I have to admit that a recent flurry of rejections almost had me retreating into my cave. Even though there were all nice rejections; i.e. not bog standard, depressing “your work has been received and if you don’t hear from us, then just go away”, they were still rejections.  But the fact that publishers took time to reply to me personally did give me a bit of hope. One even said, “Both of us have now read the complete MS. I have to say that I did really enjoy it – I also gave it to my daughter (18) to read on holiday and she said it was ‘the best book she’d read in ages’.

I know, sounds great, doesn’t it? Yet you know there is bound to be a ‘but’….

It continues, “However, I’m afraid that we have decided not to pursue it any further – we have realised that the YA market does not fit with the books that we are currently working on – or are likely to have coming out next year.”


Another publisher, while rejecting it, said at the end of her email “Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any other books you would like us to consider in the future. We would be very happy to hear from you.”

That’s nice. An open door. But, sigh. Not a yes. Not yet.

But I concluded that you’ve just got to keep putting yourself out there. Next step –  applying for StoryShop. Not expecting to get anywhere; after all I’m not a short story writer, am I?

And then the email arrived. I opened it and it said “I’m pleased to say that your application has been successful, and I’d like to offer you a place in the Story Shop programme 2016.”

Where was the ‘but’? No but…..

Not only did they like my story, they want me to read it out at the Edinburgh Book Festival! And they would give me public speaking training!

Hang on, public speaking training? Oh, right. I’ve got to read it out at the Edinburgh Book Festival……. Gulp.


The moral of the story – keep trying. Who knows where it will take you. (For me, it’s taking me to EBF – 15th August. See you there).


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