And safety comes first.

Sunday, March 9

The Book of Barnacles

Before heading to class last week, I remembered to stop at the bookstore to pick up a copy of the school's creative writing publication, which features the winners of last year's writing contest. A friend from last year's creative writing class asked me if I received a rejection email from the judging committee (we were all required to submit a story for the contest). I said no, I didn't get a rejection note, and figured perhaps my precious story about pony girl Joanne had made it into the final rounds. My eyes hurried up and down the index, anticipating the glorious moment where they would stop at the name Sylvia. When I saw the name Susan and a different story published, I knew it was a mistake.

I decided to write to my former creative writing instructor, who oversaw the contest.

Dear Mr. H,

Please know that I shed no tears as I formulate this letter to discuss my lack of mention in the campus publication. I believe that it was an oversight by your committee, excluding me in the publication. My exclusion in your publication is like an aquarium without the cool shark. No, it is like an aquarium with nothing but barnacles in it.

I have reviewed the work of this "Susan" chosen for publication, and I feel that your committee has made a mistake of planet-sized proportions. Again, my name is Sylvia, and my story is far, far more entertaining than the one you decided to publish. I mean, how many stories about visiting grandparents in nursing homes can we bear? Wouldn't the student body prefer a story about a girl who lost a friend by sitting on the friend's cat? What's done is done, I suppose. It would be too expensive to recall all the publications and correctly feature my story in place of Susan's.

Perhaps you'll know who's the better writer next year, when you actually read all the entries. In the meantime, may we all marvel at the awesome barnacle chosen for publication instead of me.

No hard feelings.