You'd have to be a real amateur to send your work out without keeping a copy, wouldn't you? That's what I've always thought, but maybe I won't be so judgemental in future.
When I received a letter from The Letters Page magazine thanking me for responding to their call for handwritten letters about writing letters (got that?), I was really pleased that although the editors hadn't chosen it for publication, they did 'enjoy the sensitive discussion of correspondence and the strong sense of place'. I immediately wanted to check my copy to see what it was they had liked and (you guessed it), it's nowhere to be found. I know what I did, or should I say what I didn't do? Because I had handwritten the letter instead of keying it into the computer where I would automatically have hit 'save', I treated it the same way I would a letter to a friend and just put it in an envelope without making a copy, then binned the notes I had made without the act even registering.
Now, I can't check my submission to see what I got right, where I went wrong, or even being able to put it on this blog. What a fool! Be warned–don't do as I do!