Happy new year and here’s an update from Megaphone – finally!
Thank you so much to everyone who applied and everyone who spread the word. We had 62 applications which I think, for a new project – starting from zero in terms of publicity – with a relatively demanding application process, for a long-term commitment, is a really good result.
The next couple of weeks will be quiet on here as I focus on shortlisting the 62 applications down to 10. These 10 will then go to the publishers and they will be asked to indicate their favourites. I’ll take this into account when making the final selection of five. I aim to inform the five successful applicants on the 16th of February, and unsuccessful applicants in the week just after.
Having said the awful words ‘unsuccessful applicants’… I want to stress my huge congratulations to every one of you who applied. I know that hearing ‘applying is a success in itself’ can be annoying – we all know we want to be published. But the truth is, applying for writer development programmes, sending submissions to publishers, entering competitions and all the rest we do to get our writing read, IS brave and brilliant and exactly what writers at all levels need to do if they want to reach readers. It can be scary to send your heart and soul out there. I certainly found it so when I was seeking publication, and I still do now. So if you applied – congratulate yourself. Congratulate yourself for writing in, for getting it done, for meeting the deadline. Even if you didn’t meet it, there will be next year (I hope!). And congratulate yourself just for WRITING full stop. Writing is a joy and a pleasure but it can also be a struggle for so many reasons. It doesn’t become less of a struggle when you’re published (sometimes it becomes more of a struggle). So you’re all doing brilliantly just by putting fingers to keyboard, pen to paper.
So keep writing, keep enjoying writing – and I look forward to reading your great stories in the next few weeks. And finally, thank you also for completing the online survey – this is really important because it allows me to get an idea of what’s working, what isn’t working and what needs addressing, and prepare a useful report for the funders. I’m really pleased to say that the feedback has been very positive overall – the main concern was to get the word out more. I agree this would be great, and will be working on it in the coming year so that (again, I hope!) if Megaphone runs again, we’ll have channels already open for promoting the scheme.