Muse 2021: Small Victories Series with Joseph Moldover

Thank you all for attending the Muse and the Marketplace 2021! This year's conference took the form of a virtual enhanced writing residency that took place Wednesday, April 21st - Sunday, April 25th. Up next are our new Premium Workshops and the Manuscript Marttaking place Wednesday, April 28th - Sunday, May 2nd. Note: TODAY (April 26th) is the LAST DAY to register for the Muse! Catch nearly all the sessions as they will be recorded and available to all attendees until June 25th.


This year's conference theme is "Small Victories." We all know what the "big" victories are (landing an agent, snagging a book deal, or getting a flashy award), but this year we aim to celebrate the equally important, tiny, and often unseen victories of our writing lives. In anticipation of the conference, we've asked Muse 2021 presenting authors to describe one small victory they've had as a writer that nobody knows about. Our next presenter in the series is Joseph Moldoverauthor of Every Moment After.



I sensed that I was an unpublishable writer, but I didn’t know just how unpublishable until I tried getting published. 

I didn’t think I was a bad writer, necessarily, but I understood that I was an inexperienced one. A novice who was just starting to figure out how much he didn’t know.

Submitting short stories to lit journals seemed like a great way to learn. I’d put my best stuff out there and see what happened. I knew there would be rejections; of course, writers get rejected!

It would toughen me up, and I’d get better along the way.

I don’t know what I expected. I can’t have been naïve enough to think that editors would send detailed, thoughtful critiques with suggestions as to how to make my rejected work better (actually, I may have been exactly that naïve). Still, the concept of a form rejection was new to me. I quickly became familiar as they filled my inbox. I could have papered a wall if I printed them out, but even at the time that seemed melodramatic.

The first personalized rejection came from a now-defunct journal with great Duotrope stats. They were passing on my short story, just like so many before…BUT:

This one was given close consideration--stirred lots of debate -- but in the end, unfortunately, we didn't match up this time.”

My work stirred debate? It was closely considered?

Talk about a gateway drug. There was no looking back.



Joseph Moldover is the author of Every Moment After, a Young Adult novel exploring the long-term impact of a school shooting. He has also published works of short fiction in MonkeyBicycle, One Teen Story, Typehouse, The MacGuffin, and elsewhere. Much of his prior work appeared under the name Joseph Sloan, a reference to his late grandfather, the novelist Sloan Wilson.

Joseph has also published several pieces of nonfiction focused on issues of health and disability. He works as a clinical child and adolescent psychologist and has an active public speaking practice on mental health and disability topics.

Originally from New Jersey, Joe now lives in Boston and is currently at work on his second novel.



Today (April 26th) is the LAST DAY TO REGISTER for The Muse 2021! All sessions have been recorded (unless the session states: LIVE ONLY) and the recorded sessions will be available until June 25th. Register Today – you have until 11:59 pm EDT!

About the Author See other articles by Joseph Moldover
by Joseph Moldover

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