Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time For Another SUCCESS STORY!

It's been a little while, but we've got another success to celebrate.  Perfect timing, after the hullabaloo of Baker's Dozen submissions.

Disclaimer:  This one's a bit unorthodox.  I'm not advocating this author's "rule breaking;" I'm simply celebrating her ultimate success.  Because--well, yay!

Here it is, in the author's own words, and with her permission:

Hi Authoress,

I wanted to thank you so much for your time and dedication to keep your Secret Agent contests running. I have an indirect success story to share with you. I entered the January 2011 Secret Agent contest with Mary Kole judging. I didn't win, but a "lurking agent" (Weronika Janzuk) spotted my story, THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER, and asked to see the manuscript. Well, I was thrilled, except for a small problem...the manuscript was just a very rough first draft and not ready for submission. I KNOW this is breaking the rules, so I'll just be up front about that and beg forgiveness :) But by June, when it was ready, I sent it to Weronika as well as several more agents. About a week later, I had signed with my wonderful agent, Josh Adams of Adams Literary. And a few weeks after that, we had a three-book deal from Balzer+Bray/HaperCollins!

Participating in your contest and having a lurking agent take an interest in my work gave me the confidence to eventually submit. And the feedback from Mary Kole and the other contest participants was invaluable. I took all their advice into consideration and rewrote a much stronger first page, and novel as a whole. THANK YOU for giving me this opportunity!

Megan Shepherd


  1. Wow, what a deal to land! Congratulations!

  2. Congratulations, Megan! Thanks for sharing your story. Best wishes, and I'll look for your books soon!

  3. Congrats! I'm glad your rule-breaking wasn't the end of the story. : ) Good luck with your release.

  4. Dreams do come true. Take THAT naysayers of the world. Congratulations, Megan.

  5. Yeah, it's okay to ignore the rules everyone else is following (suckers ... as long as YOU end up a winner.

    And before y'all ream me out, I'm already published and don't enter SA contests. I'm just sayin'.

  6. I'm sure Megan's writing is what ultimately earned her success, so congrats to her on that. But I'm wondering if there will now be a slew of rough drafts being entered in SA contests. Because, you know, she did it, and got both an agent and a book deal.

    What will stop those rough drafts from taking slots that are meant for those who believe the rules actually apply to them?

  7. Hi Megan Shepherd!!!! Still hard for me to believe that you ever worried about querying that awesome book. (lucky me took a writing class with Megan, and got to help *cough, cough* critique it (yeah, right).

    But hoorah!

  8. Kudoes to Megan, and it all turned out well, but I do wonder what would have happened had she won that Secret Agent contest and would have had to tell the agent she didn't have a manuscript ready - it would have reflected badly on her, Authoress, and the contest (agents believe they're viewing a finished work, and you're sort of wasting their time if it's not).

  9. Yes, Sara, and that's why I am so firm about folks submitting finished, polished manuscripts. In the end, if an author were caught unprepared, I don't think it would reflect badly on the blog as much as it would reflect badly on the author. I'm fairly certain the agents realize there is no way that I can personally verify whether or not a submission is from a completed novel.

    Though, mind-reading WOULD be a cool ability. ;)