OK so New Voices has finished and I no longer have the need to feverishly check the website and/or my inbox. Let's have a quick roundup of the story so far.
I reached the second round of revisions on my first submission at the beginning of this year. It was eventually rejected as lacking the emotional depth required (although I read during NV that the on the editors' list of things never to do is have an Elvis impersonator in your MS, and I not only had one in that MS, I actually introduced him during that second revision stage *cringes*). Anyway enough of that!
I currently have a revised partial awaiting feedback with M&B, sent beginning of September but recently out of mind due to the excitement of New Voices. My feeling now is that I want to ask for it back, revise it again and resubmit it! I learned so much during New Voices from my brilliant mentor, Liz Fielding, (about emotion, structure, streamlining my writing to name just a few things) that I no longer feel that partial is the best I could do.
I also have Honeymoon With A Stranger (HWAS), my entry in this year's New Voices, which has consumed me for the last month or so as I worked on it with Liz's help. It didn't win but the feedback I received has been a delight. People liked my story and the way I write and it has been the most amazing confidence boost. Yes, winning the comp would have been a dream, but to be perfectly honest I feel like a winner anyway. I've learned more from Liz in a few weeks than I've gleaned in a year's reading of how-to books and internet sites.
M&B have told me they'll be in touch shortly regarding HWAS, and this is the story I plan to work on for now. I feel so invested in it after the intensity of the competition that I want to take advantage of that. So the next stage is to develop the story fully (I'd only written the first chapter and when I unexpectedly went through to the Final 21 the only plan I had was 'she blags a job at the hotel and they fall in love'). Once I have a proper plan I can crack back on with writing it.