Dealing with Rejection

If you’ve come here looking for advice on your latest romantic disaster I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place – this is about rejection in writing! While I have experienced rejection in both, the only useful perspective I have is in the latter.

So you just got an email from your dream agent or Clarkesworld, or Beneath Ceaseless Skies or…wherever really. And it’s a ‘no’. You are devastated. It was your best piece. You felt it was perfect for the market. You were sure this would be a ‘yes’ and you begin to doubt everything about yourself, and your writing, and don’t know where to go from here (sometimes it hurts even more when it’s not a top market saying no, as then you really question yourself). Worse, it sucks all motivation from you for writing. Don’t let it. That ‘no’ in your inbox was not a judgment of your life. It does not mean you will never be a successful author, and nothing you write will ever be published. What it means is that this one piece, at this one time, for this one other person, was not a match.

There’s a lot to unpack there. Let’s look at all the reasons the person may have said ‘no’. The piece was in the wrong genre or the wrong length. This shouldn’t be the reason if you’ve paid any attention to your market, but at least if it is, it means it’s fixable. Either edit your piece (eg for length) or just in the future only submit to markets where that’s what they are looking for. One person’s opinion is just one person’s opinion. It may be that they are a fan of fantasy, or science fiction or whatever you have written, but they like upbeat and you have written grimdark or dystopian. It might be the best dystopian fiction ever written but if they’re more into Terry Pratchett, they’re not going to relate to your piece. Maybe they like dystopian, but they already accepted 4 awesome dystopian for their magazine, and last month, or next month, this would have been great, but the context of what’s in their inbox has ruled you out. Maybe they have a migraine, their dog bit them, or their kids are talking back, and they just weren’t in a receptive mood when they read your piece. I know this sounds like a stretch, but we’re all human, and our non-writing lives affect us as human beings and when things are happening in the environment of our lives they affect our work and our openness, and, well, everything.

Remember: yesterday you were (fill in the blank) unpublished/published but unpaid/published but not prestigiously enough/blank and this email is just informing you that nothing has changed. You are certainly no worse off than you were yesterday. Unless you choose not to submit this story elsewhere, or you allow someone else’s validation to determine whether you are a writer or will continue to write. Don’t do that.

So keep moving forward. There’s another agent out there, another magazine, another outlet. Or you have another short story or another novel inside you. At least, if what you really want is to succeed at writing. I hope this has helped you in some way with rejection. We all get rejections. There are a lot of pieces out there talking about what is most important in becoming a writer. People say creativity, lush prose skills, originality, the ability to plot, making your characters sympathetic, etc. Those are great, but those are writing skills. What you really need if you are going to succeed as a writer is the ability to handle rejection. If rejection is going to knock you out, you will not make it to the end. Or at the very least you will have a single lucky strike and that will be your writing career. So learn not to take every rejection as a judgment of your life. And if you came here for advice of the romantic kind, then I apologize for not being helpful. But there is one piece of advice I would give for either type of rejection. In either case, remember to be kind to yourself.

Weighing the Value of Writing Short Fiction

Why write short fiction? Traditionally, the advice has been that you should write short fiction to get writing credits, which will open the doors for you to get a literary agent and write long-form fiction. I have certainly been given this advice, and I have heard it spoken from luminaries such as George R. R. Martin. However, there is another school of thought on this. At a recent panel at Worldcon/Chicon8, the very experienced @jabbermaster Joshua Bilmes stated it was unnecessary. He commented that short fiction was a distinct art form from long-form fiction and each required unique skills. That in order to get your novel published, there was no required apprenticeship. Joshua Bilmes is one of the most experienced SFF literary agents in the business, so certainly we should pay attention when he speaks.

So, given there appear to be two conflicting views on whether it is helpful, are there other reasons to write short fiction? I would say it is definitely valuable as an end in itself. As this year’s Hugo award-winning short-form editor Neil Clarke @clarkesworld stated in his table talk, the short story is often one of the most exciting areas of fiction. He believes it is the lab, where all of the experiments are run. 

