“Home for Christmas” (HfC) started life as a 2013 Little Gems entry and while it scored well it didn’t make the anthology. One of the judges gave very specific feedback on how to improve the manuscript and in April 2013 - HfC v2 was born – a 6500 word short story, which I subbed to Escape Publishing.
It wasn’t accepted for publication in April, but again I received great feedback and an invitation to resubmit if those issues were addressed. I used the RWA June 50K in 30Days event to work it through and the manuscript grew to 22000 words - HfC v3.
I started the critiquing process and received mixed opinion – I listened to the feedback and rewrote huge chunks to address everyone’s concerns, all the while working towards a goal of re-submitting the manuscript before leaving for the Riding the Waves conference in August. HfC v4 ended up just over 31000 words, and I subbed the first three chapters six hours before I left for the airport. The printed copy I proof-read during the flight was still warm from the printer when I boarded.
After conference, we took a few days to visit Rottnest Island and while working through another proof on the verandah overlooking the beach, I received a request for the full manuscript. Fast forward to October and while visiting Tiaro (a town I will remember forever now) I checked my phone and saw that Home for Christmas had been accepted for publication.
Hubby and I ditched Tiaro, headed for the beach and celebrated with impromptu fish and chips by the water. It's a day I will remember forever.