejection." These are the sorts of rejections I get from literary publications all the time. They go something like this: "Loved your story! Great writing. But...sorry, no." So, imagine the above scenario repeating, I kid you not, 5 times! Yes, I got rejected 5 times from the same contest, and each time, I thought, "No way can I come up with anything like that again." But, then I would.

So, the above story was among the 5 rejected stories. None of my 5 submissions got within the "final five" of the contest; however, the editors liked this particular story so much (but not enough to be within the final five winners) that they asked to publish it in a regular issue of the magazine. And, recently, the magazine notified me that it was selected as one of their "editor picks of the year" for publication in their annual print version of magazine, which comes out in January. So, despite the fact that it wasn't good enough to win me any cash or bragging rights in the contest, it's still a story that got some recognition from the editors, and I appreciated that. As an aside, my mother hated it, and actually called me to ask if there was something wrong with me for writing such a tale.

Can't please everyone, I guess.

Anyhoo, my professional goals for 2010? I think that is an assured "success"!

12 comments:

MCM Mama said...

Congrats on both! And I enjoyed the story. Definitely let us know whenever you are published.

Carly said...

Congratulations....you have had a great year.

Agate Lake Girl said...

Congrats on the story! (Is the first we're hearing about it or did I miss something somehow?) I thought it was very good and very Minnesota! :)

P.S. I'd love to read some of the rejects too.

Jess said...

Congrats on making tenure and getting your story published. I can't imagine writing a story all in dialouge. That must have been really challenging!!

And congrats on paying off all your student loans (from yesterday's post). That totally rocks!

Heather said...

Wow, congratulations! You are awesome! I am off to read your story now.

Heather said...

I just read your story and it's amazing. You did such a great job!

Firefly's Running said...

Congrads on the tenure!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Congrats on hitting those goals! and not giving up when it didn't come easily!!

Nobel4Lit said...

Awesome progress on the goals! For the first time, I'm putting up financial goals for 2011 and will see how that goes!

Heather said...

Congrats on a great year! I love that your mom hated your story . . . that is so something my mom would say. :)

Krissy said...

wow you have done a ton it seems! you really seem great at goal tracking and achieving them :)
Also, it looks like Norah had a very fun Christmas with all her toys even though it was a quite one at home!

d.a.r. said...

All of this while running half marathons and chasing a baby. I am so impressed.