It feels good to have validation in life. Whether it’s from a boss that noticed your hard work, a stranger that acknowledged you let them go ahead of you or even a simple smile as you pass a stranger.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT talking about the way the world has become so quick to hand out participation awards for kids that showed up to the soccer field, sat their butts on the bench, while drinking juice boxes as his/her teammates were pummeled by the other team. No. Those kids should get a pink slip and phone call from my dead grandfather. He would tell them to get off their lazy asses because nothing in life is free, and whiny babies go nowhere in this world.

God, I miss that man.

I’ll get to the point. The other day I received some “validating” news that not only is it my family, friends and somehow some of YOU that have stumbled upon this page and have “liked” what you’ve read; So does Crab Fat Literary Magazine (

I know that it’s not the Pulitzer prize or even the New Yorker, but it’s also someone I didn’t pay to publish my work. It’s a great online literary magazine that was kind enough to not only READ what I wrote, but they also decided that it’s at least half decent enough to be published onto their site (no date has been given yet).

I (often) hear from other writers how discouraged they became and quit writing altogether, after being turned down numerous times. Personally, I was more shocked when I read that they accepted the piece I submitted.

Almost every competition, contest or even submission-realm I’ve tried, has been met with rejection. I’ve tried chili cook-offs, comedy competitions and even a go-kart race back in my youth, all outcomes were me as the loser. You can say I had become a Reject Junkie.

Even the moment I saw half of the email from Crab Fat flash across my phone screen, I started my usual pep-talk.
“It’s okay, Star! You tried. At least you weren’t the lazy kid on the bench, sucking down juice boxes while everyone else tried to beat the other team. You got out there, you tried. You DON’T deserve an award, but you tried. Go get some pizza!”

However, that’s not what it said. It didn’t say, “thanks but no thanks.” It was short, to the point and just enough to make me feel, validated.


Even if this is the ONLY piece of mine that is ever published, I can honestly say that it ignited enough motivation within me to last a lifetime of any more rejection that might come my way.

-Star Dell’Era

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