I didn't want to say anything at first, in case I jinxed it, but I've had an acceptance for a short story! It’s the first one I've had in a long, long time and only the second one to date, and it's with The "lovely" People's Friend.
In times gone by, whenever I sent a story to The People's Friend, it seemed to bounce back with a standard rejection so fast that I used to check for the elastic attached to the envelope. I felt that I was so way off the mark in subbing for this magazine that it wasn't worth bothering. But recently a few writing friends have had such positive feedback asking them to resubmit, following which they made a sale, that I began to wonder if I should try again.
After reading Wendy Clarke's blog, and her glowing reports on the mag, I began to do more than wonder. As Del Boy used to say, "Who dares wins", so I flicked through some past copies of the magazine, decided on a plot that I thought would suit and wrote it. And then rewrote it. And rewrote it again.
When I received a response almost by return you could have knocked me over because this time it wasn't heralded by the ominous thud on the mat, but was from a lovely lady called Alison Cook. She sent me a long email explaining why it wasn't quite right for them, but giving me options to change my plot and characters, and that they would be happy to look at it again.
To be honest, I was just chuffed to receive such detailed feedback from an editor that I thought about what I could do for a few days, and then sat down an rewrote it.
And then I didn't hear from them for ages. I tried not to get my hopes up that it was being seriously considered, and kept expecting an email back saying "sorry not this time", so when I did receive the email I hardly dared open it.
But I'm glad I did because it was good news, and Alison seemed thrilled to be telling me that it was going to be published. I think my family thought I'd finally lost the plot as I danced round the house in joy. When I signed the contracts and posted them back I felt like a proper writer.
The good thing is that The People's Friend pay on acceptance not on publication, so the money's in the bank and I can't wait to see my story in print whenever that may be.
So now, its nose to the grindstone to get working on some more. No point having a success if you don't capitalise on it!