Getting into the Napa Valley Writers Conference was one of the best things that has happened to me. The workshop leader was kind enough to say that she thought my novel was ready to send out. Then she turned to me: “Do you have representation?”
At that precise moment, I was with the agent who didn’t want to sign a contract, but had offered to show it to a couple of editors.
“I’m not sure,” I replied. And then explained my situation. A few of my classmates nodded sympathetically (they had similar stories to tell). The workshop leader explained that sometimes relationships with agents could be murky, and it wasn’t always clear whether you had representation or not. This was news to me.
She took me aside later, and gave me the name of her agent. I didn’t hesitate. Within a week, I’d contacted the agent, telling her that I’d been referred by the workshop leader (a New York Times bestselling author).
The result was astonishing. The agent contacted me within a day, asking for a synopsis and the first 50 pages. Then I had to settle in for the inevitable wait. It was summer, and the agent was traveling.
I finally heard back from her 2 months after I’d sent the MSS. She told me that it didn’t click for her. However, she did spend the time to give me some feedback about what she thought wasn’t working. I am eternally grateful to her for taking the time to write me 120 important words.
NEXT: I fix up the MSS and send to another agent.
–Cynthia Haggard writes novels. She is currently seeking representation for ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED, the Richard III story told from the point of view of his mother. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2010. All rights reserved.