Three well attended and popular pitch events are running full swing right now: Pitch Madness over at Brenda Drake’s Blog (its sister event PITMAD – a twitter pitch event – ran on September 13), Cupid’s Literary Connection‘s Come And Get It (CAGI) and Deana Barnhart‘s Gearing Up to Get An Agent (GUTGAA).
But they are now all ‘closed’ and in the agent phase. So the question is: what next if you missed the getting in or were unaware these were going on.
First remember, as C Scully wrote recently: You don’t need a contest to query an agent. If you weren’t able to enter one of these events, or your 140 character twitpitch didn’t get picked up, but you saw an agent who you’d love to work with go to their website and, after making sure they rep what you write, follow their guidelines and submit directly.
However, participating in blog contests have a lot of benefits.
- Feedback. You aren’t going to get comments on what works and doesn’t through a traditional query process.
- Camaraderie. Writing is inherently a lone profession. Hanging out and seeing what other authors are doing and building friendships through these contests helps build a sense of place for you as a writer as well as a sense of community.
- Bang for the buck. Most contests have multiple agents (& sometimes small presses as well) ‘trolling’ through the queries, giving you more exposure than individual querying does by a long shot.
The good news is, there are lots of opportunities coming down the pike. In fact ALL of the websites I list above and mention below as having contests are excellent places to bookmark and follow since they frequently host these events.
Monday, September 17 THIS MONTH’S CONTEST IS FULL) Krista Van Dolzer, over at Mother. Write. (Repeat) is having an Agent’s INBOX contest – something she does roughly once a month or so. This one is limited to twenty entries, so let’s hope gmail doesn’t go down for this one (like it did for GUTGAA on Friday).
“An Agent’s Inbox” is exactly what it sounds like–next week, I’m turning the blog into an agent’s inbox, a public one. We’ll get to see 20 queries along with their first pages, and we’ll get to hear what a bona fide agent thinks of each one.
The queries and first pages will be yours, of course. I’ll accept your entries this Monday, September 17, and then I’ll post them next Wednesday, September 19. The entrants and anyone else who wishes to review them may comment until the following Monday, September 24, when I’ll announce the winners.
On Monday, September 24, Miss Snark’s First Victim is having the first of MANY rounds and levels of entry for her very popular Baker’s Dozen Contest:
It’s here! Well, almost. Welcome, everyone, to the season of the third annual BAKER’S DOZEN AGENT AUCTION!
For the newcomers: The Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction is MSFV’s biggest event of the year. 60 250-word entries, hand-picked by Jodi Meadows and Authoress, will be placed on the auction block for agents to bid on (with requests for pages, up to a full manuscript request). It bears the name “Baker’s Dozen” because the original auction in 2010 included 13 agents–a baker’s dozen. The actual auction is in December, but the fun starts NOW!
Later in the month Deana Barnhart will also be having a small press contest, with entries being accepted on Friday, September 28:
Small Press Pitch Contest Call for Entries – There will be one window for entries–at 11AM EST. I will accept a max of 100 entries. To enter the small press pitch contest you will need to paste in the body of an email the query and first 150 words of your completed manuscript and send it to gutgaa(at)gmail(dot)com. Go HERE for details about what I mean by query and first 150 words as well as the format for entries. I will take entries until 11:59 PM EDT or until I get 100 entries. I will post the format directions on this day as well.
Again, these blogs along with Brenda Drake and Cupid’s Literary Connection frequently have pitch events. Follow them, subscribe to their feeds and you can be ‘in the know’ for when the next one comes up. And don’t forget Savvy Author. You can sign up for free, and take advantage of pitch opportunities there as well (they had a huge event for paying members recently too).
Plus, if you look over on my left side bar, you’ll see a link to a paper.li news article feed which pulls contest and publishing opportunities which I run across into one place. Easy to check and subscribe. There’s general publishing news too, but mostly about pitch contests and submission opportunities.
Entering any of these can help you get one step closer to becoming published. Wishing everyone luck! (me too!)
If you’ve never done a query contest Sticking To The Story has a wonderful post on what to expect and how to get ready. Even if you’ve done them before there’s LOTS of helpful information there.
p.s. There are many blogs which host pitch contests for single agents. For instance We Do Write has a monthly one (coming up soon!).
ONE MORE TO ADD:
Missed the window for #PitchMadness, #CAGI &#GUTGAA? The Hook, Line & Sinker contest is coming! (In October) Details here on Kat Ellis’ blog.
Hook, Line and Sinker!
*waits for applause and cheering to subside*
That’s right kids, on October 13th the entry window opens at 11AM EDT! Take your entries to the appropriate blog based on category. Dee is hosting Middle Grade at www.writeforapples.com, Summer will be hosting the party for Adult at www.Fizzygrrl.com and I’ll be hosting Young Adult right here:http://katelliswrites.blogspot.com! There’ll be details on what your entry should include COMING SOON.
And here is where it gets real, yo. We have agents coming to play.
Oh yeah, that’s right. Real, live, top drawer agents will be coming by to make requests!
Now, we can’t tell you who just yet, but we will say that you can’t count them all on one hand…
ANOTHER BLOG TO FOLLOW:
YAtopia, who was one of the wonderful hosts for Pitch Madness, also hosts other pitch events. A little birdy (aka Stacey Nash) told me they’re announcing details for a contest called PitchOn later this week (Sept 20).