A while back when I was looking for an agent, one of my blogger buddies, Suzanne Young, helped me tremendously.
At the time, I only knew her through her blog and she had just signed with an agent and got a four-book deal with Razorbill. Her new novel with Balzer and Bray, A Need So Beautiful, comes out in June. (As a side note, I'm reading the ARC now and it is FRAWESOME (freakin' awesome.)
One day, Suzanne stopped by my blog and took the time to read my synopsis on the side. She contacted me offline - out of the blue. She loved my concept, voice, and idea so much - she personally recommended me to her agent. Suzanne's agent was kind enough to read my submission quickly and offered a letter of advice on how I could improve my book. She also offered (as did a few others) to reconsider the project if I revised it.
Several months later - I sent the revised book to Suzanne's agent (at the time) and a few others who also offered feedback. Suzanne's agent at the time was the first of the few that offered representation.
I've always had a special place in my heart for Suzanne because she was so selfless in giving me my first break - and sometimes that all you need is just a break. She did this without even knowing who I really was as a person.
So I'm feeling like it's time I give back. If you know me, you probably know I love to give back. I try to help people get in front of agents and editors on my pitch contests. Though I've seen some great pitches that haven't been chosen.
So I want to try and give someone else a break. Sometimes that all we need to take a step forward in this crazy business.
Therefore, I'm holding my own "Pay it Forward" contest. It will run next week - Monday, Jan 31 at 9am EST - Friday, Feb 4th at 5pm EST.
The winner will get a personal recommendation from me to my agent, Alyssa Henkin at Trident Media. (Trust me - you want her as an agent!)
This is how it will work.
- I will have people enter their pitch (YA or MG) and chose my top 10.
- Then, those top 10 will send me their full query pitch letter.
- From the top 10 - I will choose 3 I like.
- Those 3 will get a free query critique AND get to send me their first 3 chapters of their novel.
- I will pick ONE winner that I will recommend to Alyssa. That means you can use my name when you query her, which will get you pulled out of the slush pile.
- You must be a follower of my blog and twitter. (If you don't have twitter, that's is fine.)
- Your entry must be posted sometime between Monday morning 9am EST and no later than Friday 5pm EST - the contest will start and end by my clock.
- Your pitch must be No more than 3-4 sentences.
- You must post a pay it forward post on FB or blog sometime during the contest time. I will need the link.
NOTE: You can post your entry anytime between Mon Jan 31st at 9AM EST and Friday, Feb 4th by midnight EST.
1. Post a "Pay it Forward" post on your blog or FB (can be any day next week during the contest).
- In that post, you MUST recognize someone for giving back to you. Maybe someone who has helped you in your writing or in your personal life. In your post, you can link to my "Pay it forward" post so your readers can also pay it forward.
- Of course, you are always welcome to join me on FB or sign up for my marketing newsletter that will start soon. I love cyberstalkers :)
- name, email address, 3-4 sentence pitch, genre (MG or YA?), the link to your "Pay it forward" post (either on FB or blog), and your twitter id (if you have one).
- Your book must be done (or in revisions to be done in the next couple of months). I don't mind if you are editing/revising it as a draft, but it cant be only 3 chapters done. I want to do the recommendation by spring or so; not wait 6 months. (to be honest, I might forget and I want to stand good on my offer)
- your pitch can not be longer than 4 sentences.
Next week - I will be posting a few different "Pay it Forward" posts about people who have helped me along the way.
Hope to see you back here on Monday! :)