Self Stretch


Aniko’s inagural issue

I recently sent an entry in to a new online magazine, for their inaugural issue. The delightedly-overwhelmed (to clarify, that means that she was overwhelmed for all the right reasons) editor, Emily Riches, sent this reply to my submission:

Dear Annabel,

Thank you so much for submitting Mopping Up to Aniko Press Magazine. Unfortunately, we will not be able to include your submission in our first issue. However, we’d like you to know that your piece was a strong contender for a place in the magazine and made it onto our long list. 

Myself and the reading team were blown away by the quality and number of entries we received for our first issue (over 270!), and it was an absolute pleasure to read your work among them. I’d encourage you to keep writing and keep submitting, as it would be fantastic to see your work find a literary home. 

Once again, thanks so much for sharing your writing with us. And, of course, I would love you to submit again when we open for submissions for our second issue. 

All the best,

Emily Riches

Founder – Aniko Press

0466 717 824

It’s a common understanding that a rejection is a bad thing, that someone hasn’t made the grade that is required to be successful. However, Emily’s email does not feel like one written to a failure about a substandard product: in contrast, it feels like a HUGE encouragement award about a submission that, had Aniko‘s inaugural issue been 200 pages longer, would have fitted in seamlessly! And to be longlisted, at that! (That’s only the second time in my life I’ve been longlisted for anything … see this blog post to find out about the first time.)

My attitude to rejection is that it’s not a personal reflection on me: it’s a reflection on where my work sits in relation to others’ work, at a particular point in time. Maybe I’ve arrived at this point because I have often felt I’ve been walking a parallel road to others (rather than being in sync with them, on the same road), and yet my path has not felt wrong (just different). I’ve been acutely aware for many years that I perceive things a little bit differently to the masses … and that’s okay with me, because I’m finding that as I get older the people around me increasingly see things the way I do … which either means they’ve finally seen my light (the one I see or the one that shines out of me?), or we’re all walking the same misguided track in shared darkness … either way, it’s nice to have company.

Well that became a pleasant distraction ….

One thing I love about having the opportunities out in the world for me to submit my personal works to is that it gives me a good reason to revisit my ample archival works, and then rework them. It’s so much fun to talk a ‘raw product’ and edit and fine-tune it till it becomes a ‘public-worthy product’. Of course the difference between those two states is totally subjective, and others may not agree that what I submit is actually ‘public-worthy’, but they are those on a parallel path to me.

So I’ve taken the opportunity to put my Mopping Up poem into a local poetry competition: fire-fighting is, after all, an active pastime where I live in the country, that every resident can relate to, regardless of whether they are firefighters themselves or not.

Watch this space!


Issue 1 of Aniko Press Magazine is now available! 
If you’d like to check it out, you can purchase a copy from our website at:

1 thought on “Longlisted”

  1. Well done! Very affirming. X

    Dr Larisa Bardsley Creative Researcher, Depth Psychologist, Artist Counselling and Clinical Psychology Supervisor PhD, FCCOUNP, FCCLP, MAPS Reg PSY0001126951 Honorary Associate, La Trobe University School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ASSC

    Website: Recent publications: ‘ Wholeness as a creative exploration of Self’



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