Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Editing a Manuscript
Last month I submitted a brief query and two stories for consideration to a small publishing house.

Yesterday, I pulled my own self-addressed envelope from my mailbox and felt my heart sink. I've heard that phone calls are what you get when a publisher wants to pursue you and SASE's are what you get with a rubber-stamped "Thanks but no thanks," note.

It was a little company that I'd felt oddly compelled to submit to and had held out this sliver of hope that they'd show interest, that my gut had pointed me in the right direction. Yet, there was that thin envelope with my own handwriting, sitting in my mailbox.

Still, I opened it, skimmed briefly, right to the bottom line. What's this? Why are they asking me to include a SASE, I just did that, didn't I?

Wait. Go back. Read the whole thing.

"After a review of the material you sent to us, it seems that it might be the kind of book we would consider publishing. We would like to take a look at the full manuscript."


I handed it to my husband as I walked through the door.

This is it. I get a shot. Still a long one, as I'm sure that the letter I received is a form letter and that I am not unique to this process, that they have slush piles full of quality work - ok, maybe not all "quality" work, but there must be some.

How do I get mine to stand out?

I'm at "work" today, weeding through my manuscript (what's left of it now that I've gutted it of some of my weakest stories) and I'm having a mild panic attack at the prospect of picking, choosing, editing and rewriting this thing to a point that it's actually something I can submit to these nice people who have so kindly asked to see my "book."

A book? Me?

Oh, that would be so nice.

Wish me luck.

(And if anyone has a story of mine that they'd like to suggest I include, or suggest that I edit - by all means, I'm listening...)

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Blogger zhoen said...

Best fortune, success and blessings aplenty.

Blogger affert said...

Woohoo! Good luck.

Anonymous phx said...

Go Mella go!!!

Is Revising Grace still around anywhere? I miss reading it...

Blogger Owlhaven said...



Blogger dillyweed said...

I'm giddy with excitement for you! Yippeeeeeeee.

Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

Melanie! A no brainer. The story that you had published in Family Circle - "The Simplest of Acts"!

Congratulations!!! Put me down for a signed copy!

Blogger JunieRose2005 said...



I wish you well!


Blogger Skye said...

Good luck, Mella!

Blogger Mella said...

Thanks everyone - it's off in the mail now. I don't have high hopes, because self-doubt is part of writing, I think.

But I think that at this point, even being asked is good enough for now. A step in the right direction.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mella, what wonderful and exciting news! I am so happy for you -- being asked is such a good sign, you're right. I can't wait to hear what happens!

Blogger Julie said...

That is fantastic. I am so happy for you and in awe that you managed to do this. I need advice. How do you do it? How? How? My 2 kids suck the time and energy out of me (adorably, of course...but still).

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best Wishes to you. I have been following your blog since meeting you on Nov06 ivillage. I haven't seen you there in a while but I am glad that you are well. As I told you before, I will be exited to buy your first novel.

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