Being a novelist is many things. Easy isn’t one of them. On this long and difficult journey, we need as much help and support as we can possibly get. So, as a belated Valentine’s Day gift to my fellow aspiring novelists, here are some cool opportunities, programs and resources just for you!
Critique Giveaway: YA and MG novelists can enter to have their query letter and the first page of their manuscript critiqued by a mentee from the previous round of Author Mentor Match. This is taking place NOW through the end of February. Lucky winners are chosen via random drawing and matched to a mentee in their category and genre. Find out more and enter here:
Author Mentor Match, Round 4: Program that pairs aspiring YA and MG novelists with more experienced authors who have already signed with agents. In order to apply, you need to have a completed YA or MG manuscript, a query letter, and a synopsis. You can apply to up to four mentors. If you get selected, your mentor will give you notes on your manuscript and other parts of your submission package! Round 4 submissions run from March 16-21. Find out all about this awesome opportunity and how to apply here:
Pitch Wars: Okay, I know the folks who write adult novels were starting to feel left out, so here’s one for EVERYBODY! This program is similar in some ways to Author Mentor Match. In this case the mentors are agented/published writers, editors, or industry interns. They each choose one applicant to work with, and help that person polish his/her manuscript and submission package. After two months of intense revisions, each mentee’s pitch/first page is posted for agents to view in the agent showcase. In order to apply for this program, you need a finished manuscript, a synopsis, a query letter and a pitch. Submission windows are as follows: Adult: July 16th, YA: July 17th, MG: July 18th. Some mentors may accept memoirs and graphic novels. Find out all about this amazing program and other related events, such as #PitMad, here:
Other goodies for novelists getting ready to submit for the first time:
AgentQuery Connect: A great site with a community of writers who help and support one another. These folks know their stuff and are always willing to lend a hand, whether it’s critiquing a synopsis/first page/query letter, or simply answering a question about agents and the submission process.
Query Shark: Must-see blog for anyone crafting a query letter. Be sure to read every single example and all the comments. Invaluable info given with snarky humor by literary agent Janet Reid, who hopes to help new writers survive the query trenches.
Query Tracker: Very useful site – people share when they sent their queries to specific agents, what response they got, and how quickly it arrived. Some folks even post their rejection letters (so you can see what a particular agent’s form letter looks like) and other super-helpful info.
I hope these resources make your journey toward publication just a little bit easier. Remember: no matter how hard it seems sometimes, you’re not alone!