#QueryKombat and other trials

Good News! I made it to the #QueryKombat finals! Only 64 out of over 400 were chosen.

Bad News: I lost in the first round. It was a close vote: 4-3, but…

Good News: I was “saved” by my team leader, @RavenousRushing ‏ I still don’t get to Round Two, but what I do get is inclusion in the agent round–and who doesn’t want a little positive attention from an agent?

A few weeks ago, I entered #RevPit, another online contest. My entry wasn’t picked, even for a maybe, but the feedback was invaluable. And tomorrow is #PitMad. Can I  condense a pitch into 240 characters or less? Gulp!

But here’s my philosophy: It doesn’t hurt to try. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll get awful feedback? That’s better than no feedback, and that’s what I’d have if I didn’t enter.

The best news of all? I’ve learned a lot about how important queries and the first 250 or so words of your novel are. I know I’ve got a good story, and now I know if that potential agent or publisher isn’t impressed from the get-go, they’ll never see how good it is.

These contests wouldn’t be possible without the awesome writers/editors/agents who host them and/or agree to judge–mostly without pay. It’s a ton of work, and I’m sure sometimes it seems like a thankless job. But to those of us who just want to get better and maybe someday publish a novel, your work is priceless. And, fellow writers, even if there’s no entry fee, which is usually the case, please consider donating to keep these awesome contests going.

My novel is polished and ready to query… isn’t it? Entering these contests is a good way to find out, and my ego might get a mini-boost along the way.

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