This past week, I joined a very simple writing contest.
Nothing flashy… just a pitch and the first 250 words of my manuscript.
Now, no matter how this turns out, I did get something out of the experience…
#1: I read a few of the other entries, and was able to make some comments on them. It was enlightening to see what else is out there being queried. There is some really interesting stuff out there. And ****GACK**** some of these authors are REALLY talented. See # 2
#2: This contest called for the first 250 words of the manuscript. YIKES. This is my challenge to you. Read the first 250 words of your manuscript. Not the first 300. Not even the first 260. THE FIRST 250. Now, you might say, “The first 250 words of any manuscript aren’t good. They’re just exposition.” Well, let me tell you. There are a few people in this contest who have KICK BUTT first 250 words.
It made me start thinking… How many agents/publishers might only read the first 250 words or so of a submission, and just move on if they are not INSTANTLY “wowed” by the work?
The more I thought about it, the more I decided “Probably a lot of them.” These people are REALLY BUSY.
I read an interview with an agent who said they receive 10,000 queries a year. Think that over.
I, for one, learned something from this contest. I am looking closely at my first 250 words again.
When they were standing out there all alone, I didn’t quite love them as much as I did when they were attached to the next paragraph.