Tag Archives: AltWorld

Disappointment and New Decisions

After waiting for 15 months, I finally heard back from HarperVoyager’s open submission contest yesterday.
Considering the odds (12 selected out of more than 4,500!), it isn’t surprising that I got a rejection. But it sucks to be so close (in the final week!) and yet still not be among those selected. (Worse, I just got a form letter. I had been hoping for maybe something more personal–and helpful in terms of understanding what to change–since I am in the final tier.)
On the other hand, each piece was looked over by several editors and other readers, and they liked my work enough to keep it to the bitter end. That means it must be pretty strong, right? Nigh-publishable, even if not exactly to their particular taste? That, in a way, is good news.
It’s still a bitter feeling to have waited so long and come so close, but I’m trying to take a positive feeling from it. It does, however, leave me to wait for new decisions: What do I do now?
I submitted that manuscript, Alt.World, to HarperVoyager’s contest because I had already gone through an unsuccessful round of queries that got me little response, and I was emotionally exhausted by the process. But now I have new hope and renewed energy, and I think I am going to spend a few months at least, using all that I’ve learned about writing a good query letter, to pitch it to agents again and restart the process.
However, it is a tough choice, and sometimes I wonder about self-publishing it and going (hopefully) the Wool route. It is a near-future speculative fiction work, after all, and I have some concerns that it is a little too close to real-world timelines. I feel like there is an imperative to get it out relatively soon before it becomes less relevant.
Tough choices.

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Waiting Marathon: Harper Voyager Open Submissions Top 12%

I submitted my first book, Alt.World, to the Harper Voyager massive open submissions experiment back in October of last year. They were completely overwhelmed by the huge response–which just shows how many eager authors there are still struggling to get an agents’ attention–and their original plan to finish by January was completely abandoned. So we’ve been waiting awhile.

There was another update this week, which is great! They are now down to 550 submissions out of the original 4,543 (no wonder it’s taking awhile!), and–as far as I know*–I’m still under consideration.

For those rare birds who can do both math and English, that puts us at 12.1% remaining, and the odds of making the final cut (assuming they stick with keeping only twelve) have greatly improved, from a 0.264% chance to a 2.2% chance. So, woo!

Now I say “as far as I know” because they offered up an email address by which the contenders could ask the status. I did that months ago, and never heard back, and it turns out that the manuscript of one guy waiting patiently all this time hadn’t actually gotten into the system, so that’s scary. But I did get an email confirmation that it got to HV originally, so best I can do is keep hoping my dystopia stands a chance.

But no matter what, top 12% says something, right?

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