From the Speakers: HYMN TO THE FALLEN by John Williams
Finding an agent is probably the hardest, loneliest, and most discouraging of all writing processes.
You have an idea for a story. You sit down a write a story. It's okay. You go back and edit it. It's better. Your eyes hurt from looking at it. Characters you love start to become annoying with their presence. You edit it again. Spend more time with them. The story is great. The best you've ever written. Once again, you love these characters unconditionally. So much so, you must share this story, this novel, with others.
Not so fast!
An agent must send your manuscript out to the publishing companies. But before that, he or she has to agree to represent you. But before that, he or she must request to read your full manuscript. But before that, he or she must read your query letter and sample pages and be impressed enough not to reject you informally. But before that, you must write a query letter. But before that, you must research, heavily, which agent or agents you will submit to.
And you bear all of this alone.
Again, not so fast! Fortunately for us lonely writers, there are those out there who want to help. A few of them live over at YA Confidential (http://yaconfidential.blogspot.com/2011/09/launch-celebration-win-crit-from-agent.html). They're having a giveaway, and those entering can win a critique of their query or sample pages by an agent. What value! I wish I had an agent as a family member or friend or neighbor who could take two seconds to read my query letter and tell me what they thought. It's difficult to know if you're doing well when you get a lot of rejections, but your query letter resembles those examples posted on the web. Does your letter suck? Or is it just that agents reject almost everybody? Probability isn't in your favor as a writer submitting. That's why a (YA? haha!) giveaway like this is so awesome because if you win, your chances of being the best submission possible increase dramatically.
So I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!