It’s not the end of the world

I was sitting in my office in town, marking work and finishing things off for the end of term.  The afternoon sky was empty of the forecasted apocalyptic brimstone, which was a considerable relief, as I hadn’t fancied spending the day being smote to death by demonic tongues of fire.  Apart from two security guys, I had the whole four storey building to myself; everyone –  literally hundreds of members of staff  – was at another site, enjoying a conference and warming up for the legendary end of year party. It felt rather illegal and exciting.

I ticked and signed the last piece of writing, felt enormous fondness for the people whose work was in my hands, closed the folder and logged on to my home email.

Sitting in the inbox was a message from Indigo Dreams Publishing. I knew what it was about – a few months ago I’d submitted a couple of poems for their anthology Heart Shoots, in support of Macmillan, the cancer charity.  I took a deep breath and prepared for the usual thanks but no thanks, it’s not quite right for us.  Don’t worry, I told myself, rejections are all part of cultivating the reptilian hide a writer needs.  It’s character building. In fact, I want to be rejected. It’s good for me.

Dear Sophie, I read, blahblah. We had 600  submissions, blahblah. I am pleased to advise you, blahblah, your poem has been selected for inclusion, blahblah.

WHAT?

Your poem has been selected for inclusion.

So there’s an empty four storey building in central London, with me in an office on the fourth floor, laughing and crying. No one saw, but all my ghosts came flying through the city then; they flew up the staircases, up over the balconies, they slid under my office door and settled onto my desk.  The noisier ones slapped my back and cheered. The quieter ones just nodded and smiled and gave a thumbs up.

My first ever piece of proper published work. Not a blog post, not an e-book, not a virtual, cyber thing. A real ink and paper book.

Some people people dream of being able to say certain magic words. ‘I’m getting married.’ Or ‘I’m pregnant.’ Or ‘I’m the Queen.’ None of those things has ever interested me in the slightest.  My magic words, since age 5, have always been ‘I’m being published.’  It’s taken a long time, but here we are at last.

The poem is here on this blog. It’s called River, and is dedicated to my cousin Suzy Barratt who died from breast cancer in 2007.

The anthology will be published in spring 2013.

 

Heart Shoots Poetry Anthology

This shitty, shitty thing

 

Update: June 18th 2013

More good news.  One of my short stories, Say Good Morning to the Stars,  has just been accepted for inclusion in an anthology for Shelter. Edited by Debi Alper and Sally Swingewood, publication date to be confirmed.

 

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About sophiewellstood

Teacher and writer, sometimes the other way around. Some of my writing is traditionally published and in bookshops, as well as online. I've put some poems for younger people / lapsed adults here, and some proper swearing. I hope you enjoy.
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4 Responses to It’s not the end of the world

  1. Wendy says:

    Congratulations, Soph! What a lovely Christmas gift and soooooo much better than the end of the world. Keep scribbling (OK “typing” but “scribbling” sounds more aesthetic). 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    Hell yeah! Well done, lovely cuz.
    Poem is blooming beautiful, by the way. Made me bite my lip and gulp like the big girls’ blouse that I am.

    Christmas kisses and imaginary mulled boozy things
    Amy x x x

  3. Joanna Brazier says:

    Oh Soph, you are so clever. That is really brilliant!

  4. Thank you very much indeed x

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