5.14.2007

Submitting work that's in a contest

Dear Miss Snark,

Please help me avoid acting clueless. I want to maximize my opportunities without doing something that will make agents snarl. Here's the deal. I will be submitting my recently completed novel in a contest. The contest meets the Snark Test, as it is one YOU posted some months ago with a note that if we felt compelled to enter a contest it was a good one. (Bless you...it was your blog that put me onto the contest.) The winner gets a publishing contract with St. Martin's.

So, the question. I want to query agents while the ms. is under contest consideration. If I wait until I hear that I did not win, I've lost six months. If I do win (Dear Dog in Heaven, get me the smelling salts), then I'd like an agent anyway to advise me on the 'standard contract' they will offer the winner. But will prospective/interested agents be put off that the ms. is in a competition?

Querying agents while the ms is in a contest: bad form or good business? Please advise.


I think it's fine. I wouldn't elevate an eyebrow at that info in a query letter.
In fact you're smart to pursue all avenues.
(You do want to mention it in your cover letter of course.)

And if you win, email me again. I have a lifetime supply of salts here at Snark Central. One must always be prepared for a sighting of Mr. Clooney...or this guy

14 comments:

Toddie said...

Ooh, Baryshnikov's looking good for an old fart. I've lusted after him since I was a preteen.

Anonymous said...

Here's what happened to me when I did that. I had a manuscript that I thought was good to go, so I queried a few agents. Everyone had answered but one by the time the deadline for the contest was coming up, so I went ahead and entered because the agency was a BIG one and why would they want little ole me if everyone else turned me down? Short story long, the agent got in touch with me right after that and I had to admit to her I'd sent it off to a contest, BUT I had another manuscript ready to go out!!! I pitched it to the agent who said, "send it on". The agent liked what she saw and things progressed from there. I now have an agent (albeit, not that one, but that was my choice in the end). I did not win the contest, by the way and I'm now revising that manuscript again. So the moral is...keep writing while it's sitting in limbo! Oh, and where did I get that sage advice? Why Miss Snark, of course!

LadyBronco said...

Yum!

Mikhail Baryshnikov just gets better with age, doesn't he?

Thank you, Miss Snark - that photo is going on my desktop!

alternatefish said...

wait a minute, I totally have dibs on Mikhail, from back when I was 12. you keep your stilettos off of him, Miss Snark. you can have George; Mikhail is mine.

Petrea Burchard said...

Miss Snark, I kept clicking on those Vanity Fair pictures. #8 seems more your style.

Debra Moore said...

Here's hoping that was your office building, Miss Snark... Mr. B's on his way!

Edix said...

I saw Baryshnikov a long time ago when I was a teen. The rumor was he had ripped all his tights and was borrowing nylons to dance in. wow. wow. wow.

Lisa McMann said...

Oceans 13 -- in theaters June 8.

:)

Anonymous said...

OK, can someone please post a link to this contest? I've been MIA for a while.

mai said...

You have very good taste in second choices. Baryshnikov is yum (a courageous Aquarian, my favorite flavor of man).

Anonymous said...

Jeez, Miss Snark, you do like them crusty. Not that Mr B & Mr C aren't gorgeous, but their meat is considerably hardened on the bone, n'est-ce pas?

LindaBudz said...

Mikhail. Long sigh.

canwag said...

Old fart? OLD FART? I'll have you know, you pipsqueak, that wine gets better with age!!!

Great choice, Miss S. Baryshnikov can munch crackers in my bed any day. (And I'd be willing to bet he still has that 20-year-old body, too.)

Anonymous said...

Keeping me on a string wouldn't be that easy.
- G