Honestly, our queries may get submerged in the deluge of the slush pile every agent is flooded with. I have heard that some agents don’t even go through unsolicited queries, forget about reading either the synopsis or the first few pages.
There are many blogs and sites which hold competitions where one has to submit either the pitch or the first 250 words of one’s manuscript. And many writers have got their agents through this route. Even winning short story competitions can work in our favour, as agents and editors’ interest is perked when they hear about prize winning writers.
I came across one such competition while researching a few agents last night. The Greenhouse Literary agency is conducting the Greenhouse Funny Prize, a competition to find new writing talent. It’s the second year for the competition. This year the competition has become bigger. It’s open to the world. The winners will receive an offer of representation from the Greenhouse Literary Agency. If you can make people laugh with your writing, then check out the guidelines here.
Have any of you ever entered a competition where agents and editors where judging. What’s your take on competitions? Do you think competitions work in a writer’s favour?
I am not too sure how competitions help budding writers but surely it does give visibility if one is on a winning streak:)ReplyDelete
Thanks for letting us know about this. To be honest, I never do well at these contests, at least for the book I'm working on. And I've interviewed authors who had the same experience but querying worked for them. That's what I'm hoping for, at least for this book.ReplyDelete
I think these contests have merit. Anything one can do to put the work out there and possibly get a contract is all good.ReplyDelete
I've never entered any contest at all.ReplyDelete
One of my blogging buddies is holding an agent contest right now, and the winner of the last one got a publishing deal. She's really brought in some top agents for the current one.
I haven't entered any competitions. I'm open to it though. I think competitions are good experiences for writers, though, and who knows, you might just win!ReplyDelete
Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines
That sounds like a good contest. I've never heard agents don't read queries, since they desperately want to find the next big thing. But they may have assistants who read for them.ReplyDelete
I've been in some contests, won or placed in some, but not much ever came of them. In general, it's better to send a query with your complete, well-presented idea and the sample pages. I've gotten far more requests that way (and am agented now).
Good luck whichever way you go! :-)
I think competitions can be a good thing to gain experience and attention. They also provide practice for us, and help us polish and work with guidelines. If you don't win, you have something you can tweak and submit elsewhere, whether another contest or publication.ReplyDelete
I've entered a few, and done well in a few of those. Good luck!ReplyDelete
I have entered some but it really depends on who is doing the judging etc. If there is feedback --that helps the most.ReplyDelete
I've entered a couple of contests in the past, and gained valuable insight even though I didn't win. Sure wish I could write humor, tho, since the Greenhouse one sounds neat :-)ReplyDelete
Sounds like a good contest; I can't write humor, though.ReplyDelete
Sometimes contests are a good way to get motivated to polish up a story opening or pitch line or query. This one sounds interesting!ReplyDelete
I think contests can be a great way to break in if you're writing style matches the contest theme.ReplyDelete
This is an angle I'd just not considered before. Thanks for drawing it to my attention.ReplyDelete
Sounds like fun!! I think these are good opportunities for critique at least, but you can't discount the old fashioned way either. :DReplyDelete
Thanks for the tip.ReplyDelete
Ah, a fellow writer! Excellent. I'll follow yours if you follow mine. Sounds like you have a brain and a soul as well! Rarity these days. Joined.ReplyDelete
Great advice, Rachna! All the best with the competitions!ReplyDelete
Yeah, some are really good! It's worth checking out the judges before you enter though.ReplyDelete
Contests are great for any writer. I enter the commonwealth story writing contest every year. Haven't won anything though.ReplyDelete
I think it's helpful to enter competitions. I've entered a few, and three times I got honorable mention (for three different pieces). I think it helps in your credits when you are querying a novel. I think it's good discipline, too. It gives you a deadline to work toward and it makes you go back and do extra re-writes.ReplyDelete
I think it depends on what type of book you've written. The competition that works for one type of book isn't going to work for another.ReplyDelete
I think contests can be a great way to get an agent's attention. I've done several myself. The one Greenhouse is doing is interesting!ReplyDelete
No, I haven't...yet. I think it's great that people have secured representation or contracts that way though. It's got to be good practice, if nothing else.ReplyDelete
Though on one hand many people feel, there are fewer people writing and reading now-a-days... (thanks to proliferation of multimedia devices), on the other I find there is a huge rush to publish books.ReplyDelete
It's so difficult to get one book published. Publishing houses indicate an average waiting period of 3 to 6 months...
I am just wondering isn't the concept of self-publishing a better alternative? You are your own boss, and you don't have to beg and plead with others to convince them about the worth of your creative product.
Or, you can even have your book on a website, chapter-wise (make it free or paid).. Publicise that site yourself through various media.
Of course, this doesn't factor in the huge royalty some wannabe publishers look forward to.