Final verdict is in and the jury decided: guilty.

In other words they didn’t want my manuscript. Clearly the second opinion the EA got found too many things wrong with it and the fault was largely with my heroine. To be fair, I did write this last year before I knew all that I know now and I found it very difficult shoe-horning believable conflict into a premise that probably shouldn’t have flown in the first place. I probably should have rewritten the whole thing from the start.

Anyway, all is not lost. They told me they saw great potential in me as a writer and that I didn’t need the pitch slot I had booked for the RWNZ conference because I already had their attention and continued feedback (I’m hoping!). And basically I should send them whatever I’m working on now. I emailed Anna back and told her I had four completed manuscripts and which one did she want to see? πŸ™‚ Bit cheeky I guess.

So, today, I need to have a good wallow, and deal with my disappointment – which is mainly focussed on having to begin the waiting process again. It’s been very hard and it will be hard to face another year while they decide on something else.

You guys have been great with all the support you’ve given me. And – this is silly I know – but I feel like I’ve disappointed everyone. I hope I haven’t. I hope I’ll be able to post something a lot more positive in the future and repay all that good faith, because obviously I’m not giving up. Not in the slightest. I’m going to do this no matter how long it takes me.

24 thoughts on “No”

  1. Oh Jackie, hugs.

    But lots of positives in that feedback. You will get there and they obviously have faith in you.

    Quote from Tim Clare (that womagwriter quoted on her blog recently): Getting published is about practising until you’re really good, then persevering until you’re really lucky.

    You’re already really good, now we just have to wait for you to get really lucky.


  2. I’m so sorry, Jackie. Of course you haven’t let anyone down. Absolutely not. You have done your best and as my grandma says, that is all that anyone can ever expect of you.

    You also have the BEST attitude. You’ve already got mss ready to go and have asked which one to send. You are proactive, going forward and above all else have an ability to be objective.

    You can see where you could have done things differently, which is a talent I’m sure we all wish we had.

    Ok, so we won’t all be sat reading the debut Jackie Ashenden in 12 month’s time. But I am sure we will be in 15 month’s time! Hope you hear back quick πŸ™‚

  3. When i saw your post title i so hoped it wasn’t this!

    Hugs to you.

    Definately wallow, then pick yourself up because you have an editor and interest and are certainly very, very close.


  4. I’m with Becca – wallow, splurge on some expensive reward for getting this far and then start polishing those other mss!

    I’m so sad to hear it was NO but so ecstatic to hear they still want to work with you. That truly is GOLD!!!

    As Nemo says… Just keep swimming.. or in this case… Just keep writing!

  5. Thanks Jo, Becca and Rach. Hugs are great and I need ’em right now. However, a couple of hours has given me a bit of perspective. The ms wasn’t my best work, to be completely honest. I think the others I’ve written have more potential. At least, I THINK they do! And they did say they wanted to keep working with me so that’s something.

    The really upsetting thing is that I’ve already splurged. I bought myself something nice last week after that stupid contest failure and now Great Uncle Visa is saying enough is enough. Sigh. Clearly I’ll have to give him the hard word. πŸ˜‰

  6. Oh huge hugs Jackie – I’ve been quietly rooting for you along with everyone – and no, you haven’t let anyone down!!!! (That’s just crazy talk).
    You will get there, you will – i am sure you have the talent and skill but most importantly you have the determination.
    But please, pamper yourself today. You deserve it.
    Then tomorrow, get polishing that one you’re going to sub!
    And please, can we meet up sometime at conference in August and have a big ole chat?!!!! (And ok, some stiff drinks).

  7. Oh, Natalie, I was so hoping I’d be at that Harlequin dinner! But not this year I’m afraid. Yes, I’d love to meet up and have a chat! I haven’t met any other NZ Modern Heat writers so it would be great to see you. Stiff drinks mandatory! Do email me if you like:

  8. Hugs, Jackie. I think it’s probably even harder for you because you are so close. Keep at it. You WILL get there.

  9. Thanks heaps, Marcy. Yes, it’s pretty hard – the higher you go, the harder you fall. But on the other hand, next time I haven’t got so far to climb – hopefully!

  10. Jackie – I will not repeat what everyone else has said but will say this: Persistance and positivity can get you through anything.

    You have so many people that believe and you and see your amazing talent that it will not be long before M&B do too. As you said, this ms was written a year ago and since then you have grown as a writer.

    So here’s hoping that it’s third time lucky!

  11. Hi Jackie,

    I’m so sorry. I logged on after a couple of days and jumped to your blog. But I hope you are immensely proud of yourself for having come this far.

    You’re an inspiration to me.

    Lots of hugs and chocolate,


  12. Janette, what lovely things to say. Thanks heaps. Yes, it was a ms that I wrote a while ago so in many ways, I’m surprised it wasn’t rejected in the first full go over. I think it was becasue they really, really liked the second half of it. I think if I can rewrite the first half, there may be a decent book in there. But not quite yet.

