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Friday, March 20, 2009

Rejected but not Dejected!

What a rollercoaster week it's been. 'The' letter arrived from M&B last Thursday and it was of the 'thanks but no thanks' variety. Disappointment reigned for the rest of the day, until (on the umpteenth reading) I saw a spark of hope.

The words, '...next submission' stood out and I realised it was an invitation to submit another story (and not a closed door). It also pointed out that my plot and characters weren't fully developed.

I've now learnt a few things for next time.

  • LISTEN hard to the words of the professionals (in my case the NWS Reader and other published writers).
  • UNDERSTAND that as your characters and plot evolve, further changes will often be needed and the earlier chapters may need to be rewritten.
  • NEVER send off a partial until your STORY is as strong as it can be - no matter how impatient you feel.

Oh, one other thing:


Anita Mae Draper said...

Ah Sue - I'm really glad you saw that line about 'the next submission'. I'd wondered how you were getting on and I haven't been back to the eharl thread for a few days.

My first rejection was a form letter, but my second also said they'd welcome further submissions. Brightened up my day.

Wishing you all the best in your next submission.

Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Thanks, Anita! It's nice to see you here as well as eHarl/Fb... :-D

I can relate to how the wording on your R brightened up your day too. *Hugs*

All the best for your writing and your next submission too.

Teresa said...

Hi there!

I've just found your blog because I was googling on this very subject. Perhaps you can help me! I too am an aspiring author for M&B and got a very nice rejection letter from Tessa Shapcott a couple of months ago. It said "if you would like to submit a fresh partial to us in due course, we will be happy to assess it for you." Do you think this means you still go through the slush pile again, or do you think the manuscript might start a little bit higher up the editor's in-tray? Can one actually put 'requested material' on the envelope or would that be inappropriate?

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this and what you will do next time round.

Best of luck with your writing!


Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Hi Teresa,

Thanks for stopping by!

Yayy on 'meeting' another aspiring M&B author! :-)

A rejection letter from Tessa Shapcott? That's FAB - congrats!

I would address your next partial to Tessa Shapcott (on the envelope) and give a gentle reminder about the invitation for you 'to submit a fresh partial' in your covering letter. I'm sure that it'll then stand-out from whichever pile it's in (that's my plan for my next submission). My understanding is that when you get a specific request for the full manuscript after they've seen the partial that's when you should put 'requested material' on the envelope.

If you haven't already discovered them, the eHarlequin forums are well worth a visit, as are other M&B authors' blogs (see my links). If you're targeting the Presents/Modern series Kate Walker's blog/website is particularly worth a visit.

Hope that helps. Wishing you the best of luck with your writing too!

Sue :-)

Teresa said...

Hi again Sue, and many thanks for your feedback. It's helpful to hear someone else's opinion on this, being a relative newbie to this publishing malarkey. I haven't been to the Harlequin e-forums before so I think I'll go and take a look, thanks for the tip.

I'm impressed by how many works-in-progress you have here. I'll stop by again another time and see how you're doing.

Thanks again for the info!


Sue aka MsCreativity said...

You're very welcome, Teresa.

Best wishes for your next/current w-i-p.