So You Think You Can Write Update: Submission Responses Being Sent Out

Remember So You Think You Can Write, our awesome first digital conference for aspiring writers? We’ve nearly completed sending responses to all submissions for the final challenge to submit a first chapter and synopsis for critique. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a note in the eHarlequin Community or through our comments here. Editor Kathleen Scheibling will be around to answer!

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Comments ( 40 )
  1. karin
    February 1, 2011 at 8:59 am
    Reply

    Thanks Kathleen for taking the time to answer our queries here. I get that there were a lot of submissions and you couldn’t comment on each of them. But, a lot of people got encouragement to keep submitting or positive feedback on certain aspects of their chapter. For those of us who simply got the ‘thanks but no thanks’ reply, does it mean there was nothing salvageable in our entry?

  2. mo
    February 1, 2011 at 9:45 am
    Reply

    So if we had a killer chapter 1 but the synopsis sucked, we got a “no”?

    Was there any rhyme or reason as to who got comments and who didn’t? Great for those who did, but incredibly dispiriting for those who didn’t especially when we hear some did. Even a ‘don’t quit your day job’ or ‘keep going’ would have been nice. Oh well…

  3. Jane
    February 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    Reply

    First, I want to thank the numerous editors and assistants who slaved over these submissions for endless hours. Considering the time already spent on presenting SYTYCW, the monumental task of reviewing these submissions must’ve made them wonder how they were supposed to do their regular jobs as well. So kudos to all of you for the accomplishment.

    Because the sheer numbers were probably overwhelming, I don’t begrudge them the use of standard phrases like “not strong enough.” What disappointed me was that the personalized comment in my rejection contradicted what had been taught during SYTYCW. In fact, the first point in the final challenge told us to “Begin your story in an exciting place.” Instead, I was advised to forgo the exciting and dramatic first scene, which introduces the heroine and her life-changing dilemma, and to start with the later, far less exciting scene in which the H/H meet. Unfortunately, using this suggestion as the reason for the rejection only reinforced my fear that their category “rules” outweigh the writing skills they taught. Just saying…

  4. Robyn Thomas
    February 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    Reply

    I was fortunate to receive a full request, and I would like to thank all of the editors (especially Patience Bloom) for their time and effort in putting SYTYCW together and seeing it through. Thanks for giving us all this wonderful opportunity.

  5. MarcieR
    February 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm
    Reply

    Congrats Robyn!! And a FULL request. Good luck.

  6. Diane
    February 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm
    Reply

    Whoo hoo, Robyn! Best of luck with your full request. What line did you target?

    If we make revisions based on specific comments in the rejection, are we allowed to submit to a specific editor through the normal process?

    In my letter, I noted the line I was targeting, but my rejection gave no indication whether the editors from that line reviewed my submission. Is there any way to know?

  7. Sapna
    February 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm
    Reply

    So, if I haven’t yet received a response, does it mean that my work has not been selected?

  8. Robyn Thomas
    February 2, 2011 at 12:19 am
    Reply

    Hi Diane,

    my ms was a Blaze. If it helps at all, my request came from a Silhouette editor. So, unless your response is signed, I don’t think there’s a way to know who it is from. But it’s great that you got specific feedback.

    all the best,

    Robyn

  9. Margie
    February 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    Reply

    Congratulations Robyn! You must still be flying high from the news. Can’t wait to see it when it hits the market.

  10. Margie
    February 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm
    Reply

    LOL. Okay. I give. I cannot find the sample synopsis that was mentioned. Does anyone happen to have the link?

    Sorry to be braindead but I have tried and tried. I’d appreciate anyone’s help. Please and Thank you.

  11. Margie
    February 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    Reply

    LMAO! Of course after posting this I found it http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=598 for anyone else that had troubles finding it.

  12. Christine
    February 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm
    Reply

    While I very much enjoyed the SYTYCW week, and the opportunity to submit a first chapter and synopsis, I was quite disappointed by the submission response.

    Glancing over some of the comments, I see others had some of the same feelings I did.
    When I sent in my submission, I did so believing that accepted or denied, it would be a win-win situation. I guess I was under the impression everyone would be getting feedback, more than just a blank “not strong enough”.
    Originally I found that statement frustrating, wondering “WHAT wasn’t strong enough?” But now that I see several others have received that same comment, I’m figuring it was more intended to be a variation on “No”, and perhaps not an accurate reflection on the work.