    Ah Sri! I’m not feeling like much of an inspiration today. Maybe only insofar as what NOT to do? πŸ™‚ But yep, I have got quite far eh? Next time!

  13. I’ve sobbed all over you in submission care I’m afraid but I thought I’d come and give you some more hugs!

    It’s so great that you have their attention (and why wouldn’t you?) without having to do a strip tease or stand up comedy πŸ˜‰

    I think the fact that you have four completed manuscripts ready to go is amazing :)if you hadn’t told her I would πŸ™‚

    You’re so so close now!

    If you get any closer you’ll be sitting in their laps πŸ™‚

    HUGE SQUISHY HUGS and a bag of M&Ms!

  14. Jackie
    Hugs. It is always hard.
    The ea will have felt really bad as well as she will want to buy you.
    But you have gained an editor and that is an important step forward. They do not tell you not pitch unless that editor is really keen to work with you.
    YOu will also never know how high up it went. But with your first ms, you want it to be really strong.
    With your four ms, is there one which is particularly calling you? One where given the feedback you have had you can see a way to make it great.
    Your editor will probably be able to help if you send her short blurbs.
    And remember no writing is ever wasted.
    It is all a matter of really bringing it up to the next level.
    Good luck.

  15. Lacey, you’re lovely! I need hugs!! God, I think I’d go right back into the slush if I had to do a strip tease to get their attention! πŸ™‚ Perhaps I need to do a lap dance instead?
    Okay, steady on there Ms Ashenden. πŸ™‚

    Michelle, I suspect she really did want to give me the revisions. I still have difficulties with thinking of her as my editor because I’m not really there yet, but yes, she has told me not to pitch because I already have their attention. Which is good (tells herself that and makes sure she listens).
    As to my other ones, they are all much better in different ways. I’ll have to really sit down and go through them. As Michelle W told me on eHarl, I should be really hyper-critical with all of them. Question everything. And after I’ve gone through that, I’ll see which ones are stronger. Either that or I’ll wait until I hear what Anna has to say.
    The good thing is that all have them have been written with the feedback I’ve received in mind so I don’t think I’ll be facing massive rewrites again. At least, I say that now of course… πŸ™‚

  16. Jackie
    I’m hug hug hugging. So many positives but it still really hurts. Michelle said it all.

    You are a star. They know you can do it. You will do it and soon. The Good Ship Publication Voyage is a rocky old thing and not for the faint hearted. But believe. It’s all there on the horizon awaiting you! You’ve already got so far-kudos!

    Hugs and chocolate

  17. Oh, Jackie, how disappointing for you. Everything has already been said, so will just send huge hugs from across the globe.

  18. First off comiserations, rejections always suck especially when you got so close – and unfortunately they’re a feature of life for published as well as unpublished authors.

    But having their attention is a massive plus and it really does mean it’s only a matter of time now. If they’re prepared to invest the time and effort in you it means they want to get you published.

    And wow, you’ve got four more mss finished while you waited. That’s phenomenal and will also impress the hell out of them.

    Best of luck (but it sounds like you’re busy making your own luck). I expect we’ll be cracking open the virtual champers before long.

  19. Hugs from me too Jackie. Just hold on to the fact that you’ve learnt so much since EM and they clearly really want to work with you and see more. I love your writing and really do believe I’ll be buying an Ashenden one day πŸ™‚

  20. Judy, love the hugs. Thanks so much. Yep, you’re right about this game not being for the faint-hearted. Romance writing ‘ain’t for sissies! I’m hanging out for that horizon anyway.

    Yep, Lucy, pretty disappointed. But, that said, I’m on my way up again. Thanks for the hugs, much appreciated.

    Heidi, ah, thanks for dropping by. And yes, I have to keep telling myself they do want this for me too. Well, one day it’ll happen. And that champers (if it hasn’t gone off by then) will certainly be cracked!

    Lorraine, well, you know. I’m hoping to get that dedication sorted. πŸ˜‰

  21. It’s a public holiday here in South Africa so I’m very behind with the news, so here at last are the hugs and cyber-chocolate, Jax.

    And how can you possibly be worried about letting us down? You’ve been buoying us up!

  22. This rejection will just make the publication all the sweeter. I am with Nemo, so just keep swimming…just keep swimming and enjoy the journey.

  23. Thanks for the choccy, Romy. Cyber chocolate is always appreciated. I know, silly re the whole letting down thing. But, I dunno, everyone’s been so great that I kind of wanted to repay the faith. But I will, ’cause it’s not over yet!

    Felicity, yep, that is true enough. I’m hoping that when I eventually get the call, I’ll be thankful for this rejection because without it I wouldn’t have been able to write the stories I do now.

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