In the author's own words:
Happy Blog Birthday, Authoress!
This morning, I donated to your truffles and vino fund, but felt I'd be remiss if I didn't send along a note of thanks as well. Five years ago, I was an eager witness to your blog launch, having also been through Miss Snark's most excellent wringer. At that point, I'd been querying for two years, up to my scalp in rejections. So it was with great enthusiasm I entered your first ever Secret Agent contest, and an incredible morale booster to be one of the three co-winners. Although things didn't work out with that agent, the feedback I received from your readers was very helpful. Nine months later, I signed with an agent who was perfect for me.
After that, a lightning quick deal, onto the best seller list and a movie adaption starring Johnny Depp.
Okay, back to reality.
During the two-year submissions purgatory that followed, you hosted an agented first pages event where I benefitted once again from the MSFV community. That manuscript (my fifth) is the one that finally sold and debuted last fall. Although Johnny Depp hasn't come knocking (*yet*), I'm happily working on my next book.
Thanks for building such a supportive community where aspiring writers can improve their craft in the company of like-minded writers and industry professionals. I'm guessing that if you calculated the percentage of contest winners who've gone on to sign with agents and land book deals, the success rate of your blog would be impressive, especially in a business where the odds of making it are slim.
Kudos to you and congratulations on five years of awesomeness. I'm very much looking forward to when we can celebrate your writing success and learn your secret identity.