I just finished judging a query contest over at www.romancedivas.com. As part of the prize, I offered to post an article about the contest as well as the winning query. Have a look!
HOOK, LINE & SINKER
By Gina Welborn
“Hey, babe, why don’t you and me make like trees and leave?
“I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?”
“If you were a new hamburger at McDonald’s, you’d be a McSexy!”
Did you think your days of pick-up lines were over? Girlfriend, if you want to be published, then they’ve just begun. Time to pick up your ink-filled pole. Writing a great pick-up query is a matter of using the right bait so you can catch the right fish at the right spot in the right pond.
Over at RomanceDivas.com (divas and diva-dudes both welcome), we love sharing bait and tips of where the biting is best. While RWA chapters offer some fantastic contests, many of our members have never entered any. Thus began our series of WE ALL WIN contests, where no gill plucking is allowed. It’s all about learning what entering a contest is like.
Entries are normally limited to five per member and are posted “anonymously” by the contest coordinator. Over a two week period, divas can judge their fellow members work. Some judges just score; some do a lineXline crit. The five top scoring entrants are then allowed a day to revise their entries before they are forwarded to our final round judge. I’d like to give a shout out to author Deborah Hale and Deidre Knight for sliding into our Diva Judge stilettos. And a special thanks to Deidre for inviting us to post our results after her final round query judging.
Free feedback on our writing is great, yet I can’t help but love the prizes. For our Short Synopsis winner, a copy of FICTION FIRST AID by Raymond Obstfeld. For our Query Winner, a Moroccan bracelet. Yes, the lure of the prize is leading me down the path of the dark side of contest obsession. Who know what our divalicious K-mart (Kristen Painter) will tempt us with next.
Later this fall, in preparation for the Golden Heart, we’ll begin another round of free-to-enter contests. The world is your oyster so...okay, that’s not the right saying. We’re all in this boat together so we might as well take turns rowing. Eh, a little better. Wait, I know.
“More big fish have been caught with words than with hook, line, and sinker.” ~Anonymous
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to fishing I go…
But first, I just gotta announce our Query Contest winner.
123 Divalicious Lane
Divaville, RD 12345111-222-3333
May 23, 2005
The Knight Literary Agency
PO Box 550648Atlanta, GA 30355
Dear Ms. Knight,
If love is blind, Sebastian Jansky and Tess Talbot have an advantage.
Pulling up the Blind, my second full-length manuscript, aims at the heart and the funny bone. This completed, single title, 100,000 word, contemporary romantic romp is set in the land where kangaroos race Land Rovers and everyone’s your mate. Everyone except Sebastian.
His beastly self-loathing and reclusive social habits render him more blind than the genetic defect which has stolen his sight, his fiancée, and his self-esteem. He’s fighting to prove he’s still a powerful man by strictly controlling his considerable wealth and image, but that control is about to be challenged by a baby and his mom.
Blind from birth, Tess sees beauty as independent inner strength. She's overcome her childhood "poor blind girl" title, and gained professional peer respect, also managing to provide a warm, safe life for her infant son. Sebastian hires her company to build his conservatory, and she can't resist tweaking the tail of the beast, challenging his attitudes, to wake up the heart he's anaesthetized. When her son and business are threatened by her ex-boyfriend, Sebastian sees his priorities changing away from protecting his image, for love uses a different kind of sight.
I have published numerous shorts and non-fiction articles, the most recent being in "A Cup of Comfort" coming out in XXXX. I have a degree in creative arts, with English literature as a second major. I belong to RWA, several online romance writing and critique groups, including the award-winning Romance Divas where I am a moderator. I am looking to build a career in romance writing and seek representation for future books as well.
Pulling Up the Blind—let a little sunshine in.
I look forward to your response. Thank you for your time and consideration.Yours sincerely,