No, I’m not one of those eternally happy people, but things seem good. I think it’s the dark and stormy nature of the morning (I love dark and stormy, which totally explains why I live in a place that goes 200 days without precip!), and I thought I’d direct people hither and yon.
First up: Query Kombat: This is a fun query contest that pits 64 queries and their first 250 words against each other in a direct elimination a la NCAA bracket style. The fun starts on the 13th of May. This one is open to everybody with a finished, polished manuscript.
Oh but why Rena, why do you get involved in these things? Isn’t it enough to write your heart into a query letter and beam it to your favorite agents?
No, it isn’t always enough. The querying process is about finding an agent, but I have found more friends than agents by entering contests. No really, I often meet people I continue to be friends with after the contest. Want to find some crit partners? Enter contests, then you get to look at their writing, get to interact with them and decide if you make a good crit partner fit before you send off your work. So go forth, enter contests, have fun and make friends. (also, I know I shouldn’t have to say this, but the internet is sort of forever, so only put out your very best work when you enter contests).
Second up: The Writer’s Voice is going on as we speak. If you want a good look at what the inboxes of agents are looking like today, I recommend The Writer’s Voice. They have a blog hop for all 150 contestants, and there is nothing as eye opening as reading the query and first 250 words of a project. I’m going through and making a list of what worked for me and why. I did this last year too. It really helped to cement the idea of subjectivity for me, but also it made me really understand what agents mean when they say that the writing just wasn’t ready yet. There are tons of projects that are awesome in concept, but the writing just needed a little more polish. Reading the entries last year gave me the strength to take my time on some other projects, so I recommend you do the same.
Third and last: if you have YA Sci Fi, Fantasy, thrillers, crime or contemp, and you don’t have an agent, but your manuscript is so freakin awesome that your crit partners lost their socks when they read it, then consider sending it to Strange Chemistry, an imprint of Angry Robots. They’re a stellar publisher, and they are currently open to submissions until October. So you even have some time to clean up that spectacular, sock knocking manuscript before you submit it.
Well, I think that just about covers what I’ve got to say today. Good luck, and remember, Monday is just as scared of you as you are of it.