    I do hope there is another event next year, and if there is I will participate again. I guess I would just hope that should you have another call for submissions, you make it perfectly clear that not everyone will receive real, honest and helpful feedback.

  13. ioanna
    February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm
    Reply

    I have to admit that the expression “your story was not strong enough” was like a nail in the heart.(I think that all of us have a tender one, for reading – and writing – those lovely books…)

    I had studied carefully writing guidelines about the category I was writing for and I followed them. As long as I know my idea was original (maybe too original, outside of norms).

    I suppose that even an orthografic or syntax error in the chapter or in synopsis would be fatal and lead us to catastrophy (words strong enough!!! 🙂
    Should we try again, revieing, rewriting, polishing our story throuhg the usual procedure of admition or we have to put our idea and our plot into the bin (for good) ? I had writen almost the half of the book (not just a chapter or the classical 3 chapters and synopsis) for a line that recently publish more books every month. Hope dies last, but could you give us a sign what to do with our “not strong enough” child of our soul?

  14. Melinda Menzies
    February 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm
    Reply

    Hi,

    I also got the form rejection. I wasn’t surprised as although I thought my chapter has potential, my synopsis was awful.

    Ionaana, my 2c is that if you believe in your work, then keep working on it. I intend to write on and get my crit group to help me with my synopsis and to enter some of the RWAustralia comps where you get comprehensive feedback from 3 judges. Your local writers org should have something similar.

    On the blog the eds said that the standard “Your story isn’t strong enough” indicated that it needs much work. I think that’s fair comment for me and I’ll get back to work.

    Each rejection is actually a step on the path to success. Every writer I know (and I know a few bestsellers) has had multiple rejections-so think of this as a badge of honour on the way to publication.

  15. ioanna
    February 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm
    Reply

    To Mr Melinda Menzies

    First of all, thank you for support and your advice as a co-writer.

    Unfortunatelly, in my country there is not a local writer organisation for romantic novels. There is lack of such a culture. Popular – english language – litterature is known only from “H” translated series. Someone can find them only in central newspaper qiosks or hiden in little neibourhood stores. I don’t know any other person who write (in English) romantic novels in my city (or even in the whole country).
    (By the way what is 2c??) 🙂

    I have the same opinion with you: I believe in my story and I love my heroes – a lovely couple and a very supporting family for them – and I will revive them after a week for them “sleeping” in my hard disc.
    I don’t have objection with a feedback of critic or even critisism to my work. On the contrary I want it in detail to understand fully the gaps and the missing of my story.I don’t have the opportunity to have a personilised feedback and SYTYCW was a good opportunity.

    The only objection to that group message was the choice of words. This would be acceptable from a food or car industry, but not from an organisation that words (and reverie) are its product.
    I am a working “girl” for more than 10 years now and I can understand the difficult position of “H” editors in front of a pile of works that want an answer NOW (or YESTERDAY)! I have also to send massive emails for my work and I can be in their position, so no hard feelings!
    It was just a little complain…

    Kisses to Australia and be careful with the hard weather! (I have adored your country by Emma Darcy’s books and Sallivans!)

    Ioanna

  16. ioanna
    February 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    Reply

    TO MRS Melinda Menzies

    oops! I did it again…

  17. Rita
    February 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm
    Reply

    Just wanted to chime in with a ‘thank you’ to all those at Harlequin who pulled together the SYTYCW challenge. Reading and responding to a high volume of entries in a short window of time takes a great deal of dedication.

    Congratulations and good luck to those who received requests to see more!

  18. anita soenderup
    February 4, 2011 at 4:18 am
    Reply

    Hi.
    Boy, I would wish, I could have participated in this contest.
    Unfortunately it´s only for recidents in Us and Canada. I live in Denmark. Harlequin in Sweden only translates books, and it is diffucult just to get a translationform.
    If you are considering to let others particpate at any time. Please let me know!

  19. Angela Guillaume
    February 4, 2011 at 7:44 am
    Reply

    Anita,
    This contest was open to everyone, regardless of residency or citizenship.
    Angela

  20. ioanna
    February 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    Reply

    Anita,
    Angela is correct. I presume all the 3 of us we are from Europe countries!!

    You can participate to SYTYCW2!

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