Agent contests are a fantastic tool for writers. This month there are several big contests coming up, so my writing and publishing tool for today is entering contests!
As most of you know, agents receive up to several hundred queries a month. Thursday I saw an agent tweet that she had 350 queries sitting in her inbox. No matter how diligent the agent, query inboxes are bound to get monotonous. Entering contests is a fantastic way to separate yourself from the slush- I’ve even heard agents say they pay a little more attention to queries and first pages in contests than they do in the slush, simply because it’s a different environment.
Another benefit of contests can be public critique for pitches, queries, and first pages. Some contests have these, and they can be helpful for seeing how others view your characters, stakes, and concept.
Some of my favorite contests are coming up soon, so I'm listing them below. Definitely check them out, and enter if you have a manuscript ready!
“Mystery Agent” contest from Operation Awesome. This is a monthly contest, so watch the blog for the announcement.
An Agent’s Inbox” from Krista Van Dolzer. Keep an eye out for her instructions post- she's said it's coming soon!
“Trick or Treat with an Agent” from Brenda Drake and her cohosts. Coming October 24!
“Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction”: The fabulous annual contest from Authoress Anonymous on the "Miss Snark's First Victim" blog.
“Secret Agent”: Another great contest, this one monthly, from Authoress Anonymous!
Each of those blogs has an agent contest coming up soon, so keep an eye on their posts. I definitely recommend looking back to their last contest to see how the contest works and view the logline critiques as well.
Agented writer Deanna Romito also keeps an updated list of agent contests on her blog, so keep an eye on that too!