How I got My Agent
If you’re an #amquerying author, I know reading other people’s writing journeys can sometimes bring you down. I’ve been there done that for sure! Here’s the thing. Unfortunately, if you’re going to be a creative it also means you’re “competing” with other creatives and, as with any competition, you can lose. For me, what helps me get through the lows is recognizing writing is something I do, it’s not who I am. So write your story from the heart, but query with your head to avoid heartbreak! Okay. Now that my soapbox has overstayed it’s welcome let’s start with some numbers!
Overall writing + querying timeline: From writing my first book to signing with my agent with my second book, it took almost 3 years.
#amquerying timeline: I queried two books over 1 year and 7 months with several breaks in-between as I participated in three mentorship programs.
# of queries: For both books, I queried or pitched 60 agents (some agents I queried both books). I had a 48 percent request rate for materials.
Book 1 (YA Science Fiction) (85K)
3 pitch contests
31 queries + pitches
2 revise & resubmit
Book 2 (MG Fantasy/Paranormal) (50K)
3 pitch contests
29 queries + pitches
No request PitchWars 2019
Full request Author Mentor Match Round 7 2020
Selected WriteMentor Class of 2020
Selected Avengers of Colour Class of 2020
Selected Author Mentor Match Round 8 2021
I compare my writing journey to Disneyland’s Space Mountain: dark, fast, and twisty. (Also, I cried the last time I rode Space Mountain — as an adult — so that’s an apt description too!)
I owe a great debt of gratitude to my Author Mentor Match mentor Tracy Badua for whipping my MG manuscript into shape. Under her expertise, I improved my writing and found a real passion for the MG voice and storytelling.
The book with which I signed my agent was my second completed novel. I wrote it in October 2020 and signed with my agent nine months later after a stellar #PitMad round that lead to multiple offers.
While my second book took off like a rocket, my first novel, a YA sci-fi, took two years, underwent three rewrites, multiple edit letters and a full ‘80s movie training montage. While AMM got me over the finish line, I will ALWAYS credit my WriteMentor mentor author Marisa Noelle for teaching me foundational skills, and mentor author Kess Costales for fine-tuning those skills.
Thanks to Marisa and Kess’ brilliance, I figured out how to effectively write a story and was able to outline and write my second book in a month. I’m a strong believer in “no word is wasted,” and indeed every word in my first book helped me become a stronger writer for my second. I hope to continue growing my skills with each new manuscript.
With both books, I was in the query trenches for one year, seven months with several breaks as I did three mentorship programs: WriteMentor, Avengers of Colour, and AMM.
During that time, I queried my books to 60 agents and participated in six Twitter pitch contests. 2020-21 was quite the roller coaster!