6.06.2006

I gotcher Miss Congeniality riiiiight here

Dear Miss Snark,

My first manuscript recently placed as a semi-finalist in a literary contest. Is that worth mentioning in a query on my second MS or do agents/editors see that as the ugly stepsister award?



Ok, I don't get this. Your first ms got the recognition..and you're shopping something else? Why?

Second, semi-finalist is sort of like an award for participation. It makes you feel good, but it's probably not got leverage enough to work for you.

The contest itself is an important factor. If you were a semi finalist in Miss Snark's 2nd Annual Writing contest, well, frankly, I'd mention that incredible honor on the envelope itself; hell with waiting for the cover letter. If it's the Jackalope Junction Corner Pocket Manuscript Reading, Writhin' and Roundup, well, you want to just count your blessings for getting out alive and not tempt fate by referring to it ever again.

15 comments:

Sandra Ruttan said...

That Tarquini knows how to tell a story, doesn't she? Fantastic writer. Kicks my ass when she edits my work, too.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it depend on how big the contest was? If it's a nationally known writer's contest, semi-finals might be impressive, however, if it's a small contest . . . eh.

Delilah said...

Coffee

Nose

Still no warning

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Miss Snark. I have wondered this myself. I've been both afinalist and semi-finalist for awards like the Iowa prizes and Flannery O'Connor. Worth mentioning? I've tended to think no.....

M. G. Tarquini said...

Holy. Cannoli.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm the anonymous writer who asked about Iowa and O'Connor awards... I should have added, if those awards were for your short fiction but you are now agent-shopping a novel...

thank you.

Mark said...

She posts here. Ezines generally aren't clips unless tied to a legitimate print publication, or Salon or Slate of course.

Michele said...

“Ok, I don't get this. Your first ms got the recognition..and you're shopping something else? Why?”

Because while the first is being requested for partials, fulls and winning Miss Congeniality contests, it’s still getting rejected and I’m running out of query victims. My second MS, which isn’t finished, is getting excerpts published.

Ick. That makes me sound like the putz who dumps the dutiful wife for the trophy wife. Well, I gave her ten good years. Whatayagonnado?

gdwutt said...

well, we know the Third Rule of Snark Query is that we do NOT mention our unpublished darlings to the nice lady in the turquoise harlequin spectacles who appears to wearing a gin pail as an IV.

Michele said...

Ah yes, good point gdwutt. Woops.

Cynthia Bronco said...

RE: gdwutt
"Third Rule of Snark Query..."
I didn't know the rules were sorted by number. Can I get them in laminated pocket size or, even better, stone tablets for above my computer and can I order them online?

Anonymous said...

Cynthia:

Oh dog, please no. Evil Editor is doing merchandising on his site. It's only a matter of time before we start ID-ing smug-cloud-spewing cubicle co-workers by their coffee-cup-announced closet mania for "that novel I'm working on."

The Snark feels to me more like U2 in the Boy days, or Elaine Pagels' Gnostic Gospels back in 1980, when Dan Brown was still sorting f of x functions at Amherst. The snarklings little secret edge.

bookfraud said...

semi-finalist in contest is kinda like coming in third at westminster dog show or the kentucky derby -- nice on the resume, but does anyone care? i thought all that mattered was the quality of the work...i'm just a cynic, i guess.

Bay said...

Wait... um... does "semi-finalist" also mean "honorable mention"? Or is this more nitwittery than is acceptable on a Wednesday night? I can wait until Sunday, if that's a better time to be a nitwit.

elizabeth said...

Can we get back to Jackelope Junction? That story is DANG FUNNY!

The rest of us are mere interlopers with our feeble attempts at query humor.