Back home to an empty house and another rejection

I got off the train from London last night and discovered that it had been raining again – it had been dry in London! I spent Friday night with my daughter. We had a delicious Moroccan meal with one of my oldest friends; we’ve known each other since we were eleven years old and it was wonderful to get together after a few years. Yesterday my daughter and I attended a presentation at the offices of Penguin Random House and, even though I’ve had some poetry and a couple of stories for very young children published in anthologies, it was the first time that I have seen an extract (the first two chapters) of my YA novel The Haunted Tide in print. It has been published in a special book for submissions of the alumni of the Penguin Random House Writers Academy. We had very interesting and useful presentations from an agent, a publisher, cover designer and other people involved in book publishing, and the chance to meet the wonderful people with whom we had previously only communicated in an on-line forum. It was a fabulous day which we extended by having a drink and a very lively and, at times, hilarious chat in the pub next door before going our separate ways.

Ellen and me 1

On Vauxhall Bridge with my daughter

However, I arrived home alone to bad weather, an empty house and another rejection, this time from an independent children’s publisher for Joe and Nelly. I was feeling a bit deflated until my husband, for the very first time, Skyped me from New York. I could see the Empire State building through his hotel room window and that was surreal. Now it’s six in the morning and I’m listening to him on the radio in a show he recorded for North Norfolk Radio on Wednesday before he left for the States. When the show is over, it’s off to collect the cats – the house is not a home without them and I miss them terribly. After that I will be meeting an ex-student for a coffee and then getting something for my evening meal from the local supermarket, which I will be eating in front of the TV this evening – Dr Who is back for a new series!

Early Hours

In the fraudulent electric

Light of the room

Cobwebby shadows lurk

Remnants of night-time gloom

Clinging to rags of dreams

And nightmares of doom

From under the blinds

Steals a brand new day

Translucent light

Timid, weak and grey

Faint promise of new opportunity

Perhaps a happy twist of fate

6 thoughts on “Back home to an empty house and another rejection

  1. Hi Kim , It was really lovely to meet you and your daughter yesterday. I was sorry I was unable to come to the pub afterwards. Also disappointed about your rejection – we really do have to grow an extra skin don’t we ! Good you were able to see and speak to your husband in New York ,

    Penny x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Penny. Ellen and I loved meeting you too. At the pub we agreed to Malcolm setting up a closed Facebook group for us all called the Random Penguins and we also talked about meeting up at least once a year in places near to where members live. I said that I would start Random Penguins photos for the Facebook page, where you take a photo of yourself with a copy of the submissions book in a random or unusual place! I’m going to think about alternative ways of publishing and give some of them a go. I hope you got home safely and without too much hassle.
      Kim x


  2. Hi Kim, I am sorry to hear this as all rejection is hurtful, especially for such an undoubtedly good book as Joe and Nelly. Did you get any feedback? No worries if not – that’s usual. Penny is right to say that writers need to grow a second skin! But in a case of Joe and Nelly, there is nothing wrong with the concept or the writing, so it will just be that it wasn’t what that publisher was looking for at this time. Keep this firmly in mind. Have you tried finding an agent? What about the one who addressed the PRH day? That might be a good step before rushing to any alternative publishing. But in the mean time – keep writing and I loved meeting you yesterday. What a great blog site! Best wishes, Barbara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Barbara. I did make a note to myself to submit J and N to Lutyens and Rubinstein. That was my first rejection from a publisher – all the others have been from agents but they have explained that J & N didn’t fit in their lists, which I understand. I was hoping to get the agents of Michael Morpurgo or Nina Bawden interested. I have been searching Agent Hunter to find the right one but have had no luck as yet. Maybe Jane Finigan will like The Haunted Tide and that might lead her to me. I have my potions ready! All the best, Kim 🙂


    2. Hi Barbara,
      I’ve sent Joe and Nelly to Lutyens & Rubinstein, following the instructions on their submissions page. The letter is addressed to Jane Finigan but the email is to Susannah Goodman. I just hope I hear back from them.
      Best wishes,


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