Writing to a Deadline Part 14: Publisher response

Holy cow!

I submitted my manuscript at 11:30 PM last night, and when I got home from work, there was a response that hit may mailbox at Noon!!!

Okay.  Deep breath.  Open the email.

“The revision was great. You did a fine job incorporating our feedback and adjusting the story to a simpler, more defined and well written product.”

Woa… hold on.  This is my first submission to a publisher.  Aren’t they supposed to belittle me and tear me to bits?  Did a publisher just call my work “great”?  Did a publisher just call my story “well written”?

Last words are “We’ll be in touch soon regarding final selections.”

Okay… we are back in “wait” mode.  I can deal with that.  I am just so tickled that I might actually be actually in the running—I can’t stand it.

I find a stream of emails from my writing buddy.  She’s been having an email conversation with the publisher all day.  They wanted more revisions done to hers.  They want to know if she’d be willing to revise further, to some pretty stringent specifications.

My heart sinks.  They went back and forth with her several times.  Someone there likes her submission enough that they want it really polished.  What does that mean for mine?  Was mine a form email that everyone gets?

They told her that they have eight submissions that they are currently considering, and only 5 slots in the anthology.

Am I one of the eight?  She obviously is.

I hop over to Scribophile, and another girl in my Scrib Group got a response that they liked her changes as well, and they were waiting to make a decision… The wording she used in her post made it sound like her response was almost word for word identical to mine.

What does that mean?  Did we both get the generic “nice” response?  Is that a bad thing, or are we both in the top eight?

Your mind goes crazy.  I swear.

I know, I know, there is not a dern thing I can do but wait… and have a few quiet conversations with the Guy Upstairs.

I put a heck of a lot of work into this over the last month.

At first, it was just a challenge to myself.

Now, it’s something I want so bad I can taste it.

Deep breath… and the wait begins.  Again.


27 responses to “Writing to a Deadline Part 14: Publisher response

  1. I really don’t feel they would be so positive unless they meant it. Publishes won’t give time over to something they don’t believe in. You are definitely in the running. Good luck!

  2. introvertedblogger

    Don’t those inner demons chat away in our ears, bringing all those doubts. I hope the wait is not too long and that you can get in some serious hot chocolate sessions.

  3. I feel your pain in the waiting. My advice–chocolate. (It works for me, and gives me a reason to do exercise, which is a stress-reliever as well–Two in One shot.)

  4. Best of luck to you, Jennifer! Your writing obviously holds much promise to have been reviewed with such high praise!

  5. My fingers and toes are crossed. And that isn’t any easy feat. 🙂

  6. Good luck! I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  7. Time to do something really physical to get the blood and endorphins moving. Bicycling, jogging, great sex, chopping firewood … you get the picture. Also useful; a good belly laugh.

  8. Keep breathing 🙂

  9. Congratsie Writesie! You’re in the League of Extraordinary Writers! 😀


  10. maramcbain

    Fingers and toes crossed for you and wishing you all the luck in the world. Waiting is the hardest part!

  11. Good luck! Keep your spirits up. Pray for the best, prepare for the worst. Even if they don’t take it, you have an awesome story to sell elsewhere.

  12. On the one hand, it helps to know that nearly every writer knows exactly how you’re feeling. But on the other, you’re sure it’s harder for you than anyone else! (I know I do!)

    But I can’t believe they’d ask for revisions to your story (or anyone’s) if they didn’t think they were good. They must have plenty of submbissions they could choose from without going that extra step. Maybe the request for revision letters are a template. But I’d be willing to bet not everyone got one.

    And even if you don’t win, you got some excellent feedback that helped you improve your story. How many other publishers or agents would help a writer like that? You’ll be able to apply that advice to your future works.

    Fingers crossed, though, that you’re one of the five!

  13. Best of luck, Jennifer! Remind me again why we chose to be writers? To put ourselves out there and hope for the best? To search endlessly for the crystal-ball-answer while we await The Word?

    Oh. Right. Because there are words that need to be placed in proper order and we’re the ones who believe know we can do it.

  14. Joan Y. Edwards

    Dear Jennifer,
    You’re right. It’s in their control. Take a deep breath. Breathe in acceptance. Breathe out anxiousness. You’re going to do fine. You’ve learned from your revision. Talking with the Man Upstairs is a great idea, too. Celebrate where you are!
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

  15. Scene at Eaton household – Act 1, Scene 1:

    Jennifer: *wrings hands*…pace…pace…wait…wait… it’ll be good news…it has to be good news…I’ll cry if it’s bad news…no bad news allowed…

    Mistress Poodle Chloe barks from couch: “Mom, stop walking back and forth and ripping your hair out. Sit with me and scratch behind my ears…Not your ears, silly. MY ears.” Mistress Chloe rolls eyes. ‘Geez, of all humans and I had to be adopted by a writer.’ Hangs head over couch and exhales a long sigh.

  16. waiting with crossed fingers for you!

  17. It drives you crazy wondering what they mean, try not to – sounds like you’re in the running. Good luck!!