I finally have some exciting news to share with you all!! I’ve just submitted part of my manuscript to Penguin Random House UK. This is not an ordinary submission, this is an application to be one of the 10 hopefuls that are selected to be mentored to publication. This scheme is known as WriteNow and Penguin are looking for writers that are currently under represented on the UK’s bookshelves. There are no guarantees the aspiring author will be published but this opportunity is still gold dust. I could potentially be mentored by one of the leading editors at Penguin and have access to exceptional talent, opportunity and advice.
After hitting a brick wall over the last couple of months and sitting in silence waiting for a sniff of feedback from other publishers I am grateful this door of opportunity presented itself to me. To be fair, I must acknowledge it was a really good friend that brought the scheme to my attention. I’d made it clear I was struggling with the process and to be honest, feeling sorry for myself! She messaged me with the link to the scheme and said ‘You must do this, darling’. I was so touched that I blubbered (easily done nowadays) at the thought of her thinking of me and cheering me on hypothetically.
I’ve realised that I am not good at deadlines, particularly the ones I set for myself. I don’t know why but I shift and turn and avoid what I need to do to see results. Maybe it is a confidence thing, lack of self-discipline or just lame excuses? The scheme is based on deadlines, but they are hard deadlines. I miss these and my opportunities go bye bye, so my fire is fuelled right now. I don’t like to be defeated so my energy is at an all time high. I’ve not felt this excited about writing for a very long time.
Like I said, Penguin are admirably mentoring aspiring authors from black, asian and minority ethnic group (BAME), lesbian, gay, bi sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities. As well as writers with a disability or have come from a socio-ecomomic disadvantage. These writers are currently under represented meaning their stories are not heard. I have the up most respect that such a large Publishing House are using their commercial kudos to help those that are in the minority. They are taking advantage of their big voice (and a risk), for those with a smaller one and helping them be heard. It’s so noble and heart warming and my objective is to become of the 10. So this is the deal, extracted from their website:
How do I apply?
As part of your application we’ll ask you to tell us about your book. What’s it called? What’s it about? What makes it special? We’ll also ask you to send us up to 1,000 words – it could be the opening chapter, or a later section of your book which you’re particularly proud of. It’s up to you.
In 250 words, we will also ask you to tell us how you meet our criteria.
Editors from across Penguin Random House will assess your application, considering your talent and ability as a writer as well as the originality of your story or idea. We’ll invite 50 writers to each of our insight days.
Step One: Applying to attend an insight day
Tuesday 13 June – applications open
Sunday 16 July – applications close at midnight
Wednesday 16 August – We’ll let you know if you’ve been accepted. We’ll also ask you to send us a further 5,000 words for your one-to-one session with an editor
Wednesday 30 August – Last day to send us 5,000 words
Saturday 9 September – WriteNow London
Saturday 16 September – WriteNow Bristol
Saturday 23 September – WriteNow Newcastle
Step Two: Shortlisting for the WriteNow mentoring programme
Monday 2 October: We’ll be in touch to let you know if you’ve been shortlisted for the mentoring programme. At this point, we’ll ask you to send us your full manuscript
Monday 16 October: Deadline to send us your full manuscript
November: We’ll arrange a short phone call with each of the writers who have been shortlisted for mentoring during November, while giving our editors time to read your full manuscripts
Monday 4 December: We’ll announce the 10 writers who’ve made it onto our mentoring programme
You can find out more for yourself at the following link:
That’s all for now, but please stay tuned for more updates as and when I hear.