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Rejected This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

“We regret to inform you that your essay has not been selected …” I closed the e-mail quickly, trying to pretend I hadn't seen the emotionless form letter staring back at me.

Again. I had failed again. Months of painstaking researching, writing, and editing just for another form letter and another failure.

I had written my very best work, the sentences flowing like water, smooth and clear. Each word had been carefully selected to fit the tone of the article, which had been grown up and professional and yet still carried a hint of my unique voice. But someone else had written a better piece. Somewhere that person was opening a congratulatory e-mail and screaming with excitement, finally tasting success after years of failures like mine.

I slammed my fist down on the keyboard, making a satisfying clicking sound. When would it be my turn to widen my eyes with disbelief, reading the congratulations letter over and over to make sure I had taken in every word? When would I get to shriek and jump up and down with happiness?

The Microsoft Word document in front of me, blank except for the line of gibberish from when I struck the keyboard, yielded no answers. I sighed and archived the disappointing e-mail with its brethren, all depressing reminders of the failures I had accumulated over the years.

I opened a new document and stared at the white page for a while before my fingers found their familiar keys. My typing quickly settled into a steady, methodical clack-clack-clack over the low hum of the computer. The movement of my hands, the sounds of the computer, the feel of the keys beneath my dancing fingertips, felt so right and natural that I completely forgot the essay contest.

When I finished, hours later, I printed the story I had created. The pages were warm and crisp and had that faintly inky smell. It really was a great story, I thought, although one of my characters was refusing to cooperate. I put it on the top shelf of my closet with the other pieces I liked.

I paused for a moment, fingering the worn green folder, and then, on an impulse, printed the essay I had submitted to the competition. I slowly stapled the pages and slid the piece onto the shelf next to my stories and poems. It looked good there, I decided. I suddenly smiled.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

DemoDerbyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 15 at 10:12 am:
I can relate to this. I like it, and I give it a 5 out of 5. Check out some of my written stuff sometime. Comment and rate it. I would LOVE to know what y'all think about my stuff. Im abit off of my writing time because of school n all, but I will be able to write more soon. Please do check out my stuff and tell me what you think.
 
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live_luv_laugh_inspireThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 29, 2013 at 8:49 am:
I like this, it's well written and I can relate to the frustration of being rejected and feeling like your writing isn't good enough. I like the ending of the story:)
 
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