I am thrilled to announce that my novel manuscript has been selected for the Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre’s manuscript development program! Last week I was out weeding the garden when I heard my phone ring. I ran inside to answer it, and was told that I was one of 8 to be selected for the program. I am very excited and proud! I was ecstatic just to be longlisted, and honestly didn’t think I would get to this point – although I secretly hoped that I would.
This means that I spend a week in Brisbane with editors/publishers from Hachette who will give me feedback on ways to improve my manuscript, along with booksellers, literary agents and authors so that we can learn more about the publishing industry and how it works. The competition stresses that this is no guarantee that Hachette will publish my finished book – but just to have the opportunity to work with them is amazing. And who knows where it will lead.
One of the most exciting things about it is the validation that I have not been wasting my time writing. I never really thought of it as a waste of time, as it was something that I needed to do and that gave me enormous satisfaction in those times when A was asleep. It was my time, a time when I could switch off from the stresses of being a new mother and enter that strange creative, writerly world. To have a publisher believe that my work shows merit and promise is an extra bonus.
I will be attending the retreat when I am about 33 weeks pregnant so I hope that this little one doesn’t decide to make too early an appearance! It will be harder to find the time to write when I have two little ones, but I know that I will make the time. Hachette allow us to submit our finished manuscripts after the retreat to be considered for publication, and I am not going to miss an opportunity like that.