Apologies to the trees, but woohoo!

1 Sep

THROWN in all its hard-copy glory

I’m sipping a flute of Prosecco as I write this. Not an unusual event for me, but tonight it’s for a reason. Here’s the deal. Yesterday I got an email from someone I didn’t know with the subject: Query: THROWN. I figured it was my first full-on rejection from an agent.

Happily, I was stupendously wrong.

It was a request for a “full,” or a complete manuscript! I read it over and over to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me (after all, my Lasik has seen better days). When I was sure it was true, I read it several times over just because I was so excited. A FULL! This means the agent read the approximately 55 pages I’d sent last week (just last week—these people were on the ball) and liked it enough to ask for the rest. Mind you, agents typically don’t get paid for reading manuscripts. Their days are filled with taking care of their current clients, so they read submissions from new writers after hours and on weekends. In other words, for an agent to request a full means she thinks enough of your writing to commit to reading it in her free time.

This particular agent doesn’t accept email submissions, so I had to go old school. I printed out the whole thing—all 360-something pages, one sided (sorry, trees!). It’s 1.75″ thick! (Of COURSE I measured.) I went to UPS, plopped my baby in a manuscript box and sent it on its way. I got to write “REQUESTED” on the label in red marker, the magic word that gets your manuscript one of the best tables in the restaurant, as it were.

This was the first time I’d ever printed out my manuscript one-sided. Is it bad that I enjoyed printing it out because I could read snippets as it came out of the printer, and also because it made my work tangible, a thing to give to someone else? This is, by the by, the traditional way to present a manuscript to an agent. As I walked across the parking lot to the UPS store, all I could think of was the last scene in “Wonder Boys” where the wind scatters the book manuscript. Although it was windy, my pages all made it into the box unscathed.

What’s next? I wait. The email said I’d hear back in six to eight weeks, so by Halloween, I should know if it’s thumbs up or down. I am again reminded of the glacial pace of publishing, but who cares? SHE ASKED FOR A FULL!!

P.S. For those of you wondering if Galley’s picture made it into the Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog calendar…it did! (See previous post for details.)


  1. Michele Says:

    “WHAT!!!” Said the soon-to-be-represented, romantic-comedy novelist’s friend from New York! Okay, so those were a lot of adjectives, but you sense my excitement. No one works harder that you, my dear, and I’m sending good witchy energy your way. Hope your dream is realized. xo

  2. Diana McOwen Says:

    I am so very excited for you Colette! Please keep us posted. Oh, and thanks for the update about the puppy pic. I adore that shot. It was a shoe-in of course.
    All digits crossed for you.

  3. Susan Boucher Says:

    A tree should be so lucky! Lots of times they just end up as grocery bags. Those upon which your ms has been thrown (cast?) at least get to go out in style.

    Brooke is very proud.

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