Congrats Kristi on being the second from Sun versus Snow to land an agent!
The following phrase and many similar stare you in the face before, during and throughout a contest: (I borrowed this particular one from Michelle’s SVS page.)
“Remember again that contests are subjective. What tickles one person’s fancy,
may do nothing for another. No matter what, keep querying!”
Deep in the query and contest trenches, this statement rings about as sincere as a form rejection.
Okay, maybe we’ve all succumbed to the fact that every aspect of publishing is subjective. BUT “keep querying!”???
It’s so easy to lose heart and question everything about your work if you weren’t chosen, or you were chosen and didn’t get any requests, or you got requests, but they all turned into passes.
Well, if you see yourself in any of the above situations, join the club. We’ve all been there. Even if “keep querying” (or in my case, “keep entering contests”) doesn’t ring true, maybe you’ll change your mind by the end of this post.
When I entered Karma Khullar’s Mustache in Sun Vs. Snow I didn’t really have any expectations. Yes, I wanted to strengthen my query. Yes, I hoped a couple agents would request. Ultimately though, I expected all my requests to turn into passes. Which, eventually, for SVS they did. BUT here is where the seemingly insincere statement from above comes into play.
Right after SVS, Pitch Madness started. Again, I entered without expecting to make the cut. Several agents from SVS were also participating in Pitch Madness and I feared they’d all roll their eyes at seeing my entry and I’d end up with zero requests.
Then enters agent extraordinaire, Patricia Nelson. She actually saw my entry in SVS, but skipped over it because my comp title didn’t resonate with her. Then, seeing it again in Pitch Madness (without the comp title and query), she requested the full. Two days after reading, she set up a phone call and is now my number one champion of Karma.
So, maybe your pitch/query/1st 250 words/whatever doesn’t work the first time around, or even the 100th time, but continue to send it out there because if Patricia hadn’t seen Karma twice, she might not be my agent right now and that’d be terrible for Karma and for me! xoxo
Kristi lives and writes in Singapore with her family. She is represented by Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. You can find her on twitter at: @kwientge or on her blog: moments-n-between.blogspot.sg. If you can’t find her at either of those places, she’s probably buried in revisions or yarn from her latest crochet endeavor.