In the past month since I last posted, I have received great news: my first full manuscript request from a publisher for my debut fantasy novel. To say that I am excited is an understatement! As any writer knows, tackling the slushpile is a long process: generally you submit three sample chapters of a finished manuscript along with a one page synopsis and a cover letter. More often than not you receive a form rejection letter thanking you for your submission and stating that you will not be published on this occasion. Sometimes you may be lucky and receive a few lines of feedback in a personalised response, usually explaining that you have developed an interesting idea, or that you have a strong author voice, but the particular story is not what the publisher is looking for at the moment. To receive a full manuscript request is rare indeed. A publisher reads your sample and wants to know the full story. Hooray! In my experience, I have received a full manuscript request on only two occasions: once for my literary novel manuscript after one year/twelve slushpile rejections(it’s still making the publisher rounds nineteen rejections later) and now in this instance with my fantasy novel ms after one and a half years/ fifteen slushpile rejections. Here is the first request I received for my literary ms back in 2013:

[Dear Leilanie,

Our editing team has had a look at (sample of literary novel) and would like to see the full manuscript, which you can send via this email.  We can only take a small percentage of fiction submitted so no promises – but we’d like to see how the novel progresses.


All Best,


Submissions Editor]


This request ended with a rejection (sigh!) as follows:


[Dear Leilanie,

Our editing team had a look at (Literary novel ms) and have decided to pass on it at this time. The novel is very creative but we can only publish a very small percentage of work submitted and it’s not quite what we are looking for in terms of literary fiction. Please understand that this is not an evaluation of the work but purely a determination on whether it fits with our particular remit. 

We wish you the best in your search.
Submissions Editor]


Here is my second full manuscript request for my fantasy novel ms, which I received this week:


[Dear Leilanie,


Further to your submission for your work titled (fantasy novel), we would like to invite you to submit the rest of your manuscript for consideration. Please send it as an attachment in a Word Document file.


We look forward to reading the rest of your story.


Kind Regards 


Publishing Manager
(Name of publisher)
(Publisher’s website)]


What now? For me, a waiting game which could be several months and which will hopefully lead to a publishing contract. In the meantime, I’m working away on my next novel draft. After all, a writer writes!

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:

3 responses »

  1. Tony Bologna says:

    Congrats! Fingers crossed

  2. […] as well as contending with individual projects this month: a request for a full novel manuscript (Leilanie Stewart) and promoting a new poetry collection (Joseph Robert). We’ll be back to publishing more […]

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