Throughout this year I've entered various writing competitions, the letters (and in some cases emails) I've received back have become something of a morbid fascination for me. Because seeing how many ways there are to say no, bugger off is quite fascinating. Favourite until this morning? The Traverse Theatre's [and I quote] "You were a particularly strong applicant and we would have liked to have been able to offer you a place" - the proof of the pudding being that they resolutely didn't offer me a place.
I'd almost forgotten that back in January I'd entered Some Sort of Beautiful into The Royal Court's Young Writer's Festival, so I wasn't expecting a response from the Young Writer's Programme to be among my gmail this morning.
Consequently it was a pleasant suprise that they "would like to invite you to join a playwriting group here at the Royal Court Young Writers Programme". Let's put to one side the fact that the group is in London and would involve five hours of scary coach not-getting-any-sleep travel time every week for ten weeks (eek) and let's just focus on the fact that they're prioritising a place for me on a group that's scarily over-subscribed.
Slightly less of a pleasant surprise was the discovery that rather than attaching the feedback form for SSoB to the email I'd been sent the feedback for another play. I didn't clock this for a while until I got to the sentence "The relationship between Darren and Lydia is the strongest part of the play and has the most potential". And if I were to wonder if they'd got Harry and Kate's names wrong a sentence later I knew we weren't talking about the same thing: "The weakest point is the sudden revelation that Darren is a child killer". Heck, SSoB got twisted in the post. Seriously though, if I get all successful and famous as a writer and get the chance to write some kind of memoir (and let's face it, regardless of levels of fame I'm pencilling in my memoirs, I've got lots of good stuff to use) I'm going to want to call it "Darren is a child killer" just because I suspect that it's the first and last time I'll ever read that on a feedback form.
So, rather than basking in some ego-massage, one finger up to all you student newspaper critics fandango, I'm having to wait for my proper feedback to be sent to me. If I didn't work in a theatre I'd roll my eyes.