Monday, April 14, 2014

Lynn Vroman - 'Become an Agent' SUCCESS STORY!!

I love love love success stories, and Lynn's might just be my favorite. That's because it came from my critiquing 'contest' ('Become an Agent') and not one of our agented contests. It's nice to see that 'Become an Agent' has helped people! 


As every writer looking to publish knows, the way to an agent or editor is through a query letter. Those 250 words keep us up at night and torture us during the day. That’s how I felt, anyway, when I decided to put my work out there in hopes of finding it a home.

I’ve been writing since high school, but didn’t begin to write seriously until about five years ago. I started with short stories, honing my craft, learning. When I began submitting those to magazines the first sting of rejection hit hard—and toughened my skin. After I received my first acceptance letter, though, all that rejection was worth it. Three more acceptance letters later, and with a lot of short stories filed away, I decided to attempt novel writing.

Writing a novel… yeah, totally different than a 1200-word story. I’d start one, get stuck on the plot, and then start another. Oh, I’d finish some, but hate the whole thing and throw it into the document graveyard. But two years ago I wrote a book I loved. This was the one!

I wrote a query and sent it out to five agents. Every mistake we’re told not to make I made, [I did too, Lynn, don't worry!] and of course, all rejections. I found help from fellow writers, worked on another query, and received more rejections. I also tried contests like Pitch Madness, but still no success.

It was after Pitch Madness when I discovered SC’s contest, Become an Agent, on twitter. This wasn’t a contest where agents might ask for partials or fulls. It was better. In his contest, no matter who came in first, everyone won because what he offered was HELP. So I turned in my query and the first 250 and hoped for the best.

Guess what? I found the best! My first 250 received mostly compliments, but my query… not so much. Every single participant pointed out the exact same issue. I spent the next couple weeks rewriting, using the advice I received.

Right after the contest, I switched gears and decided to submit to small presses rather than agents. After doing some research, I sent out four brand new queries and waited.

And waited.

Then I received the best news ever. Two requests for fulls! To describe how I danced around the house would be disturbing, and so I’ll spare you the mental image. But success! And it gets better. While sitting in the theater with my youngest children waiting for The Lego Movie to start, I heard a ping on my phone—an offer for a publishing contract. My YA fantasy novel is set for release winter of 2014 from Untold Press. Wow, writing that never gets old.

And so the contest that didn’t have the hope of attracting an agent proved something important: Contests that promise guaranteed help are gifts. Not only do we get to test what we’ve written on fellow writers instead of agents, we get the golden opportunity to see our query with a different perspective and make them stronger.

Yup. Definitely one of my favorite success stories because it helped me truly realize contests do make a difference. Thank you so, so much for sharing this, Lynn. It means a TON. It makes hosting contests worth it!


Go follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and check out her website. And CONGRATULATE HER ON TWITTER (or in the comments below :D)!


  1. w00t!! I love hearing stories where writers find the perfect home for their books!

  2. Huge congrats to Lynn! And SC, I love your enthusiasm. It's definitely contagious. :) :) :)

  3. Wow! That's an AWESOME success story! Congrats! :)

  4. Congrats to both of you! Such a happy success story!

  5. Thanks, everyone! And thanks again, SC. You're so supportive! :)