The “Best Story You Ever Wrote” Joke

Brief story for all my fellow writers. I hope you get as much of a laugh at it as I did. When I was a “young author” I would have been indignant. Today? Meh.
 
There was an anthology call for “The Best Story You’ve Ever Written,” or something to that effect.
 
So, that’s what I did. I sent them the most heart-wrenching story (in my opinion) I’ve ever written, Jasmine, which is included in my award-winning adult short fiction collection, “Valley of the Dogs.”
 
I get a short rejection email that said, “Sorry, this is not good at all. A suicide pact? You must be kidding.”
 
In my mind, I was thinking (makes me dangerous) “Didn’t this guy understand the setting and the different cultures involved? The characters? Can’t he learn from them? Can’t he Google, at least, the symbolic significance of the river where they committed suicide?” Nope. Suicide pact. Not the best story “I’ve” ever written. He’s the judge, jury, and executioner.
 
Of course, I laughed. It was already published. And I won an award. But, he’s right. My story collection is literary, and it’s not exactly “selling much at all.” So there’s that. He’s correct (from a commercial perspective). I’m correct (from an artist’s perspective). Never the twain shall meet? Perhaps.
 
Lucky thing people still read any literature, is what I really think. Who has time? Just retired old goats like me. Or perhaps some of the one percent, who wouldn’t like my story either (probably).
 
Another lesson learned. 🤪😍😉

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