Winner winner Chicken Dinner!
In February on a whim, I decided to take my 12x12Challenge draft for the month and enter Mindy Alyse Weiss's annual contest PBParty. To quote her site, "The annual PBParty contest is for unagented writers and author/illustrators with finished and polished picture book manuscripts. You submit an entry (query and first 60 – 70 words) and we pick a wide variety of genres for the agents/editors to read and hopefully request."
I submitted 70 words of SLEEPY OLE BO, a query and two finished illustrations from the dummy, crossed my fingers and hit SUBMIT. Of course...I had just started the illustrations two weeks prior, I hadn't started my dummy yet and my manuscript wasn't exactly polished. But I devoted all of February and the first two weeks of March getting my submission up to par, and on March 18th it was announced that I had won a slot in the Illustration Showcase!
So this coming week, my illustrations will be viewed by 50+ agents and editors and hopefully I will be asked to send in more materials. If that happens I now have a finished dummy and manuscript that has gone thru multiple review passes by critique groups that I feel pretty good about. I have few other manuscripts that I can send besides SLEEPY OLE BO, a portfolio and many half-baked pitches for ideas.
I haven't really participated in pitch contests before, so I don't really know what to expect. I very well could get through this week and have no requests, and I mentally have to prepare for that. I'm trying to come up with strategies so my finger isn't constantly hovering over the refresh button. Only check the site at night? Make a commitment to wait until the week is over before I respond to anyone? Bounce around like a little puppy and answer everyone IMMEDIATELY if an email comes in? Eat a pound of ice cream when no one requests more work? The jury is still out but no matter what happens, it was nice to be recognized for my efforts.