Friday, March 6, 2015

Jadah McCoy - 'Become an Agent' SUCCESS STORY!!!!!!!

YAYAYAYA I'm so excited! We haven't had a success story on the blog for a while (because contest season has died down - and will be revving up again in the coming months). BUT HERE'S A SUCCESS STORY! I remember Jadah quite well from the contest. She's an awesome person and I'm so happy for her success :D

Additional awesomeness: this is a success story from the contest closest to my heart, 'Become an Agent' (closest to my heart because it isn't a contest, it's a critique session! Trust me, I love Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street a LOT). 



Hi all!

Currently I'm downstairs bundled in my comforter while watching the snow fall, drinking a Hot Toddy (it's 5 pm somewhere), and waiting for my favorite acquisitions editor in the world to send me the link to my announcement on Publisher's Marketplace. This is the moment I've been waiting for pretty much all my life. Every version of myself - 5-year-old Jadah scribbling one page stories, 14-year-old Jadah penning hormonal fanfiction in her black-walled room, 18-year-old Jadah vomming her very first (totally cringe-worthy) novel onto MS word) - has been waiting for the moment when someone else reads my work and says, "People will love this."

Thank goodness for Vicki Keire, an acquisitions editor at Curiosity Quills. She was that person. Her enthusiasm for my book immediately won me over and made this an easy decision.

I began writing Culling in January of 2014. It started as a 2,000 word short story and then I was going to wipe my hands of it and be done. My fantastic, lovely, and talented critique partner, Lynn Vroman (Go read her fantasy series now! It's fantastic!), fell in love with those first 2,000 words and demanded that I continue the story. Well, thank goodness I did, right?! It took me a year, but I got that first draft out.

My query was done and polished before the novel was even a quarter of the way written. I was so desperate to procrastinate that I turned to query writing (I know, right?). It was at that point that I heard of SC's "Become An Agent contest". Critiquing queries and helping other authors is one of my favorite things (I even critique queries on my blog!), so this was right up my alley.

I was very confident with my query and first 250 words. Most people liked my query! Pretty much no one liked my first 250. Bummer. I am SO thankful for this contest because it helped me realize that I totally started my novel in the wrong place. Everyone was so right about that first page, and I rewrote the beginning to be even more fabulous with the help of those lovely and super helpful queriers who commented on my entry. Criticism is always a hard pill to swallow, but if you work past the initial defensiveness and really listen to what others have to say, integral information can be gleaned.

Fast forward many moons! The battle isn't over! I began officially querying my novel January of 2015. Many rejections. Such sad. The overwhelming response was that my novel was simply too dystopian and, as we all know, editors treat dystopian like the NSA treats someone who stands up on a plane and screams they have Ebola. But my query did receive three full requests, which resulted in two offers. I am very, very happy to say my novel has found a cozy home swaddled in the arms of the Curiosity Quills crew. I encourage writers to submit there - they've been infinitely helpful and welcoming.

And that's all, folks!

Blurb for Culling, a NA sci-fi:

In this Bladrunner meets Alien debut, eighteen-year-old Syl lives in the ruins of Earth's first colonized sister planet. By day she searches abandoned skyscrapers for food, but at night genetically-spliced, flesh-eating bugs--the Cull--come out for a meal of their own. When Syl is abducted and her own DNA spliced, slowly turning her into one of the Cull, she discovers the androids who destroyed her world aren't nearly as dead as everyone thought.

Jadah lives in Nashville, TN and works as a legal coordinator. When not babysitting attorneys she can be found desperately juicing her brain for creative ideas or fantasizing about her next trip out of the country (or about Tom Hiddleston as Loki - it's always a toss up when she's fantasizing.) Culling is her debut novel.

CONGRATS JADAH!!!! Make sure you all congratulate her on Twitter and visit her other social media sites :D This might have inspired me to do another round of 'Become an Agent'....hmm.....


  1. Congratulations! I remember your query and your first 250. Also, CQ is awesome! I may or may not be working on a project with them, one that went through Become an Agent!

    1. Thank you! Good luck with your project!!

  2. That is so great to get such feedback to redirect the story!!

    1. I was really happy with how helpful everyone was!