Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Writer's Voice 2015 - my overall experience and the agent round

View from Fenella's island
The sun has set on another The Writer's Voice, and what an experience it's been for me this year!

I first took part in 2013 and, whilst I wasn't chosen for a team that year, I was an honourable mention for one coach. I joined Twitter after seeing many of the other entrants interacting over there, and I also received some wonderful feedback on my query and first 250 words.

As entrants were encouraged to support the other entries, I commented on a lot of blogs and, me being me, I subscribed to the posts in case anybody replied to me. Little did I know what a fabulous idea that was at the time! A few days later, the coaches started making their picks - and this is when my inbox started filling up with all these subscription notifications. I reported those picks on Twitter under the #TheWVoice hashtag, and other entrants were very grateful for the information.

Last year, I didn't make it past the Rafflecopter (random generator to select entries), but that didn't stop me from participating. I commented on as many entries as I could and subscribed to the posts, so when the coaches started making their picks, I could again report my findings. Due to the restrictive nature of Twitter posts, I decided to make a couple of blog entries to keep track of selections. The coaches, as well as the entrants, found this very helpful.

So, 2015 rolls around, and I have a new manuscript to enter into The Writer's Voice. But when was the contest taking place? The first mention I found was in a 'P.S.' Mónica Bustamante Wagner put in a blog post in March. Game on! I made it past the Rafflecopter and posted my entry on my blog in May. I then commented on most of the other entries and again subscribed to the posts. I found out Twitter names for most people and directed them over to #TheWVoice, if they weren't already aware of it. The coaches started making their selections on Monday 25th May and I had a hard job keeping up with the notifications coming in, announcing the news to the waiting contestants on Twitter and updating my blog post with the results. At the end of that day, several coaches had chosen the same people, so the entrant then had to choose between the coaches. This selection process took place over several days, and I hadn't been selected by any of the coaches in the initial rounds.

Then, that Thursday, my Twitter feed and my blog post had exploded overnight with activity. Monica had selected ME to join her team but, because of the time difference between us, I'd already gone to bed before I found out. I was gobsmacked (and totally overwhelmed by all the love and support from the other entrants)! My 'quest to be selected as a ‘The Writer’s Voice’ team member – 2015 edition' was a roaring success - hoorah!

Over the course of the next few weeks, Monica and her guest coach, Stephanie, helped me polish my query and first 250 words. The 32 entries went live on the coaches' blogs on Friday 19th June, and the agents stopped by on Tuesday 23rd June to vote. I'm very pleased to report my entry received three votes, and I've now submitted my manuscript to those agents.

Overall, there were 75 requests made for 26 entries (or 81 requests for 27 entries, if you include the two Ninja agents who voted). Entrants who received three or more votes would be able to send a full manuscript to the requesting agents, whilst those with one or two votes could send a partial.

Here's the breakdown of votes received per age range/genres:

MG Fantasy - 3
MG Magical Realism - 1
Upper MG Fantasy - 3
Upper MG Mystery - 1

YA Contemporary - 9
YA Contemporary Fantasy - 6
YA Fantasy - 13
YA Historical - 7
YA LGBT Contemporary - 1
YA Mystery - 5
YA SF - 7
YA Space Opera - 4

NA Contemporary Romance - 7

Adult Literary - 3
Adult Psychological Thriller - 1
Adult Steampunk - 3
Adult Women's Fiction - 1

The agents voted for this number of entries:

Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates - 6 (3 fulls, 3 partials)
Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media - 6 (6 fulls)
Erin Harris of Folio Literary Management - 5 (4 fulls, 1 partial)
Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency - 7 (5 fulls, 2 partials)
Sara Megibow of kt literary - 1 (1 full)
Renee Nyen of kt literary - 4 (2 fulls, 2 partials)
Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency - 4 (4 fulls)
Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency - 13 (12 fulls, 1 partial)
Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency - 4 (3 fulls, 1 partial)
Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger, Inc. - 11 (10 fulls, 1 partial)
Courtney Stevenson of Pippin Properties - 7 (6 fulls, 1 partials)
Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency - 7 (6 fulls, 1 partial)

#TeamMaries won The Writer's Voice 2015 with 21 votes. #TeamCoffeeHouse had 20 votes. #TeamTRex had 19 votes. And #TeamFTW had 15 votes.

I hope to be back again next year with my trusty spreadsheet in hand, ready to go blog diving and reporting once again. I love the Writer's Voice! J