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From the Swoon Squad: Don't Give Up (Part III)

Hey there, Swooners,

We are so excited to welcome three new authors into the Swoon family! There were SO many great manuscripts to choose from this season, and we want to thank all of you again for your awesome ratings and comments that pointed us toward these new books.

We truly wish we could select every last manuscript on site. Every single one of them has something special going for it. We know that not being selected for publication can be discouraging. But we want you all to know that we are rooting for you. Don't. Give. Up.

A few of our previously selected Swoon authors have some words of wisdom they wanted to share with you. We hope you find some inspiration in their experiences. 

Keep those chins up and those submissions rolling in. We can't wait for the day when we can select you, too.

♥ Swoon Reads Staff

cindy author photoCindy Anstey

Author of Love, Lies and Spies,
Duels & Deception,
Suitors and Sabotage,
and Carols and Chaos

Hello, fellow writers!

I am here to encourage you to keep on truckin’! Yes, that is my message. A very simple concept and yet, one not easy to achieve. 

It can be wearying to sit at the computer day after day, pouring your heart out and receiving lukewarm, or even cold, feedback. Does it help to know that we have all (most of us anyway) been through the same process?

I have been writing since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. My early works (those authored as a child) were not eloquent, no matter what my mother says. Even when I discovered YA, my first attempts were less than stellar. I wrote and rewrote my first manuscript five times…. Yes, that was five. Still with each revised version, the manuscript improved. I found that if I left it alone for a month or so, I could then look at it with fresh eyes and see the mistakes more clearly (sometimes they screamed). And while I waited to work on the previous manuscript, I wrote another book. Yes, I kept going.

By the time I had completed three full manuscripts, I could feel the story and when it wanted to go off in a different direction. It wasn’t until I gave my story full rein that the narrative started to flow. 

So this is why I suggest that you keep going. Publication is at the end of a long road with many twists and turns—and many knocks along the way. Remember, with every word, every plot puzzled out and every day spent sitting in front of the computer your writing improves. Practice does make perfect… well, maybe not perfect. 

Read novels by authors you admire and books about the writing process. For the most part, remember to enjoy the journey. Nothing compares to that moment when an editor tells you she loves your book and wants to publish it—nothing!

maggie ann martin author photoMaggie Ann Martin

Author of The Big F and To Be Honest

Hey Swooners. I know this isn’t the blog you wanted to be reading this season. I know you wanted to be a featured author with a blurb about your upcoming release. I think most of the current Swoon Reads authors have been in your shoes, watching a season get announced where they hadn’t been picked.

Something I held tight to during those times was something that a writer friend of mine once told me. She said that it only takes one yes to make your dream of having a book deal come true.

One. Yes.

So your yes didn’t happen this season? Keep writing, keep submitting your story, and hold tight to the idea that one day, your story will be able to touch readers’ lives.

Because it will. You just haven’t gotten your yes yet.

jennifer honeybourn author photoJennifer Honeybourn

Author of Wesley James Ruined My Life
and When Life Gives You Demons

There’s no getting around it, rejection sucks. I know this because I have been there, many times, so I thought I could share some of what I’ve learned in the hopes that it will encourage you to keep writing.

Life lessons I learned from being rejected:

• How to be comfortable with criticism. Writing is very subjective. Not everyone will like your book, but learning to gracefully accept criticism is essential. Thoughtful feedback can go a long way in helping you to become a better writer. 

• Persistence. Giving up won’t get you to your goal. It’s hard not to feel like you want to take your ball and go home sometimes, but if you really want to be a published author then you have to find a way to push through it, even when you’re feeling discouraged.

• Find your squad. Making friends with other writers really helped keep me going in the years before Wesley James Ruined My Life was published. A great place to start is by connecting with other writers here on the Swoon Reads site.

• Publishing is a business. Cold, hard truth time: your idea might be great but maybe the market is already saturated with similar stories. Or maybe your book still needs some work before publishers can get behind it. 

• It’s not personal. There are a million different reasons why your manuscript was rejected and not one of them has to do with who you are as a person. This doesn’t mean it won’t sting, but just know that it’s not tied to your worth. 

If I can leave you with anything, it’s this: you wrote a book! You should be very proud of that because it’s a huge accomplishment. My hope is that you’ll keep writing and that one day your book will be on the shelves. 

Looking for potential ways to improve your manuscript? Take a look at some of our previous Open Edit Letters explaining some of the most common reasons manuscripts weren't selected:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


And be sure to check out Part I and Part II of this pep talk series.

Author spotlight

Swoon Reads Staff

For more information, check out the "Meet the Team" section of our About page (

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