1. HPandtheMI
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    HPandtheMI Member

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    Gain Experience

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by HPandtheMI, May 11, 2009.

    Sorry if this has been asked before... But what are some good ways to gain experience for a Query letter? Any specific contests, ect that you recommend? I'm really interested in fantasy and poetry so if there's anything in those genres that would be awesome, but anything's good.:)
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not quite sure what you mean... to gain experience in writing query letters, all you need do is keep writing them, improving them as you go along, with feedback from those who know how to write good ones...

    entering contests surely won't help you with query letters, since one doesn't write them for contest entry submissions...

    if you really meant that you have no credits to mention in the bio part of a query, then contests won't help any [unless you won a really well-known prestigious one, such as the nicholl, chesterfield, or disney screenwriting comps]... all agents and publishers want to know is if you have any paid credits... that is, if you have sold any of your writing work... if you haven't, just say nothing...
     
  3. HPandtheMI
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    HPandtheMI Member

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    Okay, thanks.... and yea I meant to put on a query letter... Not the letter itself. I was just reading online about them and it said to put any contests, anything you've had published, or any other past experiences and was wondering your opinions. So at first I'd probably just leave it
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    HPandtheMI,

    It is kind of like that Catch 22 of: I need experience to get a job, but nobody will hire me so that I can obtain experience.

    Writing experience? Write and submit. Start with the larger markets (better paying/more exposure/better respected) and then work your way down to the smaller markets with a piece. If it's good, it will eventually get accepted. Also, targeting the most appropriate markets will save time and increase chances. If you're submitting a dark fantasy to a market that focues on high fantasy, you're wasting both your time (the piece is sitting idle, waiting for a market to reject it) and the editor's time (having to open and consider--however briefly--and then reply with a decline.

    As far as a cover letter, for a short story for example, simply state in the first line that you are submitting the story (title and genre if appropriate) and the word length for consideration, and thank them for taking the time to consider your piece.

    In truth, a list of credits isn't manditory and really the work will get accepted or rejected on its merit/quality. Great credits may perk up the editor/slush reader but, especially with shorter works, it's less of an issue than one might think.

    I'm sure one could argue if you were Stephen King or someone like that, they might have a bit better chance than simply relying on merit...but...

    Terry
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Based on King's more recent writing, his "credits" might draw an instant rejection! LOL
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Now now, Dean. No one would turn down the opportunity to collect the profits guarfanteed by the King name, regardless of what the current quality of his writing.

    A Stephen King book will sell itself.

    But this is off topic.
     

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