As an emerging writer, this is quite an attractive prospect. Even if writing and publishing a novel is your dream, writing a novel will take a sizeable chunk of time – depending on the author a year or perhaps several. But writing a short story should take significantly less time. You do not want to get three months into a novel to suddenly decide you dislike the first-person point of view and wish you had written it in third-person limited. Or that as a straight cis male you are unable to portray the identity of a trans lesbian convincingly for six hundred pages. Those are both certainly things you could have tried out in short form.

For myself, my interest in the short form is also about genre. As a scientist, when writing hard science fiction, I am excruciatingly slow at writing as I painstakingly verify each aspect of the science that I am writing. It would likely take me a decade to write a full-length hard science fiction novel. However, I enjoy that genre and like to write in it. The solution is to do shorts, obviously. The other aspect for me is identity. Saying that I am an SFF writer, I feel somewhat like a fraud. Even with three completed novels, I do not have a literary agent, my work is not on sub and none have yet been published. But getting my short fiction accepted, and being paid for it, gave me that internal stamp of authenticity that enabled me to assume the title of author, without depending solely on getting a literary agent to like my book, then a publisher to buy it, and then waiting out the two-year process before it ends up in print. It makes you feel legitimate. As a querying author it is also true that you receive many rejections. Although acceptance of a short story is not guaranteed, putting multiple short pieces out there increases the possibility of receiving a ‘yes’ on at least some of your work and igniting a light amongst the darkness of ‘no’s. As a new author, this mental help from the ‘sprint’ of short-stories was game-changing to my attitude towards the longer ‘marathon’ of novel querying.

It also gave me a platform. It meant I felt able to speak on writing. On writer’s block. On submitting and getting published. On story development. Before being published I felt like I had no right to speak to others about this. While it may not mean much to literary agents whether I have short stories published or not, I can’t imagine it is viewed as a negative thing, and for some literary agents it may be a positive. However, as with all things writing, if you want to write short fiction it should really be about you. Whether that is so that you can work on aspects of the craft, even recognizing that the short and long forms of fiction have different rules, different limitations, possibilities, and techniques. It also, quite frankly, is nice to get your name placed in known SFF magazines alongside bigger names and shore up your own self-esteem in this sometimes challenging world of publishing. I would say the true value is not therefore as an accessway to writing a novel, where it may or may not help, but in developing as a writer, and in the joy of the short story as a fiction form in itself.

Short Fiction Acceptance

So I got my first fiction acceptance. Now, granted it’s only a drabble (100 words exactly) and so on the pay per word it works out at less than the cup of coffee I likely bought while writing it, but it still is nice to hear someone wanted something I wrote!

Keep the faith my fellow writers, and keep writing, and we will all get more and more of these acceptances as time goes on.

(and in case you are misled by the anthology description – my piece has nothing to do with lust! It’s a piece of dark SciFi, in keeping with my usual writing leanings)

In case you are interested, it’s here:

Year In Review 2022

As we close out 2022 I thought I would write a short blog on my writing journey this year. Both achievements and set-backs. And while there certainly have been a few of the latter, I will say I am quite proud of all I have done, even if it has not yet produced the desired published fiction works 🙂


I finished edits on Schism of the Mages Order a 106k word adult epic fantasy novel.

I went through 8 stages of edits, including beta reads and critique partners

I also wrote (and re-wrote, and re-wrote…) a query letter for it

I also wrote a synopsis.

I then sent it out to 15 agents. 1 partial request, 2 fulls, but at the end, no takers.

15 agents isn’t a lot and I should send it out to more.

I also wrote another novel Leather and Steel, a 96k word adult epic fantasy novel

I went through 7 stages of edits, including betas

I wrote the query letter

I also wrote its synopsis

I have so far sent it out to 1 agent, mainly because that’s the only agent I’ve actually met in person.

Short Stories:

I’ve written 21 short stories (14 science fiction shorts, 4 fantasy, 3 horror) from as short as drabble (100 words) to as long as 7500 words.

Venturing into horror was a surprise to me. I don’t like horror. Not reading it, not watching movies of it, not…well, apparently writing it I do. It wasn’t intentional. I pantsed a few of the short stories thinking they were SciFi and to my surprise, 2 ended up as horror, and the third was deliberate after the first 2 happy accidents. And the thing is, I think they are not bad.

