Guest post by Martina Boone … Are You Ready to Query, Sub, or Enter that Contest?
Apr04

Guest post by Martina Boone … Are You Ready to Query, Sub, or Enter that Contest?

Are You Ready to Query, Sub, or Enter that Contest? Four Writing Contest Finalists Share Their Tips for Success by Martina Boone I remember the first time that I tried try to write a pitch and had to condense my novel into a couple of paragraphs. Writing the book had been easier and less terrifying than writing that query letter! I hated it. But by the time I sold my trilogy, I found that writing a pitch was no big deal. I don’t have to write query letters any more, of course, but I do work on pitches with my agent and on cover copy with my editors. I actually love the process. Contests are a perfect way to test drive a story and a pitch. They’re also a great way to see the level of professionalism you need to succeed, and to help toughen your skin before sending out those queries, going on sub, or sending your baby out for reviews or seeing it in the hands of readers. And because every writer is different and different things work for different people, Sandra Held, Sarah Glenn Marsh, and I have asked some of the finalists in our recent Red Light, Green Light WIP contest at AdventuresInYAPublishing.com to share some thoughts on contests, querying, and getting your pitch and manuscript ready. Interested in test-driving the opening and pitch for your own WIP? The next agent-judged Red Light, Green Light contest opens for entries on 4/7/16. Four Finalists Share Their Contest and Query Tips Dan Lollis (Winner): My advice for fellow authors toiling over getting the words just right for a contest or query pitch — do a little bit of research. Use the internet, Twitter, #PitchWars and sites like Adventures to see what works for other writers — what good pitches look like. Then write it until it sounds perfect. Share your pitch with anyone who will read it. Revise. Repeat. When you like it, go with it. Prepare, then don’t care. Trust in yourself. As an unagented author, being able to talk with agent Patricia Nelson and ask her questions about writing, agenting, and writing was a real treat and valuable opportunity. After sending query letters and experiencing the impersonal side of that business, it was a thrill to talk with someone one-on-one. Contests allow me to read some amazing pitches and first lines. There were so many times that I want to keep reading! Contests like #PitchWars and the one at Adventures (and the workshops and content there) are a great way for me to feel involved in the writing community and motivate me to keep writing...

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