Arrived home the other day to…ugh…the brown-envelope-with-the-fold-down-the-centre-addressed-in-own-handwriting. Oh well. Husband hovered in the background (remembering last misunderstanding over such – see earlier post, ‘The Curse of the Folded Envelope’). This time the thickness of the envelope proved it must be bad news. A story return.
Well, yes and no. The story was returned, but with a long covering letter. Now this is new to me – in the past all my stories have either been accepted or flatly rejected with the usual standard letter. But here was a detailed letter from Shirley Blair at The People’s Friend saying overall she liked some aspects of the story, but had reservations about other aspects. I was very impressed that a busy editor would take the time to do this – her points were sensible, well thought out, and proved she’d really thought about the characters as people.
So over the weekend, I’ve been busily re-writing – hopefully to address Shirley’s concerns. She’s right of course; I’m convinced the story is now stronger. Sometimes you just need another good eye to point out those things you should have seen for yourself. I’ll have to wait and see if the re-working has been successful, but in any case, it’s been a useful exercise. And for anyone out there thinking of submitting to The Friend for the first time, be assured, Shirley is a very supportive editor.