I didn't think I would get to write a post like this any time soon, especially not for this particular manuscript, but here we are and I am beyond excited. But, let's start at the beginning, shall we?
As you guys know I've been writing, as in taking writing seriously and everything, since somewhere between age 17 and 18. In those past almost six years I've completed eight manuscripts ranging between 72.000 and 112.000 words across various genres. One of them was a YA manuscript that is now known as ECHOS.
I've written ECHOS about two years ago, queried it with marginal success getting a few partials and full, but ultimately all of it led to rejections. So, in true Alice Reeds fashion, I decided to shelf this manuscript and move on to other projects. But than #PitMad rolled around sometime September 2016. I didn't plan on pitching ECHOS but a different manuscript of mine, one that ultimately landed me a spot during Pitch Wars. But, my mother who always loved ECHOS urged me to give it a shot because what's the worst that could happen? So I did. And lo and behold, I got a request from an Entangled TEEN editor and right about died.
Of course used to rejections upon rejections I didn't promise myself too much off of this request, but I went on and submitted it. A round of revise and resubmit later, along with some help from my brilliant friend Mia Siegert (JERKBAIT), my manuscript was accepted.
*queue the happy freakout right about now*
Basically one of my biggest dreams came true, one of my manuscripts finding a home at one of my absolute favorite publishers. It's been over a week and I still can't believe it, still find myself occasionally wondering if it actually happened.
So, take it from someone who's been in the query trenches for years, who wrote story after story, who received rejection after rejection, who barely got any requests during pitching events on twitter: don't give up. It might be hard to keep going at times, but if you keep going, keep writing, keep fighting for your stories, you will eventually get there. Feeling shy of participating in #PitMad or similar events because you don't think you'll get any requests? Try anyways because you can never know.
Also don't be afraid to make some friends along the way. For years I sat in the query trenches alone until I got to know Mia and Judy (who was my Pitchs Wars mentor and is now a dear friend) and somehow everything started to feel that little bit easier. I'm basically the personification of 'someone with exactly zero social skills' and social anxiety, so if I can do this, you can, too.
If you love writing, don't give up. Maybe your first stories will suck and, looking back at them years from now you'll want to set them on fire (at least that's how I feel about a bunch of my first manuscripts) but keep going. Practice makes perfect.
As always this post has turned into a way longer thing than I originally planned, bravo me. Basically all I want dot say is OMG MY BOOK IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED BY ENTANGLED TEEN AND I'M FREAKING OUT but it somehow turned deeper than anticipated.