Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Karma and Signs

Status: Waiting on so many levels.

Number of queries sent: 18
Number of form rejections: 7
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

Remember when I said here that I was going to enter a contest? Well, I actually entered two! Both contests are being hosted on blogs by writers. The interesting thing is that the host of contest #2 actually found her agent via a contest on the same blog as contest #1. Gotta love a good success story. And since I've never entered any kind of writing contest before, I'm very excited!

Okay. Let's talk about contest #1 first. I think I'm only an entry in this contest because I had a great build up of karma that decided it was time to pay out. But before I get to that, I should probably explain how the contest works. It's a secret agent contest on
Miss Snark's First Victim. She does 10 of these contests a year (every month but June and December). Entrants post their title, genre, and the first 250 words of the novel. That's it. Then the entries are posted on the blog, and people can comment on them. But more importantly, a secret literary agent (whose identity is revealed when the contest is over, if memory serves) will critique them. And if she/he likes any of them, she/he will invite those contestants to query her/him. How awesome is that?

But from what I can tell, this is a pretty popular blog. There's even a medal thingy on the side that indicates Writer's Digest named the blog one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2009. So to keep the secret agent from having to read hundreds of entries, only 50 of the entries are chosen. Randomly chosen by a computer, to be exact, in lottery fashion.

So why do I think karma helped me on this one? Because the only place I posted a reminder to enter the contest was my calendar at work. And the universe decided to make me very sick over the weekend, to the extent that I had trouble walking yesterday. Needless to say, I didn't go to work. So I didn't get my reminder. So I didn't enter the contest promptly at 9 am when it opened. Instead, around 1 pm, I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to enter. I rushed to do so as quickly as possible, and then breathed a sigh of relief that I remembered before 5 pm (when the contest closes). I promptly received a lottery number and waited with semi-bated breath to find out if my lottery number was chosen.

AND IT WAS!!! I have no idea how many entries there were, but I have a feeling there were a ton. And yet, the very first time I entered a secret agent contest, my number made the cut. Would it have been chosen if I'd entered the contest promptly at 9 am? I'll never really know, but I've decided I don't think so. Karma was trying to help me out on this one, and made me sick on purpose. I guess if being sick ends up landing me an agent, I won't mind so much.

So if you look on Miss Snark's blog after the 50 entries are posted, I'm number 43. At first, I thought it said I was number 42, and I got really excited that this was a sign. 42: the answer to life, the universe, and everything (and forgive me if I'm misquoting). But alas, I'm actually 43. Still pretty damn excited, either way.

As for contest #2, I entered that one this morning on
Love YA. I found an announcement for this contest on Absolute Write. This one tells you who the agent is up front: Hannah Bowman. After I learned about the contest, I thought Ms. Bowman looked pretty frickin' awesome. Unfortunately, I'd already queried another agent at her agency (that's one of the form rejections listed above), so I couldn't send her my letter. But by entering this contest, I at least get a shot!

So this contest is only for YA (all genres). We get to list our title, genre, word count, name, email, and a one line pitch. The pitch can only be 140 characters long, a la Twitter. My beloved husband and I worked on my pitch for over a week. I was still tweaking it about ten minutes before the contest opened. But I'm super happy with the final product. And thank goodness I forgot contest #1 instead of this one, because this one doesn't have any sort of lottery. The first 60 entries are in, and anything else is out. And in the first two and a half hours since the contest opened, there have already been more than 50 submissions. But I was post #6! Yay!

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