Things have been busy over here. I actually took today off of the dayjob to catch up with some household things. I’m cleaning/reorganizing the place, between critiquing a friend’s MS and (if I have time left today) attacking the inbox that all landed last Friday. (If you’re waiting on something sent before about 6/11, it’s on her desk and awaiting her response. If you’re worried something is forgotten about, feel free to email and check in.)

Rough stats: (note: Gold stars are ones that, when I write them up for her, have my seal of approval and I loved. Two of these were picked up by another agent already! There are silver stars for ones that are good but not there yet, in my opinion, and magenta stars for ones that are below that. Because if I’m ordering, say, a lamp, and it says it’s dark purple, but shows up and it’s magenta, it’s just disappointing.)

April: Queries: ~244. Partial Requests: 50. Full Requests: 6 Gold stars: 1.

May: Queries: ~172.  Partial Requests: 72. Full Requests: 9 Gold stars: 3. 

This is why I started requesting partials instead of fulls, most of the time. A lot of times, if she’s on the fence about something, but the concept sounds like one she’d love, I’ll request it anyway. Why not? If I get lucky, I find something awesome. If not, they just get a rejection and a little bit of hope from the partial request. 😉

I’ll be posting my wishlist for #pitchwars soon, but figured I might give you a heads up on how I look at these kinds of contests.

It’s not about finding the perfect story. It’s about finding that amazing story that can become that perfect story with a bit of elbow grease. You’re going to be working very closely together, so you have to like the person you’re working with. Sometimes someone can be a brilliant writer, but rub you the wrong way. I’m pretty introverted, as a whole, and so people who are super extroverted and over the top tend to make me cringe. I can pretty much guarantee I’ll look someone up on twitter, blogs, and FB before picking them, to see if they seem likely to annoy me. This is something agents do, as well, before offering representation, in case you didn’t know, so it’s better to prescreen this. Nowdays, authors need to be tech savvy enough to know about filters, and professional enough in their behavior to not just @ someone just because they can.

Basically, it’s playing mini agent in a pool of awesomely talented folks. Seriously, once you’re to the level of these contests, you’re leaps and bounds ahead of the majority of the slush. From there, it’s a matter of finely honing the work and the agents you target to find your dream agent. It’s going to be a lot of work, on both sides, but given how many of last year’s mentees have agents now as a result… Yeah. Worth it.