A few weeks ago I participated in a pitch workshop over on Brenda Drake's blog. I wrote about it here. But I didn't know when I entered the workshop that I would automatically get a spot in the top 200 of a contest called Pitch Madness.
These sorts of contests seem to be the thing lately - writers post a snippet of their manuscript, sometimes a query letter or a one sentence pitch, and participating agents try to outbid each other for the manuscripts. It's a great opportunity for writers because it creates a sense of competition that generally isn't there when you're just out querying blindly in the real world. It's also really scary, because everyone will see if no one is interested in your novel.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that a 35-word pitch and the first 150 words of a manuscript don't tell you much. 150 words isn't even a page! All of the agents are also interested in different things. Some people don't want Paranormal, so I already knew three or four agents of the ten who participated wouldn't be interested in my book. Since I had no idea how this would work out, I didn't really tell anyone about it. I wasn't even sure if I'd make it into the top 60 who were allowed to participate in the agent round. But I did (yay!) and I got three bids on my book (yay!).
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Brenda Drake, Cassandra Marshall, and Shelley Watters for hosting the contest. I can only imagine how much work went into this - reading through 200 entries, picking the top 60, monitoring all the agents' comments, tweeting about the whole ordeal...not to mention coming up with the rules in the first place. This contest had a poker theme and since I can't for the life of me understand how to play actual poker, you can bet I didn't have a clue what was going on in this contest. I'm also extremely grateful that all of this was done blindly (you couldn't see the agents' comments until noon today) because it meant I didn't need to obsessively check their blogs every ten minutes. Of course I made myself slightly insane on Twitter, but it could have been way worse. Thanks also to the agents who participated! I'm so grateful for this opportunity!