The announcement of the 50 stories to be included in Twisted 50 Volume 2 pleased at least fifty people, but probably disappointed (in one degree or another) considerably more.
That’s natural, no matter how pleased you might be for some or all of the writers to be included, but what now?
Well, whether it made the shortlist or not, you have a story on the C50 website. It’s been through various iterations following feedback (from the massively-helpful, to the less-helpful ‘I noticed a typo…’) and it is, presumably, a different story (a better story?) than when you posted the first draft.
So, why not enter it into another competition? Or send it to another publication? There are loads of them out there, and you could do worse than having a look at Horror Tree. They feature many endeavours likely to be interested in your story. (Horror Tree is just a start, and covers more than horror – have a good poke around on the internet.)
Just because your story did not proceed for T2, there is no reason why it should not succeed elsewhere.
Here’s a little inspiration for you, from real life:
One of the stories I entered for The Singularity- ‘Henry 1.0’ - never made it onto the shortlist. I was disappointed as I consider it one of the best things I’ve ever written, but just because I think it’s good doesn’t mean everyone does. That’s the way it goes. So I asked Chris Jones to withdraw it from the site, which he did (thanks again, Chris) and I entered it for Aphotic Realm Issue 2 'Banished'. And I am pleased to say - honestly, me and my English understatement - that Henry was accepted, and published, and is now available on Amazon.
If the story had not been passed over, I would never have submitted it elsewhere, and it would not have been published (in a beautifully produced magazine). In fact, if not for C50 I would not be writing, and none of this would have happened.
So treat Create 50 as a catalyst, as the start of something. Give it a go. You have nothing to lose, and plenty to gain, so make the most of the C50 process, treat it as a stepping-stone or rocket booster, and release your story into the wild. ‘Re-wild’ it, like lynx and wolves in the Scottish highlands. Send it feral. Hope, and build upon your Create 50 experience. Add the bits you regret omitting, cut the bits that hindsight flags as not-so-good. But please, do something with YOUR story!
My thanks, here, to Chris Stanley, for without his example and encouragement I’d never have looked at any other writing initiatives.
And I’m so glad I did.