The New and Missing Adventures: how to have your submission
Words of Wisdom(?) from Kate Orman
This FAQ is intended for people who are considering sending a
New or Missing Adventures submission in to Virgin Publishing -
especially people who haven't submitted anything to a publisher
Now, Virgin have zillions of NAs and MAs sent to them every day
by hopeful writers, many of whom have never put pen to paper
before. The sheer volume of submission means that YOU WILL
PROBABLY BE REJECTED. With so many new writers to pick and
choose from, and so many established authors on thier books, Virgin
can safely reject just about anything that comes their way.
There are many things that can cause your manuscript to be
rejected. Many writers, especially newbies, insist on making
one of the following blunders, no matter what advice they have
received - from another writer, from Virgin, it doesn't seem to
So here's a list of ways to make sure your New or Missing
Adventure is rejected!
- Whatever you do, don't send a large envelope plus return
postage (or IRCs) to Virgin to get the latest writers' guidelines.
If you don't know what's happening with the series, you can be
sure of a rejection slip. (Virgin's address is inside every New and
- Don't read any of the New or Missing Adventures. That way you
can come up with terrific continuity errors, or better still,
repeat an idea that's already been published!
- If you succeed in getting a rejection slip, immediately write
back and argue with the editor over why your book *should* have
been accepted. That'll make you look as unprofessional as
CONTENT AND PRESENTATION
- Include the Valeyard. (Stories involving the Valeyard are
- Include the Daleks.
- Include any other monster from the TV series. Showing a lack
of originality, plus possibly creating an expensive copyright
problem, is a great way to get that rejection slip! (There have
been several NAs recently with old monsters - but all of them
were written by well-established authors.)
- Include so many spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors
that Virgin would have to pay to have the manuscript edited and
re-typed. (Remember, the manuscript you send in, if accepted, is
marked up and sent directly to the printers for typesetting.)
- Write it by hand, on both sides of the paper, with no margins -
or otherwise ignore the instructions in the writers' guidelines.
Make sure you don't include page numbers or put your name on any
of the pages - that way your manuscript could actually be lost
Those are just a few ways to guarantee a rejection slip. But even
if you avoid all those pitfalls, it's still very likely that your
manuscript will be rejected. (Lots of mine have been.)
Rejection slips are normal and healthy. I hear that Asimov was
still getting them up until the time of his death. If you're a
writer, a rejection slip may bruise you, anger you, and cast you in
the pit of despair - but it won't stop you. Take a deep breath,
come up with another idea, and try again.