Awesome News Alert! Hint: Greensboro, North Carolina

Written By: Jess - May• 09•14

Sooooo I have a little story for ya’ll today. But first, I have to tell you a story from last year. Ready?

Here we go:

Last year I heard that Orson Scott Card was going to be doing his Writing Class and Literary Boot Camp down in Orem. I had no idea prior to seeing this announcement on Twitter (yay for Twitter!) that he did these. So I did a little research and learned about them. I decided I needed to write a short story so I could submit the first page of it for consideration to get into the Bootcamp (Bootcamp is a week and only had 14 or so spots, the class was two days and pretty much anyone could go to it if you forked over the $175).  I wrote that thing and started taking it to my local writing chapter to polish it up as fast as I could. I’d never finished anything before, so finishing that short story was a proud moment for me. Looking back at it now makes me realize how much it actually sucked, but still, during those few months I was proud of it.

So, with crossed fingers I submitted it. I was hopefully. Oh, so very, very hopefully.

The waiting. Oh, my gosh. The waiting was stressful.

Long story short: I got a very kind rejection letter.

I still went to the writing class, which I got some interesting insight into contracts and rights that made the $175 worth it to me.

Fast forward to this year:

A couple months ago I got an email saying that OSC was having his Bootcamp and writing class in Greensboro, North Carolina this year. I’d discussed it with Jack when I didn’t make the Bootcamp cut last year that if I got accepted in 2014 that we’d find a way for me to go no matter where it was held. Btw, Bootcamp ain’t cheap. Neither are plane tickets.

This time around I was determined not to get my hopes up. I got a nice reminder from life that crushed hopes hurt a lot when they don’t happen.  This time around I didn’t try and write an entire (or even the beginning) of a short story. Instead I decided to send in the first page of my novel. I’d noticed the year before that a couple people had done that rather than the first page of a short story. The novel I’m referring to is the one I finished at the iWriteNetwork Retreat, not the new shiny.

So, I polished my first page up, took it to the Writing for Charity Workshop, got some awesome feedback on it, made some changes, and emailed it for consideration. As soon as I hit ‘send’ and sent the $175 deposit, I promptly tried to forget about it. I figured it would be best if I took on a new attitude about getting in or not this year. More accurately, I decided to care as little as possible. And, believe it or not, for the most part I succeeded.

Well, this weekend came and went and I briefly wondered when I’d hear the outcome.  The deadline had just past and I knew I could potentially get ‘The Email’ any day, except this time I wasn’t checking my inbox like an anxious little loon. I half expected I wouldn’t get in again.

On Wednesday I didn’t have to be to work right when it opened, which translated to me that I could get an extra half-hour of sleep in. Around the time I was supposed to wake up I got a phone call from some random number I didn’t recognize. My first thought was to ignore it since I figured it was debt collection calling for freaking Shaniqua Holly, or whatever her name is (I’m not joking either. That really is her name or close to it. I’ve got countless calls and texts for this women since I got my new number back in August). But I thought, ‘meh. Might as well tell them to leave me alone once again,’ and answered. It went something like this:

Me: “Hello?”

Unknown Woman: “Is this Jessica?”

Me: *wakes up a little more* “Yes, this is her.”

Unknown Woman: “Hi, this is Kathleen. I’m calling you about Orson Scott Card’s Bootcamp.”


“Uh- huh.”

Kathleen: “I wanted to let you know you were accepted! I realized that I entered your email address wrong when I let everyone know. You should have found out May 2nd.”

Me: It’s okay! That’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know. (at this point I’m grinning like an idiot)

… And the rest of the Phone call went on with her telling me a little bit about it and when I needed to let her know I could come, money was due, etc.

When I got off the phone I was pretty stoked to say the least.

You know that YouTube video where the cute little kid asks “Is this real life?” That was me for the rest of the day. I immediately called Jack and made him guess a couple of times before he got it right.  I then called my parents, both of which guessed that my ‘exciting news’ was that I was pregnant or I bought a horse. I said I wasn’t and I hadn’t. The next guess was a writing thing, which I then told them about. My mom reminded me that my little sis was in Greensboro for the summer since her husband is doing summer sales there. So, more awesome news! I get to see Ember and Clark!

And that’s my awesome news alert. I’m attending OSC Literary Bootcamp this year. I made one of the 12 spots. Yay!


(Oh, and I’m switching my general post days to be Fridays, instead of Mondays. 🙂 )


*Edit Info: The edit I did a few months later from the original publication was to take out  information that I no longer thought necessary or contributed to the nature of the post. All other information remains unchanged.

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  1. Alison says:

    Yayayayayay! Congratulations 🙂 I expect to hear all about it when you are done!

    • Jess says:

      Thank you!!!! And of course. 🙂 I’ll take good notes and if I’m allowed to, I’ll record. Still a little in shock.

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