When Hallmark Says No by Carrie Garvin
When Hallmark Says No
by Carrie Garvin
Last year Hallmark (HM) opened submissions to non-agented solicitations. In a nutshell, the guidelines included a novel between 65,000-85,000 words, a happy ending with no profanity.
I had a story I wanted to write for years. It was a clean and wholesome romance, fitting the HM profile. I ended up drafting the novel in six weeks. If they accepted the novel, the HM production team had time to make a movie from the storyline for the following holiday season. This is the way it should work, right? I wrote and edited over 65,000 words in a flash. Submitted my entry in late 2017.
I heard my answer six weeks later. The novel was REJECTED—it was not what they were looking for. Soon after, I changed the book cover, the title, and re-wrote parts of the story. I had a handful of beta readers, and some friends read the new draft. I did more editing and submitted it again. This time it took only two weeks to find out that it was: REJECTED. Again, it wasn’t what they were looking for.
Was I disappointed? You bet, but when that door hit my backside, another door opened. I had time to re-evaluate my writing, marketing, and research (a great deal) of what other authors did about the biz of getting published.
Fast forward to a year later, through rejection, I have not stopped learning. Every entry I read on social media, written by published authors, is a new learning experience. Every book I read, helps capture the level I want to achieve for my own books. Every time I say, “Maybe it’s not worth it.” I remember nothing is more satisfying than going from a thought, to a sentence, and then developing these sentences into chapters, and finally to a polished manuscript and eventually, a published novel.
My first novel is available on Amazon: Romance Is in… One Question for True Love. Currently, I am revising the second novel and going thought it for final edits. The third novel is still in my writing room.
Carrie Garvin lives along the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband and several rescue dogs. She was first published as a newspaper columnist, writing: “Home Tips” in the Washington, D.C. area before DIY shows skyrocketed. From her experiences of home building, married for over forty years, and a passion for rescued animals, three things center each of her novels. A clean romance that is wholesome, a sweet love story surrounded by a farmhouse, a cabin, a lighthouse, etc. and adoration for animals.
Garvin earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Maryland.