So, hope. That thing at the end of the box (yeah, thanks for that, Pandora). The International Literary Festival Dublin is kicking off in May, and way back in March they announced details of their Meet An Agent Day, on the 20th of May. That sounds good, said the voice in mah brain. That event would be an ideal way to get our Ladies up and running.
They needed 1500 words, a synopsis, author bio and ten quid as submission fee. I got all of them ready, and to be honest edited the start to focus on Janet; she’s my strongest character with the clearest arc, I wanted her front and centre. So my first scene became the domestic scene, with all the subtext I had inputted. I sent it off, with an actual kiss on the envelope. Please oh please. Please.
The Universe loves suspense. The organisers were kind enough to push back the entry date due to the postal problems. As a result, the date of announcement was pushed back slightly, from last Friday, to this Tuesday (today). I know this, because I asked them in as breezy a fashion as I could.
— Claire Nolan (@ClaireNolan) April 7, 2017
See? All good. They said it would be Monday, nothing to worry about.
Then, there was a brief email sent out saying that the announcement would be sent out by Tuesday 11th April. Grand.
Hang on, ‘by’? As in, by midnight Monday? On Tuesday, but at some undefined time? Should I give hope the concrete shoes and chuck them in the water by Monday midnight, or should I keep going until Wednesday’s dawn chorus? Should I ask them again online, or would that mean I was on a list?
I hit on the unhealthy plan of checking out the hashtag #ilfdublin agent on Twitter; if someone got a place, they most certainly would be annoucing it on their own social media. Okay. So off I go to the refresh button, checking for any sign. Nothing so far. Then, lunch with a dear friend who I have not seen for a very long time, and had missed a lot. I will admit to having my personal account open on my desk when I got back to my desk. There was nothing in my inbox. But wait, there! In my Promotions folder, (thanks Google) was an email. I didn’t get to breathe before I clicked it open.
No. No invite or novel fair for me. I thought about sending out an email in response; “Dear Literary Festival, many thanks for your rejection. However, we have received many other fine rejections and unfortunately yours was not successful. So I expect to show up and be made a fuss of on the 20th. See you there,” etc. You will be proud to learn I did not.
Instead, I am adulting like a pro; I will be going along on the day anyway, as should you, it is an amazing day. You know how many were invited? Approximately five people. I am not sure if it is five per agent, or five in total, but that is still a tiny amount to pick out from hundreds. As egotistical as I am, even I can see the odds were against it, and that there is no shame in this, just in over-reacting to this. It is still a good day, and my ladies deserve to be championed. Hugs to you all.