February's Inspirational Quote

"One Hour at a Time"
~ Laurie Wallmark.

Dear Laurie,
You might not recall saying this and perhaps I won't remember the specifics but you are our inspiration for the rest of February and maybe even March.

You and I were on the phone and talking about how hard it is to write a novel and as usual I was whining and feeling sorry for my long-a$$ journey. And you told me about how you were working and how busy you were so you wrote your novel one hour at a time. Astounded I said, "You wrote your novel one hour at a time?" And you said, "Yup." And I thought, "Wow... ... ..."

Often times we think we need - or I think I need - huge chunks of time set aside so I can write. Do you do that too? What if we gave ourselves one hour of each day? If it turns into two, well then fine, but if not, at least you still had your One Hour at a Time. So that is the motto of the month, thanks to ours truly, Laurie Wallmark.

We love you, Laurie!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Keeping Track of Manuscript Submissions

I like to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my submissions. That way, I don’t inadvertently send the same publisher more than one manuscript at a time or resend the same manuscript to a publisher. I use one row for each manuscript/publisher pair. Here are the columns I use:

STATUS: 1=Active, waiting for response; 2=Rejected or its been so long that I assume it’s a rejection
MANUSCRIPT: One word abbreviation of the manuscript title
WHERE: Publisher
WHO: Editor
ALERT DATE: Date I expect a response based on publisher’s website and internet discussion forums (like the one at
SUBMISSION DATE: Date mailed/emailed
DAYS: Days since submitting. Excel will figure this out automatically for you if you enter the formula TODAY()-F2 (where you put the cell containing the submission date instead of F2)
RESPONSE DATE: Date publisher responded
RESPONSE: Accepted, rejected, personal rejection, revision request, etc.
WHAT: Full manuscript, query letter, 3 chapters, synopsis, etc.
VERSION: You do, of course, number your revisions and keep a copy of any revision which was submitted, don't you. (I use 1.0, 2.0, etc. for major changes and 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 for minor changes.)
ESTIMATED RESPONSE TIME: Based on publisher’s website and internet discussion forums (like the one at
NOTES: Sent via email, no response unless interested, met at NJ SCBWI conference, status query sent and date, etc. I also keep notes in this column about interim responses (request for revision, status query reply, etc.)

Because it’s so easy to sort data in Excel, I can easily see:
- where I’ve sent a specific manuscript
- if I don’t have a manuscript at a specific publisher, so I am free to submit one
- whether it’s time to send out a status query
- whether it’s time to give up on the manuscript/publisher and move on

Hope this helps you keep track of your submissions.


Patricia said...

Thank you, Laurie! This is a great system. I appreciate your passing it along.

Sheri said...

Sorry it took me so long to respond. Thank you for posting this awasome technique abotu how to keep yourself organized and aware.

Can you bring a sample hard copy into the next facilitator's meeting? I would love to see it and perhaps bring a copy sample to my small group.


Jeanne said...

Even though I barely have a clue in Excel, I could still figure out a table in another program - this is a great idea. I look forward to having lots of stuff to fill in the boxes!