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Sharing a moment of YAY (query competition)

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by cupiscent, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. cupiscent

    cupiscent Sage

    I've been picked for inclusion in a query competition targeting newer agents.

    For those who have no idea about query competitions - much like me this time last week when I found out about the comp and decided to submit! - what happens (in this and many other similar competitions run across the internet) is that you submit certain key materials (in this case, a query letter and first 250 words), which are then weeded through by organisers and experts (in this case, agented authors in various genres) to select a shortlist which are then polished with advice, and made available to the panel of agents, who can then make requests for material they are interested in. The end result is much like querying cold, except you get a polish on your material, and the agents know these submissions have been vetted, which I imagine earns them a little more attention.

    Personally, my key motivation in entering the competition was to get some idea of just how sharp my query and first page were looking before I started sending them out. As a bonus, four of the agents listed for the competition are on my to-query list anyway. Since I got picked for the shortlist, I'm feeling pretty good about all of that! Though I'm going to wait and see how I do in the agent round before I start firing off the query to everyone on my list - just because the SFF team leader liked it doesn't mean agents necessarily will, after all.

    This competition is obviously closed, but for anyone else who's either nearly at or in the middle of querying, there's a big competition called Pitch Wars coming up and running from August through to November. (It goes so long because if you're picked, your mentor reads your entire manuscript and offers advice before helping polish the pitch for agents.)

    My advice for this and other similar competitions is: polish, polish, polish. Make sure your material is as good as you can make it before you enter. Yes, if you get in you will have experienced advice for revision, but you need to be as far as you can go already. Run it past people who have read your book, and people who haven't. Get multiple critiques through multiple forums (here, QueryTracker, AgentQueryConnect, Scribophile...) but remember that communities like that tend to start to conform to community "rules", and the only rule for a query letter is: "Does it work? Does it grab attention? Does it make an agent want to grab my story and read?" (My query breaks several of the AQC "rules", but my team leader's feedback changed only two words of it.)

    The short summary version: the internet is full of interesting opportunities that can reassure you that you're doing ok after all! Explore and take advantage. :)
    TheCatholicCrow, Nimue and Reaver like this.
  2. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    Congratulations! All the best to you!
    cupiscent likes this.
  3. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    congratulations! I hope you do great.
    cupiscent likes this.
  4. Ryan_Crown

    Ryan_Crown Troubadour

    Congrats! That's very cool.
    cupiscent likes this.

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