Contests VS Querying


Earlier this week, I let you guys know I’d been entering in a lot of contests, which was why I’d been so dang busy. Well, I learned quite a bit from them.

1. Instant Gratification

Yeah, I know how that sounds, but it’s true. When I entered in the contests, I knew within a week or two how good my pitch/query/first 250 words were. Usually, I wouldn’t know that until I got a response from an agent I emailed, or a friend of mine read over it themselves and gave input. It was good to be in a setting where everyone was focused on one thing—to get an agents attention—and were more than eager to help each other do just that.

2. Better Request Rate

At least for me it was. I got more requests through contests than I ever had through querying. I have no idea why (the agents could’ve been more focused; the pitch was better; they were more excited about this), but I did. Which is awesome!

3. Make more friends/connections

I made A LOT of new friends through these contests. I also met a lot of new agents I never knew before. The only way I could find agents before was through research, but I didn’t know them personally. It was always a shot in the dark when I queried someone, hoping they’d love my letter.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m still going to query while I enter in these contests. But at least now it doesn’t just feel like a waiting game. It’s more bearable to check my inbox because I’m so busy competing with other writers, face to face (well, sort of).



2 Responses to “Contests VS Querying”

  1. S Jenan says:

    This is sooooo true, Cat.

    I’ve been querying for 10 months now, and for all that time, I’ve got only EIGHTY query letters out. Not that I’m slacking, but I don’t want to throw all my weight behind a query that doesn’t cut it. Like you, I’ve gotten into the thrill of CONTEST FEVER, and I’m having a blast! Finally something that moves! It was during Pitch Madness that I cam up with what I think might be my strongest hook yet, and it was because of the madcap pace that it came to me.

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