Hello, Miss Snark!
How art thou? (peachy, thanks for asking)
I am currently seeking a new agent, and several agents are reading partials and fulls. I just found out that I am a finalist in a national short story contest (sponsored by a pretty distinguished literary journal).
Would the agents who have my manuscript be interested in hearing about this? If so, should I email them with the update? If not, is this information I should include in future queries?
Thank you, as always, for your advice!
Resist the temptation to email anyone considering your work about anything other than:
you are now dead, and God has an exclusive on your novel;
you have signed with another agent (neener neener is optional);
you are considering signing with another agent today/tomorrow/this week and just wanted to touch base with your Heart's Desire before signing with your second choice;
you have seriously reworked the partial or full and if they want it, you'll be glad to send the new and improved version.
You'll notice what this list doesn't have on it: vacations. Contest finalists. Cosmetic revisions. A new page 19. Underlining instead of italics. Excited comments from one of your beta readers.
I have received ALL of those emails and my first reaction is a very very nasty version of "so what" but I do not email that in return. I say thanks and I remember that you are quick on the send button and as we all know by now, that is not a plus in my book.
I don't want to hear from you until I've read your stuff.
Including the info in future query letters is ok, and a smart idea if you win, place or show.