Miss America for Books
What's your opinion of first novel contests? I'm thinking specifically of big name ones, like the annual Delacorte PBFYR first YA novel contest. I've read that winning a thing like that "launches careers." Yet if you win, it seems you're locked into a pre-written, generalized contract, something (as far as I understand) you legally agree to by virtue of entering. True? And is this a good way to start a career?
If a writer who has won something like that approaches an agent, what if anything does/can/would that agent do? Would the agent still get 15%? Can the agent make any changes to the publishing contract? Any other tidbits you may have about these types of things?
well, for starters, no one can force you into a contract against your will. God know Miss Snark has tried to lassoo George Clooney but so far the Supreme Court keeps upholding that silly little no slavery amendment. Miss Snark soldiers on.
Truly, if you win, you can negotiate anything you want. Or just not sign it.
And if you approach an agent after winning one of those things, that's exactly when you'll see what a good agent can do for you.
And heck ya we're gonna nick ya for 15%.
See the post on whether you really need an agent, below, for more on that.