How To Almost Win An Agent

A few weeks ago I was waiting for my kids to get ready for school and decided to check out Twitter. As luck – as in, horseshoe up the butt luck – would have it, @knightagency had just tweeted about their latest and greatest contest, She’s Just That Into You, which would be starting in moments.

In a nutshell, Deidre Knight would be looking for a new client via the agency website. The first 175 people to leave a comment on the Knight Agency blog could send in a query letter. From those, Deidre would pick her top 30 entrants, who would then send the first 10 pages of their manuscripts. It would then be whittled down to 10 entrants and 3 chapters, then 3 entrants and full manuscripts.

All of you querying writers know that this is a fairy-agent-god-mother situation, so I immediately bribed my kids to give me 10 minutes of peace so I could enter. My typing lessons from high school (yes, I’m a fossil) didn’t fail me and I managed to get into the first round. Since this step was based on luck rather than writing, I didn’t get my hopes up.

But when I saw that I’d made it to the second round, fantasies of book tours and Oprah appearances filled my head. Daydreaming turned to obsession. I even considered holding off on my queries until the contest was over, lest I disappoint the legion of agents out there looking at my contest-winning-worthy query.

Needless to say, I did not win. Nor did I make it to the next round. I did, however, learn an important lesson – one that I’m always telling my kids but have never truly put into practice myself: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. In other words, I didn’t win (this time), but that’s okay. At least I tried.



Filed under Awards and contests, Starting up, Success stories

13 responses to “How To Almost Win An Agent

  1. Trish L E

    Love the saying and love the fact that you tried! Great post, Lori. I found it very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Closer than I’ve ever been. Love the last line. Next time…

  3. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — good lesson for all of us to remember! And yay you for taking a shot. Keep taking them… and good luck!

  4. Love it! In many ways, winning an agent is a lot like winning the lottery…Gotta keep at it!

  5. You’re right. You have to try. I “met” my agent through a contest. You just never know!

    Don’t forget to keep trying!

  6. Hey Lori — found you in a round-about blogospheric way.

    I totally agree with this post. Much of what makes a writer successful is simply taking chances and getting things done while other writers are busy fondling the muse 😉

    Best of luck to you in 2011!

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