Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Submissions - When does hopefulness turn to hopelessness?

Just last week I met with my critique group. Besides having a great session discussing our current WIPS, we also touched on how long it takes for each of us to get frustrated with waiting to hear about the status of our submitted work.

You polish and critique and review your manuscript. It's the very best it can be, just like all the publishing houses and agent websites tell you. You send it out following explicit directions and you wait....and you wait.....and you WAIT.

Several weeks go by, so your hopes are elevated. You tell yourself perhaps they are considering your manuscript. It hasn't been rejected. Maybe it's moved passed the first reader?

So you look forward to a positive response.

Weeks turn into months. Maybe it's moved on to the editorial director? That's what's taking so long.

Eight months go by. Your confidence starts to wane.

Perhaps it isn't on the acquisitions editor's desk, after all. Maybe it's on the bottom of the slush pile. Maybe they never got it. Maybe they just don't want it.

We all know editors and agents are busy, but some writers reach a point where they feel a form rejection through an email is better than no word at all.

Last week I received a rejection and a letter of apology for a picture book I had submitted two years ago. I totally forgot I had even submitted it.

Writer's need closure.

The question of the day is: When does hopefulness turn to hopelessness for you?

What are your thoughts?

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