Thursday, October 7, 2010

To sub or not to sub

While over 800 aspirant writers anxiously await The List (for those who aren't as obssessed by the New Voices contest as I am, this is the list HMB have promised us of entries they want to see more of), I have a question to pose: 
If HMB does not request your contest entry, do you plan to stick it in a bottom drawer or to sub this story elsewhere?

Of course, I'm one of the 814 hoping this is not a situation I'll have to face, but even so I know exactly what I'd do: the bottom drawer.

Because when I do sell to HMB one day (and I'm determined to!) I want to have a whole bunch of manuscripts ready to be re-worked and re-submitted. I'm hoping that by then I'll be more experienced and know how to 'fix' them, so that instead of making just the one sale, I'll be able to sell a whole bunch more to my dream publisher!

But I also realise that there are times when submitting to A.N. Other publisher might be a better option for a manuscript. If you know the story doesn't really fit the targeted HMB line but it'd break your heart to change it to fit, then you need to follow your heart.

There are also times when the validation of having an editor say "I love this and I want to buy it" is more important than sticking to the longer term dream.

So if Harlequin Mills & Boon is your dream, what would you do?


  1. Just stumbled upon your blog, but your answer to your question is just about exactly what I've been feeling about my N.V entry. I love the story, but it needs some major reworking I'm not sure I'm ready for, so it'd go in the drawer until I think I've gotten to a stronger place to write that story.

  2. Definitely my bottom drawer. I love my characters hugely and want to tell their story so if M&B don't want to see any more right now I hope I'll be able to rework after I've sold (blind optimism is flowing through me tonight!!) when I have a better idea what they want.

  3. M&B is the dream for me too. Everything goes in the draw (and it's going to have to be a very big draw).

  4. Hi, Romy,

    I didn't make THE LIST, so I'm trying to decide what to do. As you know, I strayed from my usual type of writing (a la Presents) and penned a paranormal chapter for the contest. That's all I have. It isn't finished. I've been plotting and planning and rewriting, but now I know I'm not getting a request and it's decision time. I'm trying to figure out if I should finish it and send it elsewhere, or if I should put it in the drawer and go back to trying to write for Presents (a dream I will never give up on...not even when I'm ninety!).

    Decisions, decisions....

    Best wishes,


  5. I didn't make the list either - commiserations Trenda. I've already subbed my NV entry cos the ed I've been working with for a while said I could send her the partial but your sub elsewhere or drawer question is a toughie for me.

    You see I always used to think M&B all the way for me, but I've been starting to wonder of late. I don't want a story out there if it's NOT good enough but if it just falls between the lines then maybe it could find a home elsewhere.

    I had a mss R'd by M&B a couple of months back and so I decided to try it at Carina. This is a story that would have to be completely rewritten to fit any of the M&B lines now, which would mean losing its essence. So I decided to give it a shot!

  6. "Seducing His Runaway Wife" will go in the drawer, I guess. : (
    Oh, well. On to the next...

  7. I think I will rework my "Roman" and then sub it. I've got another "Roman" currently awaiting it's RNA NWS critque so I'll see where I get with that one! Caroline x