Hold on to your hats!
Today I’m super-thrilled to have the wonderful Rebecca Angus from Golden Wheat Literary agency dropping by. She’s agreed to take some time out of her ridiculously busy schedule to give us her thoughts on the upcoming #p2p16 contest – from an agent’s perspective.
Full disclosure here: Rebecca is my agent and she always makes time for her clients (including me). But this goes above and beyond and I really can’t thank her enough for agreeing to give us a view of the contest from the other side. She participated in last summer’s P2P and I think getting her take on #p2p16 as an agent is invaluable.
So, without further delay…on to the questions!
So #p2p16 is right around the corner and today I have a super-awesome, super-timely interview. I managed to talk Pitch-to-Publication editor Lara Willard into giving us some of her time. No small feat, given the number of hats she wears – huge thanks for stopping by Lara!
Lara: Honored you asked me to come over! Next time, I expect snacks.
Yikes! I can’t believe I forgot the snacks! *** flings open pantry doors and stares at empty shelf where chips should be *** Oh that’s right. I’ve been binge watching old Godzilla movies.
In last summer’s P2P contest, I was fortunate to be one of two writers Lara took on for a month of heavy duty revising. Rather than go on and on about how great she is, I thought it would be interesting to get her take on how she works with writers (like me) when she’s editing their manuscript. Kind of a peek inside the writer-to-editor relationship – from the editor’s viewpoint.
Of course Lara is going to be an editor in the upcoming #p2p16, and you can learn more about her MSWL by reading her profile on the #p2p16 website here.
Now I’ve already survived had the privilege of going through one of Lara’s extensive editing sessions. If you happen to be the next victim lucky person she picks in #p2p16, then read on for a taste of what it will be like to work with her!
Bloggers note: I originally published this post for the #p2p16 March contest. I have since updated with information for the #p2p16 October contest.
We’re just a few days away from the #p2p16 contest (to be held on October 22, 2016). So what it’s like once you’ve mustered up the courage to hit “Send” on your entry? Think about it this way: Have you ever played pin the tail on the donkey…with a live donkey…while being blindfolded in a dark room as people shout out tantalizing hints about how close you are? It’s exactly like that.
You just sent your query letter and first five pages to the esteemed contest editors. Now they’re going to review your work (and a hundred other people’s entries) and one of these editors may pick you to mentor for an entire month (for free)! So yeah, there’s a lot of anxious waiting and excitement.
For my post on tips to prepare for P2P#16, click here.
The editors also have this deliciously tantalizing habit of teasing us poor entrants with hints about the queries they are shortlisting.
As parents and teachers, we hope to give the children we love strong values, traditions, and a clear moral compass. Using our own lives as an example for them to follow is by far the strongest way to do that. However, I think there is a subtle, but powerful, gift we can give our children that we sometimes overlook: a love of reading.
In books, children can find an un-judgmental peek into a confusing world. They can see hundreds of examples of other people, the choices they make and the good or bad that comes from those choices. They read stories about kids just like themselves…and very different from themselves. These stories help shape the people our children eventually become.
Ok, confession time. Raise your hand if you’re not really sure what Filtering words are? Hey, look at that we have something in common.
I’ll tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to let my agent know. If she finds out, she’ll add another color to the checklist she has for critiquing my manuscripts. She’s already used all the primary and secondary colors. I think we’re up to periwinkle now. I didn’t even know that was a color.
So here’s the thing. When I wrote the first draft of my book, I intentionally used filtering words because I thought they were cool. Turns out…not cool.
What are Larry’s queries? That’s a good question. It’s probably best if I tell you who Larry is first. Larry’s my cousin on my mother’s side. He wants to be a writer and he’s got some really good ideas too, but he struggles putting queries together. (Don’t we all).
So anyway, I thought it would be helpful to Larry (and anyone else reading this blog) if we went through his queries and tried to improve them.
When you see the queries you’ll understand what I mean when I say Larry struggles with this. Actually, he’s downright awful at it. Don’t worry about hurting his feelings though, believe me the man is like human Teflon. Just don’t say anything bad about Neil Armstrong. Don’t ask…it’s just a thing with Larry.