Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Monday!



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.  

16 comments:

  1. LOL. I love the cat, and I'm right there with you on the contest thing. So many amazing friends! WriteOnCon has also been an amazing place for meeting critique partners in the first pages forums.

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    1. That Cat is The Tea Thief (which might have to be the title of a book...). He's a sweetie, but he drinks my tea he prefers it lukewarm and sweetened, which is how I know he's my soul cat.

      As for WriteOnCon, YES! they are also spectacular. I've learned a lot from them, but their shenanigans don't crop up until August (so stay tuned).

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  2. I'm in The Writer's Voice this year. I dunno if I'm one of those unpolished people you're talking about, but I hope not. The subjectivity part of this industry sucks some days.

    Thanks for the info about the publisher!

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    1. I haven't been through all of the entries yet, but if you'd like, I can tell you the truth about how you stacked up against the competition.

      there's just one catch: I'm only me. That means other people will have different opinions of whether or not your work is "there" yet. Just drop me a line and I'll let you know.

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  3. I'm going to check out your link to Writers Voice, thanks for highlighting. Happy Monday!

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    1. Happy Monday (especially now that it's tuesday!). Reading through contest entries had been a huge help for me, so I really like to point them out to other writers when I can.

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  4. I can't do the Mortal Kombat OR Writer's Voice (i'm especially bummed about WV since i was picked last year and got 2 full requests out of it) because my MS isn't ready for querying yet. Sadface.
    I'm glad we have like 6 months to think about the Angry Robots submission

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    1. You know, the only reason I entered The Writer's Voice with the manuscript that I did was because I was **This close to entering a rough draft!!!! Imagine! Anyhow, I'm glad I managed to pull myself out of the crazies and hold on to that manuscript a little longer, because I lurv it now, and I would have killed it if I'd entered some contests with it.

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  5. LOL! I love thinking that Monday's might actually be scared of me too! HA! That's brilliant, and so is everything else you have on here. Lots of good stuff going on. I wish I was ready to enter!

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    1. It's actually what I tell my students during finals week, that the exams are just as scared of them as they are of it. It's one of those things you here again and again when you live in places where snakes are. The park ranger will tell you to remain calm, make no sudden movements, and remember "That poisonous snake that could kill you with its bite is just as scared of you as you are of it."

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  6. They need to make a dead eye reduction for animal pictures...or maybe they do and I'm just not aware of it. You're totally right about checking out the competition. Nothing makes me feel better than knowing I'm not up against a bunch of losers, I'm up against people who know their stuff. Maybe I'm weird, but it strengthens me to know I got rejected because there is just so much fabulous in the world, rather than I'm just a loser.

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    1. I actually have some fantastic pictures of Gimli (his full name is Gimli Underfoot Toe-Slayer), but that one is fantastic because of the crazy glowy eyes.

      And you know, you have a great point. I would rather lose to a great competitor in a close fought match, than win against a weak opponent.

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  7. All these fun contests, and my manuscript isn't ready for any of them ... Oh well, it's always good to start checking out what greatness might look like.
    Thanks for all the links and the heads up!

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    1. I've been in your shoes. Last year all through winter, it killed me that I didn't have a single manuscript ready for prime time. I watched wistfully as people kept announcing how they ruled the world with their manuscripts. I had nothing to enter and it made me so very sad.

      But now I have a rocking manuscript because I did the one thing we must always do: Keep Writing.

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  8. "The pits of query hell are wide and deep."

    Truer words, my friend. Truer words.

    And thank you for coming out of the shadows! It's wonderful when a lurker makes herself known!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Querying is it's own special hell, the one Booker talked about. Just saying.

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