In the shower this morning I was thinking that I should put my list of submissions into some kind of order, and was wondering whether to sort them by date or alphabetically. Then while I was rinsing my hair, my mind wandered onto the definition of the word ‘submission’.
As writers we submit our manuscripts to agents and publishers and competitions, sending out work we have laboured over, sworn over, sweated blood over, to be judged by strangers. The word 'submission', like so many in the English language, has more than one meaning, some with unfortunate connotations.
I look it up in the dictionary: "Submission – the act of referring a document for consideration."
Yes, that’s what we do, I can live with that definition, thank you.
But of course my eye is drawn further down the page; "Submission – the act of being subject to another."
That is quite a different matter and I don't like that meaning at all, but when we get a rejection, that’s how it feels - someone else has the upper hand in our lives - not pleasant at all.
So, rather like probing a sore tooth, I go to the Thesaurus.:"To submit – to acquiesce, to capitulate, to throw in the sponge, to endure." It gets worse and worse and I am getting more depressed by the minute.
But hang on – this is better: "To submit – to advance, to assert, to propose." Okay - that's what I did two months ago, and although I am still waiting for an answer (with fading hopes) I shall remain positive. If that agent doesn't want my novel  I shall remain assertive and carry on submitting it, advancing it, proposing it - and the next agent will love it - or the next ,,,


  1. I've never thought of it like this, but you're so right! We need to come up with a different word to use when we send work to be evaluated by someone else.

  2. You do need to keep good records of your submissions - it's amazingly easy to forget what's out where.

    The fate of our writing often is subject to someone else's will - but it's just that piece at that time, the writer isn't submitting themselves for rejection (although I know it can sometimes feel that way)

  3. I have the same thoughts whenever I say the word 'submission', especially with the rise of 50 Shades!

    I've had my submissions on database for a very long time. I use MS Access and have spent a very long time designing reports etc. Any question I have about my stories is reasily available. Yes, I am a geek!

  4. I used to be much more organised regarding my submissions when I was studying with the Writer's Bureau. A number of years later, I've become lazy or rather a bit chaotic. Perhaps to be more organised could be my belated New Year Resolution. Thanks Lizy!

  5. What a clever post. Yes,it feels exactly like that. Every time I get a rejection I swear I'll throw in the sponge but next day I'm being all resolute again, and we'll never get anything accepted if we don't submit!


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