Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Get Noticed in a Very Crowded Room

This post is for all my fellow querying authors. You all know just how hard it is to write the elusive perfect query; to boil your word baby down into its most exquisite essence and frame it into the most alluring three paragraphs ever written. Uh huh. That's the idea, anyway. I find the reality of my queries often fall far short of that ideal.

funny gifs
Oh,hai! Lookie Heer!

Not to mention the fact that every agent you might consider sending that query to is looking for something different. It's worse than blind dating. It's blind dating where you're only allowed three minutes to say half a dozen things, and the person you're on the date with doesn't usually say more than, "No thanks, you're not what I'm looking for." It's a hard way to start off a relationship, and most of the time we walk away wishing we'd picked a different anecdote, or maybe worn the blue dress instead of the red, or even if we'd just had a snappier comment to make when we were first introduced.

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Agent A (for Awesome!) said on twitter that they love it when people include an introductory statement at the beginning of their query.

Agent B (for Badass!) said on twitter that they ABSOLUTELY DETEST when people include an introductory statement at the beginning of their query.

Agent C (for Charismatic!) said it didn't matter to them how you start your query, as long as every sentence you write makes them hunger for the next.

You see where this is going. Your perfectly distilled word baby still has to be tweaked and tinkered with every time you send it to someone new. There is no useful Query Blanket that will cover all agents.

BUT! Lo and behold! There is another fun thing you can try to catch the eye of Awesome, Badass, and Charismatic! I of course refer to the myriad contests that flourish in Blog Land. Many fantastic authors and agents conspire to bring us entertaining, creative, and plain-old-fun ways to reshape the query process from the tinkering of the same three paragraphs over and over into entirely new ways to present your writing to those who might be interested.

Yesterday's post listed a handful of upcoming contests that I plan to enter. I really do hope you'll take a look at a few of them. You never know, writing a log line and a hook sentence might catch the eye of an agent who couldn't get past the first line of your query because it just didn't appeal to them. Life is strange, and if query writing is not your strong suit, then some of these contests might be the big chance you've been looking for.

Here's links to a few of them:

Trick or Treat, with an agent!

Pitch Live! Video pitch event!

And the big doozy of all contests: The Baker's Dozen - Pitch to 15 agents!

Check a few of them out, follow a few of the hosts and participants. Heck, just check out the entries once they start going up online. Call it research and enjoy! :D


  1. Aw, I feel so sad for the little girl in the gif. I want to jump in and give her a hug. Good luck with the contests!

  2. Thanks! It's exactly how I feel sometimes. Wrong side of the curtain, but missed it by THAT MUCH. :D

  3. I take the attitude that they're the ones missing out on me...not that I have a huge ego or anything. ;)


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