The first query for my book left my hands and slid into the black hole of the mailbox. Instead of relief, I am filled with anxiety. Did I include everything? Was my hook interesting enough to grab the attention of Brooke Warner at Seal Press? (www.sealpress.com) All I can do now is wait.
As an intern at Crazyhorse, the literary journal for the College of Charleston (www.crazyhorse.cofc.edu) I am reading a lot of submissions. When I hold the yellow mailer in my hands, I want to love what is inside. I know these writers are just like me. And yet, I can’t get past the first paragraph of some.
“This is so bad,” I say to my husband who is sitting next to me on the couch after the boys are asleep. How can this be so bad? I wonder. I keep reading because I want to be fair. I am hopeful that the editors reading my stories, continue past the first paragraph. I am hopeful that my writing grabs their attention so that they keep reading and think, I want to know more. I hope that books will continue to be published, marketed, placed carefully in a good spot on the shelf at locally owned bookstores, purchased by customers who still love to read and taken home to be curled up with at night in bed. I hope that pages will be folded over to mark a part in the book that the reader loved, that the book will be given to another reader and another. Most of all, I hope because of places like Seal Press, that I will one day walk into a bookstore and find my book on the shelves.
Seal Press is a woman’s press dedicated to, “publish books by women for women and which inform women’s lives,” says Brooke Warner in an interview for Media Bistro.(http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a8168.asp) I discovered Seal through my fellow writers at Literary Mama who published their anthology, “Reading For The Maternally Inclined” (www.literarymama.com) with Seal.
I pick up another mailer, pull out the next story and read it all the way through. This one is good.