The Writing Life: Champagne for Emails
Written by
Caryn Riswold
October 2015
Written by
Caryn Riswold
October 2015

Fellow She-Writers who are or have been in the submission process will appreciate this:

I opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate getting an email.

The email simply replied to a query and asked for submission of the full manuscript for review.

It did say that they publish novels sparingly, and that the review process would take months, but that the acquisitions editor was “definitely intrigued.”

But when the writing life is mostly about crafting queries, researching agents, editors, publishers, and the process, sending inquiries out into the void and waiting for replies that never come, getting an email is a THING.

A good thing. A reason to open that bottle of champagne that we’d brought along to celebrate our short writing retreat anyway. (Okay, it wasn’t French so technically it was just sparkling wine from one of our favorite wineries….)

The day after I sent the manuscript, of course, a new form of worry emerged: If they reject it now, I’ll know it’s because they read it and really just don’t want it.

Is that worse?


There’s no escaping the cycle of self-doubt and worry, is there? If it weren’t balanced by sincere belief in the story I’ve written, and the knowledge that there is a publishing home for it out there, somewhere, I’d give up.

So I keep moving on. Sending out more queries and submissions, another one just today.

While I wait, write, read, check the inbox, revise, and try to just keep on breathing.

With occasional breaks for a glass of bubbly.

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