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 More often than not you receive a form rejection letter thanking you for your submission and stating that you will not be published on this occasion.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 an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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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