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 More often than not you receive a form rejection letter thanking you for your submission and stating that you will not be published on this occasion.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:
This request ended with a rejection (sigh!) as follows:
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.
Here is my second full manuscript request for my fantasy novel ms, which I received this week:
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!