For a single hour this weekend, one of my favorite literary agents, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, held a query contest:
Many writers want to know what an agent is really thinking when they pass on a query, right? You want the truth...but can you handle the truth? Well this weekend I will respond to the queries I receive in complete honesty. You may see something as simple as "Not bad, but just not for me." or "I don't represent academic non-fiction." OR you may see something like "I stopped reading when you mentioned that the mailman was a vampire space zombie who has come to deliver a message of PAIN. Because come on...seriously?"
Doesn't she sound awesome? ;) I'd love to have queried her with one of my new stories after all the help she gave me on Evangeline, but... those novels aren't ready. I'd want to treat my next submission to Joanna as professionally as possible, and that means only querying her when my story is really, truly ready.
And none of them are.
I made the mistake of entering a submission contest for a manuscript that I didn't have complete faith in earlier this year. Nothing is worse than having someone express interest in a concept when the execution is not 100%! Fortunately, this blog has been a great tool to shame me into keeping the promises I make myself.
Hold me to this, blogosphere. I vow to never again give in to the lure of internet contests before my manuscript is clean enough to eat off of (you know what I mean. When I'm hungry I start using food metaphors).
Oh, but they are soooo tempting... I'm about to break into song, something from Sweeney Todd, perhaps, very appropriate.
Erm. Okay, venturing into stalker territory. I'll stop embarrassing myself now, but all I'm saying is, if you have a dream agent, make sure you're their dream client before you query!
(Now that song is going to be in my head all day.)
“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
I'm a YA writer who delves into urban fantasy, paranormal and romance, and who loves reading good books almost as much as writing them.
When not writing—or working—I enjoy daydreaming, drinking tea, and walking in cemeteries. I used to spend the rest of my time checking my inbox for manuscript requests, but am now proudly represented by Rosemary Stimola, of Stimola Literary Studio.