Friday, September 19, 2008


I'd appreciate any advice on this. I just found a reputable contest for First Young Adult Novel sponsored by an imprint of Random House. My YA novel will be finished before the dealine, which is this December. And while I almost certainly won't win, if I did it would be both:
A. Awesome
B. Easier to land a fabulous agent.

The prize is a book deal with Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House. The problem is that the contest forbids multiple submissions, meaning I can't send in my manuscript to the contest while also shopping it out to prospective agents. I can't query agents until the contest is over. The winner is announced at the end of April. I might find out sooner than that if they don't choose my book, but who knows when that would be.

So my conundrum: enter a contest (hey, somebody's got to win) that could jumpstart a writing career, or skip it and concentrate on querying agents?


Chad Aaron Sayban said...

If you think the story is a really good one, I would go the other way. I would search for an agent first, and if none of them take a liking to it, then submit it to a contest. There are always contests out there, so if the deadline for this one passes, there will be another one soon enough. Either way, keep writing. The next novel is usually even better than the previous one. Example - John Grisham wrote A Time To Kill, it didn't do well. Then he wrote The Firm. It went crazy and THEN A Time To Kill sold huge and ended up a movie as well. Just keep plugging along. You never know what will happen. I hope this helped.

shannon said...

Just chiming in to agree with Chad. Mostly because one of the big things I've learned as a design freelancer is to never give away your work as such - not because entering a contest is bad (it's not) but because they're saying you can't do as you wish with your own work, which sort of violates the "no spec" issue. Anyway, you're awesome enough to not need a contest like that - I vote keep writing!!

Casey said...

I'm in awe of you writing over 68,000 words. I don't think I've written anything over a 5 page research paper. You're awesome!