The Gong Show

Does your query letter rock? Or does it suck? Do you even know? Sure you’ve read it to Oscar your cat, and to your aunt Velma, and they both liked it.

Then you lugged it to your writer’s group and let them take a few stabs at it (but what do writers know about how to write a good query letter?).

But you’re still uncertain if the thing has any merit or just plain stinks. Well, friend you’re in luck! Let me introduce you to the Gong Show.

What is it, you might ask?

In the Gong Show you can anonymously get your query letter read before a panel of literary agents and editors…they will listen and when they would normally STOP reading, they will bang their gong.

Once three agents bang, the reading stops and we discuss why they would stop. It’s truly a learning experience on what agents look for when viewing query letters and attendees can dig into the minds of the agents as we have fun and learn.

Simple right?

It is.

Out of all the submissions we receive, we will randomly choose some to read. We will get through as many as possible. Yours could be chosen.

All you have to do is bring a hard copy typed version of your query letter to the conference. We will have a place for you to drop it off. You can remove your name if you wish (or just mark it out). “Anonymize” it as much as you want. Understand there will also be FIVE HUNDRED people listening to your query letter as it’s being read (if you get picked!) So if you want to stay anonymous, don’t gasp out loud when they start reading your query letter, or bolt out of the room if the agents don’t like it! Just sit, sip your water, eat your Frito’s, relax and enjoy the critique!

Also, if you don’t think you can handle the unvarnished truth about your query letter from industry experts, then do not submit it. We try to have a lot of fun on this panel so there are often funny comments and harsh views that can damage feelings. If you are easily offended when someone calls your book ugly, then don’t submit! But if you don’t mind if someone punches your precious story in the face a few times…heh. We’re right up your alley! (I did mention it’s anonymous, right?)

This is one of our most popular events, so come early to get a good seat.

~Jason



Categories: Conference tips

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4 replies

  1. We will inform the agents to gong on content, not because of genre.

Trackbacks

  1. Stuffed Bears, Gongs, and Handerpants…Must Be a Writers’ Conference | Julie Glover, Writer
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