Harlequin’s Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense lines are hosting another pitch opportunity for writers seeking publication with them. I’m excited and working diligently to polish my synopsis and first chapter so I can submit it before the first round deadline.
I don’t remember the exact moment when the desire to become a published author took hold in my heart, but I know it was sometime during my seventh grade year of school. I remember sitting in my bedroom writing and thinking one day I’d walk into a bookstore and see my name on the cover of a book displayed on the shelf. If only I would have worked toward those dreams back then, I might have achieved my goal before now. But really, what does a thirteen-year-old know about dreams?
It was thirty-five years after the writing bug bit me before I decided to actively seek publication. I’d heard about a pitch opportunity with the Harlequin Love Inspired line. Having been an avid reader of their books for several years, I knew I’d love nothing more than to be one of their authors.
In that first pitch opportunity, I received a request to submit a proposal. Which I did, though it was full of many rookie mistakes. Several months later I received a lovely rejection letter from the editor. She kindly explained why my manuscript wouldn’t work, while at the same time praising other aspects of my writing. She could have easily sent me a form rejection letter, but instead, she took the time to offer encouragement. This was priceless to me!
Since that first pitch, six years ago, I have entered two more Harlequin Love Inspired pitch contests. The last two times, I wrote manuscripts targeting the Love Inspired Suspense line. In both of these contests, my manuscript made it to the final round and received multiple revise and resubmit requests from the editor before ultimately being rejected. Obviously, my writing had improved, but I hadn’t quite gotten it right.
And, now, here we go again. I love pitch opportunities because they provide deadlines and push me to accomplish more than I ever thought I could. With the announcement of this newest pitch opportunity, I’m both excited and nervous. Only time will tell if I’ve improved enough to finally receive the coveted book contract.
Some people may wonder why I’d try again. After all, I’ve been seeking publication for years and have received multiple rejections from my dream publisher. Why put myself through the stress and open myself up to possible rejection again? My answer would be, why not?