Saturday, 16 July 2011


I have just received my first rejection letter. I've had my stories rejected before via email, but there's something more formal and 'professional' feeling about receiving a physical letter!

The Editor thanks you very much for submitting the enclosed manuscript, but regrets that it is not quite suitable for her requirements.

Standard, run of the mill, and nothing personal. 

I thought my story had a pretty good chance, because it received an honourable mention in a competition I entered earlier this year. Lesson learned: just because it is right for one person or publication, doesn't mean it will do it for another!

Still, rejection hasn't upset me as much as I thought it would. Because at the end of the day, there is nothing in the letter that should upset me - no negative comments about the theme or characterisation or my writing simply doesn't meet their specific requirements.

The only way is forward - time to look somewhere else, maybe research the target market better and try again. And again, and again, and again. There will be a home for it somewhere, so instead of feeling bad about it not being accepted in one magazine, I can look forward and know that when it does find a home, it will absolutely be the right one.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Farewell Harry Potter

Today is being called the day that Harry Potter 'ends'. The premiere is going on as I type, and my inner geek is very tempted to watch it live on YouTube! 

There are people who genuinely don't understand the hype that surrounds the franchise, but for people my age it is very obvious - it is a definitive end to our childhoods. I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when I was seven years old, before it became a worldwide phenomenon. I remember sitting on the sofa with my dad, reading aloud as part of my homework, and him telling me I was pronouncing Hermione's name all wrong (wisdom I passed on to a teacher who read it to our class a year later, and made the same mistake as me.)

I then continued to grow up with him. 

My mum had to allocate time slots for my brother and I to share a new book on the day it came out. We'd be up at seven, waiting eagerly for the delivery man from Amazon to ring the doorbell... At school, after endless speculation about who was going to die and what was going to happen, it became a race to finish before your friends. My violin lessons went by without playing a single note as my violin teacher and I debated whether or not Snape was a good guy.

I wrote a short, fun article earlier this year, 'Harry Potter: A Decade in Numbers' which I intended to send to a magazine. The magazine went under and I never did find another market for it, so I've decided to post it here in celebration!

Want to know the oldest person to play a student, the number of words in Order of the Phoenix, or the number of named characters in the Harry Potter universe? You'll have to click below to see it, because I'm feeling playful :)