I entered two contests this week. One is where you enter your first 250 words for a Secret Agent to see if they’re hooked enough to ask for a partial. The other is where you enter just your first paragraph for the same prize. I don’t expect to win.
I entered because I’m not comfortable with my novel opening. In the first contest, I will get a comment from the secret agent and also comments from other writers. Maybe something said in those will spark an idea for revision.
The second one won’t garner me any comments, and I know the agent who’s sponsoring the contest won’t be interested, but you never know what other agents might peruse the entries. One of those agents just might find enough intrigue in my opening paragraph to contact me. It’s all about getting your work out there, right?
I’ve had my doubts, my “what if it’s garbage” moments while writing this novel, but not now. I know it’s good. I know a good portion of readers would enjoy it. I’m just having trouble selling it in my query letter. But I’ll get there. Until then, free contests can’t hurt.
It’s too late to enter the Secret Agent contest, but Nathan Bransford is taking entries until Thursday at 4pm Pacific Time. What do you have to lose?