On my Facebook page a couple weeks ago, I said it didn’t bother me that I had sent out a handful of queries in my effort to secure an agent and had received one or two not interesteds.
As of today, I’ve queried 50 agents, received 11 not interesteds, which leaves 39 agents unaccounted for, from whom I may not receive a response because although agencies usually indicate their expected response time, oftentimes they only respond when they’re interested. That leaves this Land of Limbo for agents on my spreadsheet who may have exceeded their indicated response time. Do I delete them from my spreadsheet? Do I give them another week/month before writing them off?
You see, searching for an agent is like looking for a job. The writer’s query letter is like the cover letter to ones resume. The resume is the writer’s manuscript. If the agent likes what they read in the query/if the employer likes what they read in the cover letter, they want to look further. Read the rest of this entry »
Now that my novel is finished, I decided to re-post an article I wrote about daring greatly. Everything we do requires a certain amount of risk: walking across the street, going on a 1st date, changing careers. But if we don’t take a calculated risk, we’ll never see the inside of the arena; we’ll never know what we missed.
I hope you enjoy reading this article that served to remind me that as I start to look for agent representation for my first novel, I should do so with the confidence that my vulnerability will one day pay off.
It’s not the critic who counts; it’s not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles; or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit goes to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly and who errs and fails, and is sometimes victorious. But when he fails, at least he does so daring greatly.
The above is an abbreviated quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, Citizenship in a Republic a/k/a The Man in the Arena, delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910.
Brené Brown, PhD, paraphrased the above when appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s show, Super Soul Sunday. I admit – I’m addicted to the types of shows that challenge the way I think, and/or that validate the way I think. This particular show that…
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Where has freedom of the press, and freedom of speech gone?
Must we concern ourselves with offending every element of society – friendly or adverse – with the words we choose to express ourselves? to express our views? Whether political or religious views; whether mundane topics such as fashion or dining; are we supposed to produce euphemistic journalism so as to avoid ruffling the feathers of another person’s beliefs or opinions?
That’s not my plan.
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The first weekend of October, I attended my first writer’s conference, a conference that inspired me to live a life filled with high risk writing. The risk? I might get rejected.
I entered two contests within a week of returning home. Alas, I found out on Wednesday, November 12th, that I did not win the Writer’s Digest Dear Lucky Agent contest. This was a contest wherein a writer’s completed – but not yet published – manuscript is front and center. Entrants submitted the first 200 words of their manuscript and a one-page query letter that provided an “elevator pitch” type of synopsis of the completed work. Three winners were chosen from a field of many; those winners won the privilege of having the first 10 pages of their manuscript critiqued by the agent judge of the competition.
As soon as I discovered that I had not been chosen as a winner for that contest, I entered another one. I sincerely believe that the more you write, the better at writing you become. I’m counting on that to be true. I am now researching other contests to enter so that my high risk writing career will have a better chance of taking off.
I’m not ashamed that I didn’t win the very first writing competition that I entered; I’m happy that I had the guts to take a risk.
Stay tuned; win or lose, I will provide updates on every contest that I enter.
I attended the Write on the Sound writer’s conference in Edmonds, Washington October 3rd thru 5th. I participated in numerous workshops – most of which were very beneficial. One of the challenges I heard many of the instructors tell us wannabe authors was to enter as many writing contests as possible.
Put yourself out there; take a risk; keep writing.
That sentiment really resonated with me. Since returning home from the conference, I’ve already entered one contest and have two more lined up for which I’m preparing submission pieces. And I’m stretching myself by trying new genres. Case in point: I submitted a 3,000 word short story called Variant in the Horror genre. Shocking, right? Winners of that Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards contest won’t be announced until the end of the year.
Later this week I will be entering the “Dear Lucky Agent Contest” by submitting only the first 200 words of my completed novel, Armed for Bear, (current working title) plus a query letter. Winners of that contest will be announced early November.
Additionally, today I wrote the first draft of a short story that I’ll be submitting later next month. The story must begin with the following sentence, “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.” This was a fun piece to write because it can only be 750 words or less. It takes lots of discipline to slim down a story so that it’s still entertaining and says what it’s supposed to say.
Wish me luck as I keep on submitting pieces!
Just like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t enter.