Getting Published: News from the Trenches


A few quick updates, my patient friends:

I am currently on what we will call a “break” from querying. I still have a few query letters floating around in cyberspace, but I’m not actively sending out new ones for now.

My reasoning is two-fold: 1) I have queried the bulk of the agents in which I was most interested and which I thought would most suit this particular manuscript; and 2) reading rejections letters while trying to maintain forward momentum on a new project was surprisingly impossible. And so I pause.

In this pause, I am writing the above-mentioned new project (total genre and POV switch! more to come later!), as well as working on the long overdue TLN comic strip, resurrecting a trunk novel using good old-fashioned southern voodoo, developing a few new TLN schemes that I hope you will love (additional revelations coming soon!), re-vamping this website (sorry for any dead links…UNDER CONSTRUCTION and all that), and finishing proof work on my third comic book. Lots of good stuff going on and I feel quite productive. Yet I’d be lying if I said disappointment wasn’t a part of my current emotional cocktail.

I’ve discussed my query break with my crit partner and with fellow lady nerd Viv, both of whom find themselves in similar situations. We know from the countless author blogs we’ve devoured between us that lack of success with the first novel you query is nothing unusual. The opposite, in fact. And yet, disappointing. We’ve also learned over the past year that all projects are not created equal in terms of querying…and that’s okay. We continue on. No one is giving up. No one is surrendering. We will continue to work, continue to create, and continue to query (after a brief pause for sanity’s sake).

So fear not, LadyNerders! Getting published is a rocky, obstacle-strewn path…and we’re in it for the long haul. Much love!


  • Jordan says:

    Just stumbled on your site from Twitter. Read this post and I can relate fully. (Side note- I am a guy, but that doesnt mean I dont think your site is really cool haha.)

    I am a non-fiction writer so I generally don’t do any query letters because I self-publish instead. Still, even though I am technically published since I self-published, the doubt and all of that comes on in full when no one buys.

    For my first book I put so much time and effort into it, but after it didn’t take off at all, I resolved to keep writing even though I was surely disappointed.

    I took a much more reasonable approach to my second book, and it did MUCH better even though I did a lot less. Weird how that works huh?

    All this to say that I guarantee that if you keep working at it you will get an acceptance letter. The only thing that will stop you is actually stopping.

    • M. E. Hearn says:

      Jordan, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment! Although we are lady-nerds, we welcome all gent-nerds with open arms, as well. I’m glad you found us. Yes, I think writing comes with a certain degree of uncertainty and even insecurity, regardless of the type (fiction or non-) or publishing path. Good for you, getting your work out there! I think that’s great. And thanks again for the encouraging words. Writers can’t ever really be strangers to one another, can we? 🙂

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