29 April 2014

Win a copy of 'Crossing' and a prize pack of books for your school!

To celebrate the May 2014 release of Crossing, the new novel by Catherine Norton, we're having a competition! What can you win?
Three winning entries will receive a prize pack of books valued at $50 plus a signed copy of Crossing.
To enter, go to the author’s website, read an excerpt from Crossing and imagine in 25 words or less what you would do in Cara’s situation with ninety-two eggs. Cook an omelette for a giant?  Start an easter bunny franchise? The longest egg and spoon race ever? 
Entries close Tuesday 10 June 2014. (Open to all residents of Australia aged between 10 and 18.) So get cracking! (Oops, sorry.)

Twelve-year-old Cara has grown up in the shadow of the Wall, in a closed world of food shortages and high security. Her parents are dedicated to their secret work for the government, and it’s only a matter of time before her gifted younger sister follows in their footsteps.
It’s all Cara has ever known, until the summer she meets Ava and Leon. Ava doesn’t care about rules. Nothing will ever be the same.

07 April 2014

Indignant but anonymous authors
I know, better than most, how dispiriting it is to not have your work accepted for publication.  I feel for the many, many authors and illustrators who send their work to us and hear nothing back.  In the past Omnibus religiously responded to every single submission - we kept all rejection letters, we entered names addresses and manuscripts into a database.  It was a huge amount of work.  Then our office staff was reduced and we had no choice but to stop doing those things because if we tried to we were all going to lose our minds.  We put up new guidelines.  We encouraged anyone who rang us to read them.  We explained that if an author had heard nothing in three months they could safely assume their work had not been accepted.  We updated the guidelines regularly to inform people about which month's submissions had been finished - we worked harder at clearing the unsolicited pile so that people didn't have to wait as long to find out the status of their work.

Apparently this is not enough for some.  We have had a handful of bitter letters from people telling us how horrible we are for not responding - always anonymous of course in case they ever send anything again.  Telling us how little it would take to send a rejection or (what most appear to want) information as to why their submission was rejected.   Some of these made me very sad - some made me laugh.  All of them made me realise that these people really haven't a clue about the work involved in reading the slush pile and are not cognisant of the fact that Omnibus is one of a very few remaining publishers that offer the opportunity.  This week I had one - anonymous of course, that someone had gone to some trouble with.  I apologise for the lack of copyright permission for the cartoon.
It was sort of funny but mostly sad because it does take a long time to write a novel and of course a writer wants some acknowledgment of their work.  So to all those frustrated and indignant writers out there here is our blanket apology for work that isn't publishable in our list.  We do hope you will all find homes for your work.  We encourage you all to write what you must.  We are sorry we cannot please everyone all the time.  And we wish, when you tell us off, you would tell us who you are at the same time...then you might get a letter back.