What I've learned so far at WriteOnCon …
The WriteOnCon conference has officially started! I posted all of my work on the forums (a query letter, first 250 words and first 5 pages) and so far, I've received a lot of great feedback. It's been a process but I've revised my query letter at least 4 times and tweaked my writing sample. I think everything is much stronger now so I’m glad I decided to participate!
One thing I've learned from scrolling through the forums and reading everyone else’s work is how important it is to have a good query letter! These things are tricky to write but a good one stands out from the rest. I’m certainly not an agent but after reading query after query I can see how they all start to sound the same. When I find a good one (or one I really like) it pops out instantly. Then I dissect it to see what makes it good.
Carly Webber, an agent from CK Webber Associates, posted this on the forum about her process of going through her slush pile. I can see now how quickly she has to decide whether or not to move on to the sample pages since there are just so many queries to read! And she herself says she gives only about one minute per query. I guess the take home message is make your query letter clear and concise!! I know… easier said than done.
Also, if you’re even thinking about sending in a query, you need to watch this Google Hangout Event with literary agents Suzie Townsend and Kathleen Ortiz from New Leaf Media. They review twitter pitches and give their reactions. I found this to be so helpful (even if you don’t do twitter pitches which I never have) since it helped me see the process from their point of view.