Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Got Ninja'd!

This week was WriteOnCon an online writer's conference for children's, MG and YA writers, that I coincidentally found out about on Monday. (Thank you Twitter!) WriteOnCon is a series of online sessions with agents, authors and editors as well as Q&A's. In addition, they have a huge forum where writers can get advice and post queries, synopsis, their first 250 words, and first five pages for critique from fellow writers. Seeing the interaction on the forum, I decided to make an attempt at a query letter and post it for critique, since I'd never written one before and was seriously dreading it. I started with a summary of my manuscript that I'd written prior to the Missouri Writer's Guild conference and was lucky enough to revise after getting five minutes with a very generous agent at the conference.

When I posted the query a few people critiqued it and I got some great advice. So I redrafted the query a few times to incorporate the feedback and reposted the new drafts. After yesterday people stopped posting feedback and my thread fell to page three. I figured most people wouldn't flip that far to critique so I stopped checking it and subscribed to the thread just in case. No biggie, I was glad some people took the time to comment.

But now onto the best part of the conference. Literary agents and editors patrol these forums under secret identities of the form Ninja Agent _____ . This afternoon, I read through the thread of people reporting in whether or not they "got ninja'd" and caught the eye of an agent. I congratulated those who did and thanked everyone for their critiques and reported in that I hadn't been ninja'd. About an hour later I received an email saying I had a reply to my query thread. As I scrolled through the email, I saw that not only had I been ninja'd, but that mystery Ninja Agent Rainbow had critiqued my query and given me some serious praise. Including the line:

Seriously, I love this premise and almost immediately began to wonder if you don't have the start of a really fun GN (Graphic Novel) on your hands.
 My jaw hit the floor. The only thing running through my mind was OMG OMG OMG HOLY FREAKING S#!T! DID THAT SERIOUSLY JUST HAPPEN? OMG OMG OMG. I think I read the note twenty times and I still hours later am not sure I read it right. Not only had an agent taken the time to read my query, they commented and critiqued it. And on top of it, said very very very nice things. Including that bit above which if I'm interpreting it right means, from my query alone they were already thinking about how to market my work. My heart was pounding out of my chest.

This is seriously one of the biggest highs in my life and it couldn't have come at a better time either. Just a week ago I was sitting at a table with a group of writers seriously doubting my work and wondering if what I had was unique enough to catch an agent's eye. Now I have my answer. And if this is what catching a agent's eye feels like, I don't ever want to doubt myself again. I will take this feeling any day of the week, even if it means I'm left completely speechless. Even though this is a small taste of what is hopefully to come **fingers crossed**, I'm glad I can now say 'So that's what that feel's like' and it's a feeling I'm not willing to let go of.

14 comments:

  1. This is awesome. I am so happy for you!

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    1. Thanks Matt! I'm still having trouble forming coherent sentences.

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  2. willshakespeare-immortalbardAugust 16, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Wonderful news! I'm so glad that you got noticed--can't wait till I'm able to see the marvelous work that the agent/editor saw. :)

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    1. Thanks, now that I have my query nailed down better it might be going up here soon .... ;)

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  3. Very Cool! keep up the great work!

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  4. Awesome! Congratulations!!! WHOO HOOO!!!!!
    See? You ARE a great writer, Jamie!

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    1. Thank you! Yes you keep telling me that... maybe I should listen more often ;)

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  5. That is awesome news Jamie! Of course you know I want to see the query now!!!!

    Yes...that's worth exclamation points AND ellipsis!

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    1. Haha! Thank you! Just don't abuse those ellipsis and exclamation points ;) And yes as soon as the ninja agents are done, I'll post the bulk of my query on the blog here.

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  6. WOW! - so proud of you and your accomplishments. And I knew you way back when . . .

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully it will turn into something bigger :) And yes you've known me longer than most! :)

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  7. OMG This is great news! Congratulations Jamie! And we might see that quere soonish so YAY!

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