In the spirit of ‘New Year, New Me!’ (despite wearing the same three Matalan sweatshirts on rotation since March last year), I recently took Bang2Write‘s (aka Lucy V. Hay‘s) Submissions Secrets course.
The course was a week-long guide to making the most of your work once you’ve completed the mini-Everest of getting the thing finished in the first place.
I’m terrible for finishing a piece of work, then submitting it to a handful (at most) of competitions and contacts, before consigning it to the drawer, convinced that only a few rejections makes it unmarketable. I then don my itchy rejection sack and sit in the corner, rocking softly and weeping.
Imagine my surprise (not surprised at all) when it turns out I’ve been doing it wrong all this time! Turns out I just need a strategy, industry knowledge and some proper research, rather than doing a scattergun ‘throw it at a random wall and see what sticks’.
Whenever I’ve managed to place a project in the past it’s been more through luck than judgement – and now I’m slightly staggered at my success rate to date. Now, having done the course I feel armed with everything I need to
annoy people launch my projects with the right people. So watch out/hide as appropriate.
How it works
Lucy’s course was incredibly well put-together, with so many free resources I wonder where she gets the time to create them all. The course covered all aspects of successful submissions, from the contents of a package, to query letters, researching contacts – and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Lucy and co-host Drew were incredibly generous with their time and resources, stopping for questions throughout and taking time to explain niche peculiarities of the industry.
The course delegates also provided great feedback, tips and advice – and crucially the thing I think is most important to writers – a supportive network. I was surprised at how much the delegates (myself included) opened up about some of the fears, insecurities and other attendant horrors that conspire to bring writers down at seemingly every turn.
With enough rejection, false starts, wrong-project-wrong-time farragoes and other nightmares for writers, the last thing we need is to hobble ourselves with self-doubt. Luckily, Olivia Brennan of Into The Script held a great bonus session at the end of the course which was the perfect tonic for self-doubt and self-sabotage.
If you’re a writer in any doubt about the way you’re marketing yourself or your work – take this course. Trust me – it’s worth it.