It's Saturday, and I've just entered the Tired of Form Rejections contest on Kathleen Ortiz's excellent blog. I tweeted about this yesterday and again today. You had one hour (noon to 1pm) to send a query to Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation. Sure, you can query her any time you like, but the beauty of this contest is that if she's not interested, she'll tell you why. From Ms. Stampfel-Volpe herself:
Many writers want to know what an agent is really thinking when they pass on a query, right? You want the truth...but can you handle the truth? Well this weekend I will respond to the queries I receive in complete honesty. You may see something as simple as "Not bad, but just not for me." or "I don't represent academic non-fiction." OR you may see something like "I stopped reading when you mentioned that the mailman was a vampire space zombie who has come to deliver a message of PAIN. Because come on...seriously?"
And if she is interested? Well all the better.
The best part about this contest is that you can't lose if you followed the rules. In my mind, there will be zero or more first prizes, a request for more of the manuscript. Everyone else gets a second prize, some brutal honesty. Trust me when I say I can use either prize, and will be glad to have it.