Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 207 - All the Wonders of the Universe

We live in a time of seeming unlimited possibility. The more I hang around writing blogs, the more I realise there are chances by the bucketfull to get your novel out there, to get it seen by the shining editor/agent/publisher of your dreams who will rescue it from the slush pile, throw it over their metaphorical steed and ride off with it into the publishing sunset.

If you want to help someone out at the same time as helping yourself get ahead, Operation Auction 2011 is raising money for a woman widowed in tragic circumstances by auctioning off signed books, advertising space and critiques of your work by agents and editors. You can also get your work ripped apart (in the nicest possible way) to help Japan with earthquake recovery - here for genre fiction, and here for kid-lit/YA.

On the other side of the wall, if you write historical fiction Irene Goodwin, of the eponymous literary agency, wants to hear your pitch. Authoress at Miss Snark's First Victim holds regular competitions that result in partial and complete requests from agents. And Savvy Authors has pitch days for different agents which look brilliant.

With pitching opportunities in particular, it's easy to get SO excited about a particular opportunity that you decide the jump the gun. To send your novel in as-is and hope for the best. My YA romance SF (oh, I need a shorthand for that) was not ready on the weekend, but I was oh so very tempted to just pitch it regardless. After all, how bad could it be?

The problem is that once an agent has seen your MS, it's going to be harder to get them to look at it a second time. They already took a chance on you once, spent their time and energy looking over your stuff and it wasn't up to scratch.

My mantra for the week is this - Finish it. Polish it. Sub it. In that order, dammit.

Word count - 1,320

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