Submissions for Show Off: The Love Story Edition are now closed.

“Submitting is like sitting naked in the subway,” said Kate after last month's contest. Casey said, ” I've never submitted anything. And after I hit submit, I wanted to hide under my blankets. I still do.”

Love Story Valentines Day

Photo by Zabara Alexander

This week, forty-eight of you submitted. Are you proud of yourself? You should be.

This is how you become a real writer. You submit. You submit your short stories and your essays and your novels. You face the possibility (probability, really) of rejection. You submit because your job as a writer is to write things for others. If you just write for yourself, you are not a writer. You are a journaler.

Which is fine, if that's what you want to be.

However, as Steve Jobs said, “Real artists ship.” Forty-eight of you did so, and for that I commend your bravery.

When I first began submitting pieces, I did it with a certain arrogance. I knew how great my stories were, and if the people I sent them to couldn't see it, they were idiots.

Of course, this feeling was immature and born out of fear of rejection. However, it wasn't until I started this contest that I was able to understand just how difficult choosing which story to publish is. Forty-eight stories and I can only pick one. That kind of sucks for all of us, doesn't it? Or most of us. All except the one who wins.

Learning to think like an editor has humbled me. I don't approach submitting with arrogance anymore. I know what it's like to be on the other side.

“Like” Your Favorite Story

That's why, every month, I like to give you the opportunity think like an acquisitions editor.

Go through the stories people submitted to this month's contest. You don't have to read all of them, just three or five. Then, pick your favorite by clicking the “Like” button in the bottom-right corner.

Your vote won't add much to my decision, but it will help a little.

The Winner

This month, the wonderful Patricia W. Hunter and Lisa Burgess, winners of the last two contests, are joining me as judges. We will announce the winner of the contest later this week.

The winner will then work with me to edit and polish their piece, which will be published on The Write Practice at the end of the month.

Thanks again everyone. I'm off to read your pieces!


Practice your acquisitions editor skills:

1. Read three or more entries from our Love Story Writing Contest.

2. Vote for your favorite (by clicking the “Like” button at the bottom-right of the post).

Enjoy the stories!

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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