Gearing Up To Get An Agent

In special thanks to Deana Barnhart’s amazing pitch polishing contest called Gearing Up To Get an Agent (#GUTGAA on Twitter), I’ll be sharing notes about Query Writing and Pitching all week long. Check out my schedule below.

For the full story about GUTGAA, visit Deana Barnhart’s blog at If you want “the basics” on the event, keep reading.

GUTGAA began a few weeks ago when Deana and her many friends hosted a blog hop so writers could meet online. This was before I began my blog, but I was still able to find a critique partner by reading other people’s information.

A week later, people emailed Deana their query letters + the first 150 words of their novels. For five days, my query was posted on her blog for all to see. I read many queries and left comments for those authors while they returned the favor.

I was lucky enough to get my revised query in to the 1st round of the Agent Pitch Contest the next week. At that point, several published authors (Deana’s insightful friends) gave helpful comments on my query and first 150. They were given the task of selecting their favorites. The top 25% of these queries made it into the Agent Round. Those fantastic 50 entries will be read and judged by several notable literary agents this week. I am confident many of these authors will find representation. Next week, people can submit entries for yet another contest—this one with small publishing houses.

Agents are critiquing right now (September 24 – 28, 2012)! Go to Deana’s blog and read what they have to say!

While several of last week’s judges/authors left positive comments on my query and one judge wanted me to move on, I didn’t quite make the cut into the Agent Round. Oh well. With two weeks of excellent feedback, my query has gone through a crucible. It is vastly improved and I am both confident and eager to send it out into the world.

Before GUTGAA, I thought my query was decent. Turns out, it was merely okay. I had a good hook (first line) but it floundered after that. Everyone who commented on my query helped me tremendously. I also shamelessly read all the comments authors left on other people’s query letters. This enabled me to come away with loads of good advice about what to do and what NOT to do in a query. I recommend people do the same thing this week as agents make comments on Deana’s blog. I will take notes and include my observations and advice all week.

Today: Read my previous entry on “Pitching to an Agent” (scroll down to my last post) and visit Deana’s blog. Then, come back here tomorrow for more query writing advice! Check out this week’s agenda:

Tuesday’s Blog Post: Query Writing Tips Part 1 – Your Novel

Wednesday’s Blog Post: Query Workshop

Thursday’s Blog Post: Query Writing Tips Part 2 – Agents, greetings, endings, and hitting “Send.”

Friday’s Blog Post: Query Writing – Strategy & Feedback

One thought on “Gearing Up To Get An Agent

  1. Hi Craig!

    I am humbled by your kind words and so happy you were able to take away some great advice from GUTGAA! I really hope it pays off…actually, I firmly believe, if you keep at it with the knowledge in mind that constant learning and patience need be applied to writing, I have no doubt that it WILL pay off! Congrats on your vote in the first agent round too. That is already saying loads about your writing ability and your story:)

    I love your new blog! I hope you stick with it, I have made sooooo many connections through mine:)

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