I’m excited to welcome author Stephen Brayton to the blog. Stephen is published by one of the new independent presses I’ve been watching with interest. His Moment shows that “It” can happen even when rejection is wearing heavy on our shoulders, and even when it’s the last thing we expect. Read on…
August 2009, Killer Nashville writers’ conference. A friend and I are there to enjoy the seminars and to pitch story ideas to the guest editors/agents. In the short story seminar an editor from Echelon Press stands up and announces her company was looking for short stories. Sunday, before I left, I talked with her about ten minutes about my short stories, then about a couple of novels I had also written. She gave me the information for submitting.
September rolls around and the three other submissions I had made to the three agents were summarily rejected. In early October, I saw an email from Echelon Press in my IN box. The first thought I had was, “Well, here we go again. Another rejection. Time to look somewhere else.” When I opened and read the email, I expected to see the standard, “No thanks. Not for us. I wish you well in your writing endeavors.” However, after reading it, I realized the words didn’t constitute a rejection but an acceptance. So I read it again. Then I read it a third time to realize Echelon didn’t want just one of my novels, they wanted both.
I thought, ‘This is it!” After years of hard work, rewrites, critiques, and scores of rejections, somebody was going to take a chance with me. The heart raced faster, my brain went whirling, and I didn’t know what to do next. I called my parents and let them know the good news even before responding to Echelon.
In January of this year, I was also informed that Echelon had also accepted four out of the six short stories I’d submitted.
Stephen Brayton is a Fifth Degree Black Belt instructor in the American Taekwondo Association. In 2009, while attending the Killer Nashville conference he was fortunate enough to meet Mary Welk of Echelon Press, who helped launch Stephen’s publishing career.