Writers in the World: Laura’s Submissions Day

My e-letter A Writer Can Be… (do you subscribe?) focused on submissions this month. So I thought I’d share with you that I have spent four hours today working on submissions. Yup. Four hours. And that’s after spending the same amount of time over the past couple of weeks figuring out which manuscripts I want to get into circulation and which publishers might be good fits for them. I have 12 manuscripts on my list (though I might cross out one). Whew.

I decided I’m going to try devoting an entire day near the beginning of each month to submissions. I think that will be more efficient for me than trying to send some out every week. And I’m not going to try to get a manuscript back out within a few days of its rejection. I’m just going to evaluate, prioritize, and send things out (via snail mail or email) basically once a month (unless an editor requests a manuscript I’ve pitched, of course!).

Today, I sent out almost all my 12, all via email:

  • a fiction picture book to Clarion, who has published two of my poetry collections–I’d love to work with Clarion again! Both of my editors left, however, so I don’t have the same relationships that I used to (but hope to have again).
  • a concept picture book to Chronicle, to an editor I’ve met before briefly but don’t have any real relationship with
  • an email to my Millbrook editor to ask about submitting fiction picture books to Carolrhoda, a different imprint at Lerner
  • a rhyming informational picture book to Peachtree, to an editor who has responded positively to my work over the years but who hasn’t acquired anything–yet! (And she replied back almost immediately that she was looking forward to reading the manuscript–whee!) I just saw her at ILA, so it was a good time to reconnect.
  • a rhyming informational picture book to Sourcebooks, to an editor I met once 6 or 8 years ago, and an agent submitted one of my manuscripts to a couple of years ago, but again…no real relationship there
  • a concept nonfiction picture book to Sterling, to an editor who I met in person at ALA many years ago, and who has had lovely things to say about several manuscripts she has rejected over the years
  • a rhyming informational picture book to Charlesbridge, to an editor I’ve met in person a few times, talked with in-depth at a conference we both spoke at, and who has even taken one of my manuscripts to acquisitions, though it didn’t make it past marketing
  • a pitch for two very different (but both poetry-related) manuscripts to an editor at Candlewick, where I have no ties whatsoever
  • a fiction picture book to an editor at Beach Lane who I’ve met in person several times and who named one of my manuscripts a runner up for a prestigious fellowship several years ago

I am exhausted. But also filled with hope. Renewing old relationships, introducing myself and trying to start new ones, learning which editors will respond to emails and which won’t, and just knowing that my work is getting out there…it’s exhausting but incredibly satisfying. Instead of just wondering which manuscripts have been submitted and to whom, I KNOW. And while I’d love to work with an agent again, I won’t relinquish the knowing part:>)

Have you sent YOUR work out lately? Editors can’t buy it if they don’t read it! If you sent something recently (and it could be a magazine or anthology submission, or something else–not necessarily a book) to an editor, please let me know in a Comment so that I can give you a high five!


About Laura Purdie Salas

children's writer, poet, reader, visiting author, speaker/teacher, mentor, copyeditor, freelance writer
This entry was posted in Laura's Writing Life, Writers in the World. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Writers in the World: Laura’s Submissions Day

  1. Linda Koch says:

    Good luck on your submissions Laura. My writing is still a WIP, but I climbed out of my writing cocoon this week, and sent a submission to the SCBWI Insight Write This Prompt. Not much of a big deal, but my first submission of any sort.

    I enjoy reading your posts, (and Lisa’s also). I look forward to meeting you at the SCBWI conference.

    • It IS a big deal, because it’s your first time putting your work out there. Celebrate! I think opportunities like this are great because they get a writer used to sending things out, experiencing not getting chosen, and maybe getting chosen every once in a while, too. No time like the present for building the habit of sending your writing out. Thanks, Linda–see you this fall!

  2. Sara Matson says:

    I, too, love the satisfying feeling of getting another manuscript (or several) out the door. Just got a magazine story ready to send tomorrow after it was rejected somewhere else. But I like your idea of saving the recycling of mss for one day a month. That seems more efficient!

    • Excellent, Sara! Long ago, I did my submitting once a week, generally. Or if I had nothing free to go out, I would do market research and such. But right now, once monthly feels more do-able for me. It might still be almost two full work days for me (between the researching, tracking, writing letters, etc.), but I like the idea of being in that mindset for a shorter intense period and then not worrying too much about it for several weeks. We’ll see how it goes!

      Good luck with your magazine story!

  3. Good for you! Surely you will be rewarded. I like the idea of setting aside one day a month for submissions. Otherwise, it’s too easy to let it slide. Can’t wait to hear of your good news from at least some of these publishers!

    • Hehe–well, “surely” is probably overstating it a bit, but I hope persistence will eventually pay off. It took many years of slushpile submitting to make my first sale. I’m hoping it will be a bit quicker than that this time around:>) Thanks for the encouragement–what kinds of projects are you working on?

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