Picking Prizes

My ultimate grand prize for the Nathan Bransford contest was one of the following:
1. A query critiqe
2. A partial critique
3. A 10-minute phone conversation/dish session

They’re all tempting prospects. But!

  • My query is getting results at the moment, so I’m not feeling inclined to send it in unless I’m actually query-ing. Plus, I don’t think the particular novel that I’m shopping around right now is something that he’d dig. I could be wrong, but still.
  • The 10-minute conversation was especially tempting because I have a couple off-beat projects that I’d like his opinion on. One being a serial killer poetry book, but he doesn’t rep poetry so I don’t know how much he could talk about that. Another being the round story project put together by UGWP–I’d like to know how one goes about trying to sell a group project.

Still, I went with the partial critique for 2 reasons.

The first is that Bransford is a writer–having a writer’s feedback is always, always welcome. Plus, being an agent as well, he’s read a lot. So he’s a very experienced reader as well. That’s gotta count for something.

The second is that there was some debate about the prologue….You know who you are….Having him read it could either clear the water, or muddy them a bit. We’ll see how that goes. Plus, I think my writing is strongest in the La Llorona story and, well, he’s an agent.


jenny maloney View All →

Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.

10 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Thanks, Tina. Yeah, I think partials are a safe bet all around, don't you? I mean, sure, they say that as writers we should be able to bang out queries and make them great, but handing over the actual story seems to have worked better for me in the cases where I got a chance to hand them over. How about you?

  2. Partials are a better bet, and I think what you said about Bransford being a writer is smart and he is probably a good reader because of the agent thing to boot. And if you have a good story, well, then I think the query matters (but only as a secondary–as in, don't be offensive). As for me, still making my story good enough.

  3. Your serial killer poetry book sounds very intriguing!
    Congrats on the contest! As I scanned through some of the entries after I submitted, yours stood out to me even before you were a finalist.
    A well deserved win!

  4. Thanks Kelly and Deniz! Your support means a lot.

    Yeah, Tina, after he reads my WIP I know I'll be back to making it good enough, which it never will be, because writers don't work like that….

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