In October 2012, Harper Voyager opened up a submissions portal for 2 weeks, asking for polished, un-agented manuscripts over 75,000 words long. On September 19th, I had just 36,000 edited words, and 9,000 words of ‘notes’. In under three weeks, I wrote a further 43,000 words, and submitted them.
I count this as my first rejection, being one of 4,500 manuscripts. I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere with the submission, but that first dive into a pool was a big step for me in believing I’d be able to submit a novel ‘for real’ in the future.
Since then, I’ve had two short stories and some non-fiction articles published, and those are just the successful examples. Submitting my work is becoming a little easier every time I do it. I remind myself of the many rejections is takes to be accepted, and focus on moving forward; in whatever way I can.
This year, I’m focused on the goal of submitting my novel to at least one agent by the end of 2016. I’ve ‘attended’ some Twitter pitch events, and am in the process of edits and beta reads for two novels. I’ve completed a cover letter, fixed my synopses and have my preferred agents researched.
Much like within a story, the sense of progression is a huge boost. I’m making tracks, and soon it’ll be time to see where those stories take me, and what lessons they can teach me.
And when I’ve submitted them, I’ll switch my focus back to the first draft of Skeletal, not only because it makes the wait much more bearable, but because if this story isn’t right, then what better game plan than to have another one ready?