Posts Tagged Hachette
Little Museum of Hope – Cover Reveal!
Posted by Sally Jenkins in Promotion, Successes on February 22, 2023
I can hardly believe that Little Museum of Hope now has an actual cover (isn’t it beautiful?) and a pre-order link. This book has been a decade in the making and now it’s becoming a reality!
Around 10 years ago I read a newspaper article about The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. Its website describes the sole purpose of this museum as ‘treasuring and sharing your heartbreak stories and symbolic possessions. It is a museum about you, about us, about the ways we love and lose.’ This sparked my imagination and I decided to write a series of linked short stories based on a fictional version of this museum.
For a short time, I dabbled in self-publishing these stories on Kindle. The first was ‘Maxine’s Story’ about a teenager who has an unplanned pregnancy. The story went through various rewrites and became one of the six stories shortlisted for The 2016 Just Write Creative Writing Competition organized by Writing Magazine and John Murray Press. The prize was a rooftop reception at the London offices of the publisher Hachette. As well as the other shortlisted authors, there were several industry professionals present at the reception and a conversation I had with a representative of Cornerstones Literary Consultancy made me realise that these stories, about individual donors to the museum, could be woven together as a novel.
Creating a novel from short stories was more difficult than I expected because it needed an additional storyline or two which could run through the whole of the novel, thus binding it together. There were several stumbling blocks along the way but I stuck with it because I was convinced that the concept was strong. In 2017 the novel gained an agent’s attention in a Twitter pitching competition and I was given feedback on the whole manuscript. I edited the novel following this advice but the agent decided not to take it further.
In 2018 I was signed by a different agent on the strength of the novel. Together we did more editing but it failed to sell to any of the large publishers. Last year I decided to independently submit to smaller publishers and I was delighted when the ‘tasting panel’ at Ruby Fiction enjoyed Little Museum of Hope – I had finally found a publisher for the book.
Over the past few weeks there have been structural edits to hone the story for the readership of Ruby Fiction – mainly to add in some additional ‘bright spots’, in order to provide light relief from the emotional stories which the donors bring to the museum. There will be more work to come before the publication date of 25th April 2023. But today I’m sitting back and enjoying the satisfaction of seeing something that’s been brewing for ten years take its first faltering steps in the big wide world – and I’m really glad I didn’t give up at the first hurdle!
Little Museum of Hope is now available to preorder and will then be automatically delivered to you on 25th April. Fingers crossed that you think it’s worth the ten year gestation period!
Celebrating on a London rooftop!
Posted by Sally Jenkins in Competitions, Events, Successes on August 19, 2016
Last night I and five other short-listed authors were sipping sparkling wine in the rooftop garden of Hachette UK. Also among us were the team from Writing Magazine, several of the authors published by the various imprints of Hachette, editors and literary consultants. Earlier in the day we’d each made a short video interview in the Darwin room (Origin of the Species was one of the first books published by the company). It was all exciting stuff!
The six of us had been shortlisted from 130 entrants in the 2016 Just Write Creative Writing Competition organised in association with Writing Magazine and John Murray Press. The competition asked for short stories of 4,000 to 8,000 words in any genre and on any theme.
In true award ceremony style, the name of the winner was taken from a ‘gold’ envelope and announced to the waiting crowd. Emma J Myatt was the worthy winner and we expect great things from her in the future! There followed lots of chatting to literary people and I got encouraging feedback for an idea I have in mind – something to work on for the future …
We all came away on a high, with goody bags full of books plus copies of the newly-printed anthology containing all six of our shortlisted stories. And we were kept busy signing the anthologies for lots of the other guests to take home – I felt like I was famous as people kept pushing books in front of me to sign!
Many thanks to everyone involved in organising the event and I’ll be watching for my fellow shortlistees – Louise Hare, Sumana Khan, Ian Laskey and Dan Purdue – to hit the big time!