It has been almost two weeks since I sent my manuscripts to the publisher. I know that’s not a long time in the publishing world. I’ve read that you can wait up to 3 months to get a reply.

3 months?!

I was hoping for a slightly faster response. Here’s why:

Two years ago I did some temp work at a publishing company. It was only for a few weeks and I was on reception – answering the phone and opening up mail. Sometimes a submission would arrive from someone like me, who dreamt of being published.  I looked forward to these the most.

It was truly magical working there, surrounded by writers and illustrators and books. Sometimes I had tears in my eyes as I sat by myself in the little reception. ‘At last, this is where I am meant to be!’

Problem is, I’m not sure the feeling was mutual.

On my last day there I knew I had to do something. (There had been no job offers. Wasn’t temp work supposed to lead to something?)

I was due to leave in an hour. So I forced myself to walk up the stairs and knock on the Art Director’s door. He’d only said about two words to me at this point (“hello” as he came in in the morning and “goodbye” as he left at night) but he had a kind face. And I liked him. He was the kind of person I needed to speak to.

I went in with a thumping heart and blurted out something about saying goodbye. At some blurry point in the conversation I managed to summon the courage to mention that I was writing a children’s picture book.

He looked at me. Then he handed me his business card and told me to bypass sending my finished manuscript to the submissions editor and to send it straight to him instead.


Except that was two years ago. Not good. Finishing the picture book turned out to be slightly harder than expected. (There were tantrums and depressions and long periods of time when absolutely nothing happened.)

So, to sum up, I know it’s been a long time and I know he has probably forgotten I ever existed. But even so, I sent my manuscript direct to him.

And I am really hoping for a response…of the under-3-month variety.


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