Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Uberagents finding writers through their short stories

Strange things happen every day. Even when you think the only thing going on that day is the carpeting in your unvacuumed house has become it's own chia pet and Snookie's I.Q. has dropped yet again, I believe there are forces at work in the backgrounds of our lives (que the theme to Glee) and they're very, very busy.

No, I haven't been snorting LiLo's favorite candy, I'm just saying that stuff happen sometimes and we can't control it. Sometimes, it's even VG stuff. (Just ask LiLo). For example, last year when I wasn't looking for an agent at all--I got one. Actually five. Five agent offers. Yep, it's true. Agents were crawling through the woodwork. Knocking on my door and falling through the chimney (well, not really, but it felt like it.) CANDY for us writers, baby!

To back up, I was sitting here minding my own business writing short stories. Whenever I'd finish a story, I'd look up which markets would be best for that story on Duotrope, then send it out. I got tons of rejections. Then I'd send it out again. A few poems too. Believe me, just because you're seeking publication in an ezine, ezine/print combo, or a small print publication DOES not mean the competition is hack. Au contrairee-poo. The competition is fierce.

But I actually sold (got some money) six short stories and two poems! I was even nominated for the 2010 Million Writers Award by the editors of one of my stories. I should have won, but I'm not bitter or anything.

What does this have to do with agents? Everything. Because one of my stories prompted a very well know agent from a VERY prestigious boutique shop in New Yawk to actually email me and ask if I had a novel. Omigod, I was being discovered and I didn't even have to lower my standards and go on The Bachelor.

Yes, I had a novel that I'd been working on, but it wasn't in her genre. However, she told me to send it to her colleague. A week later, said-colleague called me! Seriously. I mean, SERIOUSLY-hello?, things like this don't happen in real life. But they did to me. Squee, squee, squee.

So then said-colleague wanted me to finish the novel, which I did. By this time, I decided to query other agents, and while said-colleague was awesome, I ended up with five offers of representation, and even more requests for reads, which I turned down because each offering agent was glorious and I didn't need more. (Desperate as we are for agent-love, we writers must know when to be gracious and bitch-slap our inner-hogistas).

Anyway, I decided on Super-Nova-Agent for many reasons. I loved her vision, her reputation, the way we clicked on the phone, how our birthdays were only a week a part--very important--and that she got my voice.

So the point of this post is that if you happen to write short stories, it could also bring you some agent offers, too. Or maybe it won't. No guarantees, right? Just ask LiLo.


Father Tom said...

Yes, I have no choice but to speak through a cat...

I love how you have prioritized your writing so that your stories have become your "calling cards" so to speak. That has served you well!

and.. you have cats which thrills me no end (duh) Transforming ferals must have been quite an undertaking, though.

It's so nice to meet all of you!
--J.R. Mackenzie and Tom

Lisa and Laura said...

LOVE that you're referencing LiLo in a post about your agent search. This pretty much cements our friendship.