Tuesday, 2 July 2013
because even deadlines are subject to change...
Last week I found out about a fantastic manuscript development program and spent every spare minute sharpening and correctly ordering my first 50 pages. They were to be in Brisbane yesterday afternoon, which meant sending them by 5pm Friday afternoon (which would be in a push in itself, considering we live in regional Victoria).
I had other deadlines to meet during the week and a trip to another town that took up my valuable working time. On Friday, it was down to the wire. At 4.30pm I still had the synopsis to write, entry form to fill, plus do a final sort through and print the entire document. Of course, I ran out of paper, had to substitute some good card stock, ask mum (who had come up for afternoon tea with the kids) to take care of my entry form and then I still had to get to the post office...
This was one of many times I was grateful to live in a small country town - there was no peak hour traffic slowing me as I took the 3 minute trip to the main street and I was able to park outside, without having to look for coins to shove into a meter.
I climbed the post office steps as the doors were being closed for the day - the rather desperate look on my face enough for them to let me in and post my precious parcel... phew!
The next morning, I read through the 50 pages that had gone in the post and saw typos and other errors that made my face flush - I hadn't had time to do a final proof read due to the time factor. I was mortified and hoped the centre would see past them and just concentrate on the story.
Then, on Sunday, I was telling my older sister about the program and found that the deadline had been extended until 12 July - I don't know quite when this happened, as I'd been on the website during the week and didn't notice the date change...
... Perhaps they might allow me to resubmit? I made a rather desperate phone call yesterday, explained I'd sent things off in a hurry and would really love to make use of the extra time. Thankfully I found a sympathetic ear and I will now spend the next week or so checking and double-checking for typos and grammatical errors.
If there is a moral to the story, let it be 'always check the fine print' - it may look as though it's set in stone, but sometimes even deadlines change (and may the changes always be to your advantage!).