I’m in the process of polishing about half of the 21 stories, the other half are under submission various places right now.

And that has ended up, inevitably, with a number of rejections so far (9 rejections on 19 submissions). So far, no acceptances. And no small achievement – I have not allowed this to drag me down. Or at least not for long 🙂

I also submitted my work to Writers of the Future and NESFA short story writing competitions

Social Media:

I built this webpage

I wrote this blog

I posted my first twitter post August 9th 2022, now up to 1400 tweets and oscillating around 500 followers

I even experimented with social media tools like social bee and tweet hunter

I joined two discord channels (both writing related).

Writing Tools:

I finally transitioned from writing things on index cards

Instead, I learned scrivener

And Plottr

As I said above, I used social media tools like social bee and tweet hunter

I learned twitter and discord

I learned prowritingaid and grammerly

I learned how to make mood boards with canva, and how to find free-use images

I learned about QueryTracker, made an account and used it

I joined Submission Grinder and now use it to track my short stories

Other SciFi/Fantasy Writing:

I got my first check for writing! For the SFWA blog. I was super excited to write for one of the top organizations in the field, even if it was not a fiction piece itself, but on writing.

I also got an invite to write from Dan Koboldt for his Science in SciFi series, and that too went live online this year


I applied to the HiveWrite mentorship program. Didn’t match but from this got:

  • an hour feedback with Allegra Pescatore which was super helpful
  • and written critique from Sunyi Dean which was also encouraging.

I attended Chicon8 which was inspiring, meant I got to attend talks by writers and agents, but also got to meet some really cool people: Dan Koboldt, Michael Mammay, Arley Sorg, Neil Clarke, Joshua Bilmes, and really those connections were for me the highlight, whether each of them remember it or not!

I applied for the SFWA mentee program – no word, though it’s looking less likely given they are doing all matching in December, and apart from Christmas that’s virtually over now.

Applied to speak on science topics at Boskone – never heard anything, but can’t say I am so disappointed. I’m not such a fan of public speaking.

I applied to the Futurescapes writers workshop – and got accepted, so I will be participating this March.

I took part in #SFFPit, my first twitter pitching event – it was actually why I joined twitter – (zero likes from agents – but forced me to summarize my book, and also got support from people on twitter I am still connected to)

I also joined as often as I could a number of writers chats on twitter: #writeandwine #asfchat #writechat

I contacted a few local writers groups, but they were not meeting still under covid. But i tried!

Beta-reading and Critique Partnering

At Chicon8 I also met AB Martin in person who I had met originally through twitter and has since become a good writing friend and we have exchanged query letters for mutual critiques which has been very helpful to me

I have exchanged first 3 chapters of books with 3 other new writers on the writehive discord channel, critiqued theirs, as well as reviewed their critiques of my work which was equally helpful

I also, through twitter, had the chance to beta read a novellete for the very talented JT Greathouse. I can’t explain why this made me feel so great. It showed me his unpolished/unedited/unfinished writing was better than mine fully edited, but it was truly inspiring. I also loved the novellette 

Learning the Craft and the Business

The biggest thing I have done is just done a lot of reading (26 novels and innumerate short stories this year – trying to analyze and understand what they did as I read) and a lot of writing (2 full length novels, 21 short stories, 2 science in scifi pieces – both of which were published!).

I attended a lot of craft talks at Chicon8

I watched all of Brandon Sanderson’s BYU writing lectures on youtube

I listened to Writing Excuses starting in Season 10, as recommended by the authors

I read 3 different books on the craft

I attended writerly and other free online F and SF conferences on writing

The Future

And looking to the future for 2023? Well, I have those 21 shorts to continue submitting. I don’t think all will end up published. I’m confident about some.

I want to query my second novel, and/or finish up querying my first.

I have also begun outlining a couple of potential next novels but have not yet ‘fallen in love’ with one to the extent I know it will be my next big project

I plan to apply to Clarion West and Odyssey writing workshops. The latter is more practical for me with work, so I will have to keep my fingers crossed there, but I think I will make either work, if accepted.

