Never in a hundred years would I have thought that one of my pieces would be selected to be a part of a writing festival. In April of 2013, I submitted a ten minute play to the Play On Writing Festival, sponsored by Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. My play, “Rumbeck’s Code,” was one of six plays performed at the festival. This was the first year that Oakton extended the invitation for submissions to other colleges outside of Illinois. I wish I could show, explain or share with you the immense excitement and accomplishment I felt when I sat in the intimate black box theatre and experienced my play being performed for the first time. For those of you who have given birth, it is a lot like that. Seeing the actors on stage portraying the characters I gave birth to four years ago, was a proud, humbling experience and one I will never forget. Submitting any work is a huge accomplishment. It means that all of the hours spent staring at the computer or blank paper, the sleepless nights hearing dialogue between invisible people, obsessing over titles and formats, finally has a direction and a purpose. Having a piece published or performed is amazing, but finishing a piece to be submitted, is the only way to get there. Facing rejection is part of the joy. If you are receiving rejection letters, you are submitting. If you are submitting, the chances of a piece finding a voice in the world is that much greater.
So, for all of you new and returning creative writing students, do yourself a favor, show up for your writing classes, join the conversation, listen to your characters' voices and JUST SUBMIT!
BY: Patti Lindaberry