Since my last post, I’ve been adrift on the endless sea that is the submissions process. While it may be a calm sea so far, I can’t yet see land in sight. One or two patches on the horizon that I thought might have been islands have turned out to be mirages.

But, enough of the poetic melancholy; let’s get to the point. The ultimate goal of any serious writer is to get that much anticipated acceptance, negotiate a good contract and take their work forward from manuscript to published book, preferably reaching readership through shops and libraries. Isn’t that the dream?

Of course, there are always obstacles along the way. Mine of late have been in the form of rejection letters. Being optimistic, it is good to acknowledge that every rejection is a step closer to acceptance. It’s important, however, to honestly assess just how close those steps are. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some recent responses to my fantasy novel, which has been on the publication rounds since November. The first is rather short:

“Hi Leilanie

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately it is not something we can work with.

Best regards,

[Editor’s name]
[Name of Press]

A casual response like this either means the theme of my novel doesn’t fit the publisher’s current list or they didn’t like my particular story; either way the journey ends there.

The second response I’ve received is a bit longer:

“Dear Ms. Stewart,

Thank you for your submission of [fantasy novel] of to [publishing house].

We have reviewed your submission, and while it appears that you have developed an interesting story, at this point in time, it is not what we are looking for.

Good luck in your future endeavors.

Kind regards,”

There’s a bit more detail in this response to interpret. Could it be that this editor enjoyed my three sample chapters and synopsis? Possibly. It did fit well with a couple of the other books previously launched by the particular publisher. However, the editor didn’t sign her name after ending with ‘Kind regards’, making me think it was another form rejection letter after all.

Without any real means of receiving feedback (publishers are simply too busy) I had to apply my own analysis and give an educated guess, as posted above. My search for both publisher and literary agent continues. It goes without saying that if I am successful in my pursuit for one or the other, or both, I’ll be following with an update on this blog. In the meantime, it’s back to business as usual!

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a novelist and poet. Her debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road was published by Blossom Spring Publishing in October 2019 and her second novel, The Buddha's Bone is forthcoming in October 2021. Leilanie has also published three poetry collections: The Redundancy of Tautology (Cyberwit, 2021); Chemotherapy for the Soul (Fowlpox Press, 2017); A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) and two self-published pamphlets: Toebirds and Woodlice (Meandi Books, 2012); Metamorphosis of Woman (Meandi Books, 2012), satirical novella Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) and surreal novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart (Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, 2017). Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of educational books. Literary blog: Meandi Books: Bindweed Magazine:

2 responses »

  1. Bethany says:

    Every submission leads you closer to publication — it’s all just data, anyway. Keep at it!

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