Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: Books & Such Central Valley Office
Problem: Catching the attention of an agent and getting him to ask for a proposal or manuscript.
Traditional Solution: Write a smashing query letter, send it to multiple agents and hold your breath.
Workaround: This one is simple. Enter writing contests in which your target agent or editor is a judge. Many contests ask professionals to judge the final round, and we are delighted to do so because by the time we receive the manuscripts, they have gone through a serious winnowing process. Others have done the work for us, and we get to read the cream of the crop. When we read those entries and find one we love, once the judging is done, we ask the contest coordinator for that person’s contact info.
Last year I signed Lori Benton after I read her submission in the Novel Matters contest. I’m looking forward to judging the inspirational category of next year’s Daphne du Maurier Contest sponsored by the Kiss of Death Mystery/Suspense Chapter of RWA.
So where do you find the contests? Check out the list in the back of the Christian Writer’s Market Guide and Writers Market. Other key contests: ACFW Genesis and RWA Golden Heart.
Your turn. Have you had any experience with competition wins? Tell us your story.
Debra E. Marvin
The workaround worked. I just received a request for a full from a contest final. If I haven’t progressed from *here* before the next Daphne, I’ll be submitting for the opportunity to have you take a look, Wendy!