So, you’re thinking about entering an agent/query/writing contest?

Lemme tell ya, you’re in for a ride! I’ve only entered one other contest (#SFFpit hosted by Dan Koboldt) which resulted in one of my manuscripts receiving a request from a small publisher. They’re still considering it – so “onward and forward” I go – which became my mantra at some point on this crazy journey. Not sure when, but there it is.

Then last Friday a Twitter-friend of mine (I’m looking at you, Mel!) messaged me to ask if I was going to enter Michelle Hauck’s “In With the New” contest on her blog. We’d chatted about it before but, to be honest, I’d kind of forgotten. Don’t judge – I’d just had major surgery, y’all. Then I read how it was to work and I really liked it. Long story short, I decided to go for it.

Over the next three days I obsessed over my query letter. I frantically moved commas and periods. I deleted and copied and pasted like a mad woman and bugged the daylights out of the folks over at AgentQueryConnect (as well as my family, FB friends, and Mel) until I was happy with my query letter. I pasted my information, the query pitch, and my first 250 words into a draft email and waited for the appointed time.

Monday, July 14th at 12:05 PM EDT, I hit “SEND” as I held my youngest daughter’s hand.

And I haven’t gotten off Twitter since. There are three hashtags involved in this, #NewAgent, #NewSlush, and one that’s participant created, #NewAgentSupportGroup. You can laugh, it’s okay. But that last one is no joke. These people are serious. From words of encouragement to passing around virtual brownies (I don’t play. I offered to bring the virtual ice cream and tequila which quickly evolved into #tequilafloats) – these people are a laugh a minute and are so encouraging.

We won’t know who made it to the agent round until next Monday, the 21st, but I’ve already made some new writer friends and found myself rooting for people who I don’t even know. Yet we share a dream. A dream to write, to be published, to send our words out into the world. And I can’t wait to cheer them on, whether I move on to the agent round or not.

Onward and forward.

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