It’s the stuff of dreams, you send off your unsolicited manuscript to one or more coveted publishing houses and, after a few months of silence (in some cases even sooner!), your work is picked up from the hundreds of others languishing in the mountainous slush pile, to begin its long journey to publication. Out of the many unsuccessful pitches to sieve through, occasionally publishers find gold. ArtsHub speaks to a number of authors and publishers about the lucky happenstance when a manuscript finds a home.
Mark Smith’s debut novel, The Road to Winter, was discovered by Text Publishing. ‘I chose Text because they had a strong YA list and a genuine interest in the genre – as evidenced by the yearly Text Prize. I thought my manuscript would fit well with other titles they published. I had missed the deadline for the Text Prize that year, so decided to take my chances on the slush pile. Like a lot of other emerging writers I also had no idea how slim the chances were of being picked up off the slush pile!’ he tells ArtsHub.