View Full Version : I was a Contest Finalist -- Where to Go From Here?

05-03-2014, 02:25 AM
I hope you guys can help point me in the right direction.

I was a top-10 finalist in the "Like a Virgin" pitch contest. The results were in today, and I came in 6th place out of 50 contestants. :) I'm very happy, and I received a number of partial and full requests from the agents who judged the competition. I'm currently polishing my MS and getting it ready to send out.

The thing is, the prize I won is a first-few-chapters/synopsis critique from one of the agents who judged (and also one of the agents who requested a partial). I'm supposed to send my stuff to her to get critiqued.

So, considering that the prizes are critiques, do you think the agents who requested partials and fulls will be okay with me waiting to send them my stuff until AFTER I receive feedback from this particular agent? It seems silly to send out all my queries, then get a critique that makes me realize I need to change a bunch of stuff. I've already been rejected a bunch in the past so I want to make sure I'm sending out my best work. But I don't want to seem ungrateful for these requests or like I wasn't prepared. I don't know how long the critique/revision process is going to take, and I don't want these agents to have forgotten about me by the time I'm ready.

I already asked a similar question in another thread and was told that it's normal to take some time to revise before sending stuff out in this situation, but I just want to make sure. This is a huge opportunity and I've never received so much attention from agents before, so I want to do the right thing!

Thanks for any advice.

05-03-2014, 04:01 AM
I'm not an agent, but my instinct is, why not ask them? I'm guessing most agents wouldn't be offended by you saying, "Thank you so much for your interest. I'd love to send you a partial now, but I was wondering if you'd mind if I waited for feedback from the judges so that I could incorporate it and make my manuscript as strong as possible."

05-03-2014, 04:03 AM
First, congrats on all the interest!

I have absolutely no pro knowledge here as a fellow query-er, but (unless you are supper confident in your material) I would send an email to the agents that made requests basically saying exactly what you did here (you want to send your best work and so want to wait on the crit). Explain what's up and promise the requested material asap. Or maybe ask?

Edit: What Mutive said sounds just right to me :)

JJ Litke
05-03-2014, 04:17 AM
Another thought: ask the agent who's doing the critique. Seems they would know if there's some kind of standard procedure for contests like this.

05-03-2014, 04:58 AM

I think that asking the requesting agents whether they want to read it now or wait until after you "use" your prize is a good idea, since obviously they knew what that prize was. Mention that you're perfectly happy sending now if they want it, but in light of the prize, you could potentially get feedback that would affect the partials.

05-03-2014, 11:31 PM
Thanks guys! I asked the official person who ran the contest and she said waiting until after my critique is totally acceptable. :) Also the person doing the critique is one of the agents who requested the material, so that works too.

05-04-2014, 08:26 PM
Wow! Congratulations!!

Barbara R.
05-04-2014, 08:42 PM
Agents often get pitched on a book that isn't quite ready for its closeup. If they express interest, some writers immediately send what they have; others take the time to polish the work till it shines before letting it go. Guess who gets the better result?

It's great that your work aroused that much interest. Agents are used to waiting and won't take it amiss---honestly, they probably won't think again about the book till it hits their desk. I'd suggest writing each agent a note thanking them for their interest and promising the send the ms. as soon as you finish polishing it. Then, when it is ready, submit with the email header "Requested Material" or write that on the envelope if using snail mail. That puts you closer to the front of what may be a very long TBR line.

Good luck!

05-05-2014, 04:09 AM
Thanks so much! Yeah, it's pretty amazing! Makes me want to enter more contests in the future! :)

Debbie V
05-06-2014, 10:37 PM
I'd ask the person who ran the contest how you should handle the situation. I bet they have the agents' ears.

Often agents establish a time frame for submission following a conference. It's usually six months.