We ended up with 45 submissions to this week's Secret Agent contest.
My initial reaction was....hmmm. I really expected us to hit the 75-limit. I checked my gmail account like a frenetic goose all day, making sure the quota hadn't been filled before the 24-hour period ended. And as the day turned into evening, it was clear that that wasn't going to happen.
Then it hit me.
The 45 submissions are highly qualified. These are folks who took it seriously when I said, "Completed novels only." This work has been polished. Some of these entries are edited, improved versions of pages submitted to previous contests. They've been through the grist mill, so to speak.
In other words, I don't have a bunch of silly, green writers on my hands, nervously throwing their manuscripts into the hat in the wild hope of grabbing an agent's attention. No, indeed. I've got serious writers on my hands who know that this contest is an opportunity to put your best foot forth. Serious writers who have already learned to gleen from previous contests (and in-house crits), taking the advice, suggestions, feedback from their fellow authors and using it to craft an even better piece of work.
Remember the other week when I said I wanted Miss Snark's First Victim to become a "premium slush pile" for agents? Well, I think we're on our way. And that's why I'm encouraged this morning.
You all rock. And you're all winners.
(And by the way -- haven't you noticed my photo? I mean, seriously. A gal could get a complex with the thundering silence around here...)