Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sea of Agents-Part II

I should have posted this yesterday, but I decided my hands needed a break; Saturday was a no-computer day. This other opportunity is coming up fast to have a chance of landing an agent."Miss Snark's First Victim" is a writer's blog; the bloggerette (feminine for blogger :) goes by Authoress. Through her love and devotion to writing and fellow writers, she has created an awesome community. The Baker's Dozen is a contest she has ran for the past two years, and I'm experiencing it for the first time. For the contest, you submit your pitch/logline and your first 250 words from a completed work. Wait a minute, there's an end to revisions? Then she and a fellow author read over the submissions and choose 35 winners in the YA/MG category out of 300. There's also a NA/Adult category this year. The winners are posted for twenty-two agents to bid on. You may end up getting a request for a partial or full manuscript, and perhaps, land an agent.

In the month leading up to the contest, Authoress has posted success stories, the list of agents, authors and editors involved, and she has ran three rounds of logline critiques. The last round, my logline was randomly picked. Yes, it was exciting! Holly Bodger, a published YA author, critiqued it along with a few fellow writers. It was helpful and I spent two days in rewrites/edits. I highly recommend becoming a follower of Miss Snark's First Victim. Click on the Baker's Dozen Guidelines, and read everything before entering the contest. It starts this week and for a nominal fee of $15, it's way worth a try!

In the sea of agents, we must swim through various waterways to increase our chances of catching the right one.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sea of Agents

In a sea of agents, swimming up to the right one is a challenge. Thanks to SCBWI, it can be easier. Earlier this month I attended the OC SCBWI Agents Day where I got to hear Lori Kilkelly of the Rodeen Literary Management, Sean McCarthy of the Sean McCarthy Agency, Christa Heschke of McIntosh and Otis Inc., and Charlie Olsen of Inkwell Management speak about his/her agency, the business, what they're looking for, and writing topics i.e. the beloved query. And I was lucky to have my name picked to lunch with Christa Heschke along with four other attendees. From listening to their presentations and speaking with most of them one on one, I got a sense of which ones to submit my work to.
Rule of thumb: Do not judge on presentation/lecture alone. Some agents aren't good speakers, and why should they be? They spend most of their time on the phone and computer. Get over your shyness, introduce yourself, and talk to them; note: it doesn't have to be about writing. Through the stormy sea of agents, a rainbow eventually shines above. I'll be posting other agent opportunities soon like tomorrow : )

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Power Revision Breakfast ; )

Dove back into my revisions last Sunday with my power breakfast. It's been years since I've had our local, infamous Heidelberg cinnamon roll and it was better than I remembered. I also thought I'd advertise the awesome coffee I buy at Trader Joe's. "This ultra dark roast coffee has a full body that is complimented by medium acidity and dark chocolaty sweet overtones." This pitch left me wanting more, how about you? I admit I'm a coffee snob. I'm still powering through revisions-amazing how one cinnamon roll can keep you going for days! ; )

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reading distracts from Revising, or Does It?

Skipped September, so make-up blog time for October. These are my feet and yes I often read, daydream and receive inspiration here on this hammock in my backyard. My latest two MG book reads starred a squirrel in one, and two raccoons in the other(star status is reserved for talking/thinking animals and bugs only). Flora & Ulysses...The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo combines a graphic novel and novel in one-brilliant! I adored all her quirky characters, especially the labeled cynic, Flora and the "unassuming" squirrel, Ulysses. I wonder how many fourth graders had to Google the word "cynic." Congrats to Kate DiCamillo for receiving 2014 Newberry Award for this fun and touching novel.
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt had quite a few animal characters, but the true stars were the scouts-two raccoon brothers, Bingo and J'miah. And who couldn't love Chap Brayburn? A twelve year-old boy devoted to his mother's sugar pie business and the the swampland who struggles becoming a man after losing his grandfather. It's bitter-sweet like coffee and fried sugar pies. I was pleasantly surprised by the "save the environment" theme which is one of my themes in my book that came to me eight years ago. Until about two years ago, it was a rare find to come across an MG with this theme. I'm happy to see this niche in the market growing and having Kathi Appelt, a Newberry Honor award author to be a part of it, is awesome! Though I'm not a fan of a narrator being a character, this one did set a nice tone and rhythm. I definitely would have edited some of the details on the Desoto and instead, a point of view might of been fun. I did enjoy reading the several points of view that was in this book. Both of these MGs are a must read.
As for my question, yes, the reading did take time away from writing, but what I learned fueled my revisions. Stay tune for my latest YA reads.