Yep, one day this will be funny.
Today, not so funny, but not so desperately terrible either. No, I didn't win, or even come close. But now I have time to edit my finished novel, editing I am doing with the guidance of my NWS report written by an established M&B author who loved it. And when that's finished and submitted - submitted not through the slush pile but through NWS which is a brilliant opportunity - then I have Minty and Luca's story waiting to be written.
So really I am very lucky.
I hope the 1046 disappointed entrants are also looking at the positives. Rejection is hard, even (especially) when it's the third, fourth, fifth time around. Harder even, people tell you you're close, that they love your voice. There's a lot further to fall when you know you are almost there. But if you give up, say 'It's not fair', whine, complain and don't grow then you weren't ready to be a published writer after all.
Because if I've learnt anything over the last year it's this (well, along with lots of crafty bits and pieces that would ruin this post so I'll conveniently ignore them): It doesn't get any easier being published. You still have to write, submit, get feedback you don't want to hear and cope with 1* reviews on websites. Are you ready for that? Am I ready for that?
There's only one way to find out. Keep writing, keep submitting, keep learning.
And don't give up.