Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our Second 2012 Baker's Dozen Success Story!

I love posting these!  After the thrill of hot bidding and the humor of watching agents spatting behind the scenes (and sometimes on the blog), it's especially fun to announce another Baker's Dozen signing.  Here's the latest story, shared with permission:


In 2011, my MG entry, Riding the Dam, miraculously made it into the 2nd Annual Baker’s Agent Auction. It was a coming of age story based on my dad’s growing up years in Texas in the early 50s. I was so excited! The comments were positive and I anticipated a bid which would lead to an agent and a huge book deal. And…I didn’t get one single bid.

But I did get an introduction to an encouraging and supportive writing community. I learned how to write better loglines, queries, and the first 250 words. And (here’s the really cool part) I met the nicest people! I have incredible critique partners because of MSFV. I continued to write and entered lots of contests. There’s just something about the rush of a contest that’s so exciting.

I was thrilled (and a little more realistic this time) when my second MS, Harold – The Kid Who Ruined My Life and Saved the Day, made it into the 3rd Annual Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction. I was leading a school assembly and my phone kept buzzing. When I had a break, I saw that one of my critique partners had been DMing me each time a bid came in for Harold.

I received a full request from the winning agent. A few days later, Authoress emailed me with three more requests. I was disappointed when I didn’t get any offers of representation from those requests. To be honest, Harold could have been better. So I kept writing. I continued to get great suggestions from CPs who loved Harold and I started a third manuscript.

There was still one agent who I had not heard from yet. It was Tricia Lawrence who was closed to queries. What’s funny is Tricia had actually requested Harold two months earlier from another contest.

In February, I made a substantial revision to Harold and I sent it to her. About two months later I got an email. Tricia thanked me for my patience. She loved the concept of Harold but she hadn’t read it after requesting it from the first contest. I'm so thankful for this because most likely she would have rejected it. It just wasn’t good enough then. She said she wanted to set up a time to talk so we could discuss my writing.

When we spoke by phone she told me how much she loved Harold. She so “got” everything I was trying to say in this story. We clicked so well. Then she asked me what else I was writing. Now, here’s where it would have been a good idea to practice pitching before the phone call. I said something like, “It’s about a twelve-year-old girl who gets stuck in a nursing home and then she solves a bank robbery with the help of an old lady who has Alzheimer’s and then she ends up on Cajun Pawn Stars.”

Tricia graciously asked, “Can you send me that?” We talked for almost an hour, but she didn’t offer representation. Maybe it was the whole Alzheimer’s thing.

I was bummed. I sent the manuscript to her and hoped that the actual manuscript would make up for my horrible pitch job.

A few days later, she emailed me. When I read that she loved the second story and wanted to offer representation, I actually cried. As we talked, I realized how fortunate I was that she’d requested Harold twice, but waited to read the revision. And what a blessing it was that she had read Harold and my crazy other story and now she was offering based on both of them. The timing of it all was really quite perfect.

There’s one thing I kept thinking and saying throughout this entire process – If my writing doesn’t go anywhere, I’ve made wonderful friends. Friends who live all over the world. Friends who I never would have never met had I not entered my first Baker’s Dozen.

Thank you!

Dana Edwards

19 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! Big congrats. And well-deserved. From one of those people who is so happy to have become a friend. :)

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  2. Exciting! So happy for you.

    The premise of your first story sounds familiar, I think I remember reading it on here, or from another contest. The mid-20th century historicals always stick out to me since I wrote one too.

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  3. Congratulations! And I love your perseverance!

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  4. Congrats, Dana! Trish is awesome! Welcome to the EMLA family.

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  5. Awesome and well-deserved! Congratulations!!!

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  6. Congrats, Dana! I liked and commented on your entries for both Riding the Damn and Harold, and did not realize they were written by the same author.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Makes me want to get myself in gear, still revising when I should be writing something new.

    Best wishes for continued success!

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  7. Ooops, that would be Riding the Da-M. The other one is a story I hope you'll never write! ; )

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  8. Congrats. I remember seeing it and loving the title. I actually changed the title of my MG book because yours was so great. I used to stick to one or two word titles but when I saw the requests you were getting I decided I needed a longer title and although it hasn't gotten me an agent (YET) I'm hopeful that entering it in another contest will. Again, yay!

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  9. @Alison - Me too!

    @Leah, Ginny, Karen, Jeanne, and K Callard - Thank you!!

    @Beth - perseverance pays off :)

    @Stephsco - can't wait to read your 20th century historical

    @Kathleen - keep entering those contests! I love thinking up titles. My second one is even longer - I'll probably have to shorten it. :)

    @skywriter - Ha! And you made a comment on Riding the Dam (on another blog) that made it so much better and helped it get chosen for B'sD! You're SO thoughtful with your critiques!

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  10. What a great story about getting an agent. Thank you for sharing this! Good luck, and can't wait to see your book(s) published.

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  11. I always love reading these stories! Congratulations Dana!

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  12. Congratulations! Great story and very inspiring.

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  13. Hi, Mari, Stephanie, and Kathryn,

    Thanks so much! Happy writing!

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  14. Dana, you so deserve this. I love the idea of perfect timing and a mysterious or not so mysterious hand guiding the whole thing. And I can understand the crying too :)

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