It’s My Party, and I’ll Cry if I Want To

“Seek out the significance of your problem at this time. Try to understand.”

happy birthday

Let me preface this by saying: It’s my birthday month. Growing up, my doting parents made sure I felt special on my birthday. Even if it was just a card, cake, and candles. To this day, I still have fond memories of pink champagne cake (do they still sell that anymore?).

So it was with great excitement and hope that I entered this month. Alas, I’ve already been slammed with three rejections. One of which was the PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship. I heard great things from a past alumna about the program, so I’m sad to not get selected.

On the bright side, they did send me an email to update me about my application. Which do you think is better? Cold silence, or a waiting email? I’m not sure. It’s hard not ever knowing, but it’s also difficult having the rise of anticipation turn into a drop-off-a-cliff letdown. At least, they wrote that there were “an overwhelming number of applicants, and unfortunately, a very limited number of spots.”

The fellowship is “intended for promising writers who lack access.” Does it mean that I didn’t lack enough access? That I was too promising–or not enough? Well, best of luck to the 2015 Fellows!

Will the beginning blues of this month evolve into exciting endings? I certainly hope so. There’s still a few more weeks before the month finishes after all.


Foodie Friday First: Crumpet
Foodie Friday: Pork Belly Bun


  1. Sorry about the rejections. That’s never fun. But they’re certainly a part of the writing game, so it’s a good thing we get better at accepting them the longer we play. :)

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      That’s true, Carrie. As time goes by, I do get more immune to them. Not totally, but it’s no longer absolutely heartbreaking.

  2. Oh, Jennifer, you know that of all people I know the weight of rejections. I am sorry since you had blogged about this fellowship. You want to know something? They probably found you too educated already. And with already one book published you will rebound and offer us more delightful stories. I’m sure about it. The premise of your work-in-progress novel sounds intriguing to me. Honestly, you found your niche and voice. You’ll be published again, fellowship or not. I know it stinks and stings to be rejected. But this is fall and your birthday month, so don’t give up. Write for the pleasure of writing and soon enough the pain will fade and be replaced by hope. Cheers and hugs.

  3. Sucks! As Carrie and Eveyne state, the weight of rejection…never fun. Emerging writers usually do not have a book already published.

    I encourage you to apply for A Room Of Her Own (AROHO) writing retreat in Aug. 2015. I received a fellowship there and alas, not this year. BUT, they open up slots (sans fellowship) on Oct. 31st. Check out the site and see if it’s something you’d be interested in:

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thanks, Mona! AROHO does sound very neat, but I’m not sure how I could swing the childcare for that.

  4. Veronica Roth says

    Darn and double darn! Too bad Jennifer. I had a once-per-year selection jury pass on my maps late September with the same little note of, “so many talented artists applied again this year…” and I’m like, “what does that mean?!?” Oh well, let’s you and me get back to the old drawing/writing/submitting board. Big hugs of commiserations. :(

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Hugs to you, Veronica. I can’t believe they passed on your exquisite work. Back to the drawing board (literally for you)!

  5. It’s so easy to second guess yourself. Just know you are a terrific writer. Celebrate all that you are. Happy Birthday, Jennifer! The pink champagne cake sounds delicious.


  1. […] had a tough time last week, so thanks for all the encouragement. You guys must have sent some good luck my way, too. […]

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