And I’m headed to Boskone 60 in February, so if you see me there, or are going, feel free to say ‘Hi’!

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules of Writing

All as pertinent today as when he wrote them. Plus a couple of my own thoughts on each. Let me know yours!

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

I take this to mean give them a satisfying story. so e.g. no ending with “and then he woke up as it was all a dream.”

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

Did @LordGrimdark (Joe Abercrombie in e.g. The Blade Itself) break this rule? I don’t think so. We still root for them even if we know they’re bad, but we do have to connect with the character

3. “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.”

And one might add even if what they want is not what’s good for them or what will really help

4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.

And in his lectures, @BrandSanderson added “or worldbuilding. And preferably all 3”

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

I think true of novels, but even truer of short stories. And perhaps the reason so many people seem to dislike prologues (though I myself like them). Start where it starts.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

@GRRMspeaking took this to heart. Occasionally, though, I think we should also let them win.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

Drafting that person is you. If you please others when editing, never lose what you liked about it

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

This is the only one I am unsure of. I believe in twists and suspense. They must make sense once revealed but I don’t think they should be predictable. Do you agree with all of his rules? Or any other tweeks you would like to add?

Let me know!

Guest Post: Writing for the SFWA Blog

As I stated in my last post – you may have noticed I have been a little slower with blog posts here lately as I have been fortunate to write guest blog posts elsewhere and that has kept me busy. The second of these has just come out on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association webpage and I wanted to provide a link to it, so that you can see what I have been up to. I must admit, I was really excited to write this piece and have it published by SFWA. I hope you enjoy, and as always, please do reach out to me directly with comments, questions or feedback on my contact forms. The post is here:

Guest Post: Dan Koboldt’s Science in SciFi

So I have not posted a blog post here recently, but it is because I was fortunate enough to be invited to do guest blog posts a couple of places. The first of those to come out is a post on the Science of Skin in Fiction, which is a guest blog post on Dan Koboldt’s long running Science in SciFi blog series.

Dan is not only the well-known author of 8 books (including SciFi such as Domesticating Dragons, and Deploying Dragons, fantasy such as Silver Queendom, and writing books such as Putting the Fact in Fantasy) he is also the creator of #SFFPit

For anyone that wants to see what I have been up to, you can find my post here:

Short Story or Novel: Smart Choices Help You Write What You Intended

At a recent writers workshop I was surprised to hear repeatedly the question, ‘How do you know how long a piece should be?” and almost as equally surprised to hear the answer “You just find out as you are writing.”

Now, no doubt, the writers giving those answers were writers who are more experienced than I am, but when I asked them if they were a pantser or a plotter, every single person who gave the above answer replied ‘pantser.’

As a scientist, a nerd, and a dyed-in-the-wool, plotter, I would like to believe it is possible to put a little more structure around this and to outline a slightly different answer, and one that I do think will be useful even to pantsers. Which is important if you are trying to write for a specific purpose e.g. short story competitions almost always have word lengths. But first, let’s start off with a few definitions.

  • Nano-fiction: usually < 100 words (sometimes exactly 55 words)
  • Microfiction: < 250 words
  • Flash Fiction: 250-1000 words
  • Short Story: 1000- 7500 words
  • Novelette: 7500-17500 words
  • Novella 17500-40,000 words
  • Middle Grade Novel 50-70,000
  • YA Novel 70,000-80,000
  • Novel 80-100,000
  • SFF Novel 100-150,000
  • Experienced SFF novelist with a following: 100-300,000 words

Note, these definitions are not carved in stone, and YA vs MG novel is not determined on word count alone. Individual magazines or competitions may define the word lengths for each category differently. These are therefore rough guidelines, but this is the reference framework I will be using in this blog. Most importantly, they give a sense of the relative lengths ie novellas are longer than novelettes. The general order does not seem to vary between definitions, even if the word counts do.

So now that we have some rough definitions, in order to decide what length of piece you should write, you must first ask yourself the question: what am I trying to do?

The reason for that is that I would contend that your length depends on several key factors. Or in nerd speak, we can make an equation:

Length ∝ Scope of your story = (# characters x amount of worldbuilding x depth of characters x time period for story)/familiarity

Most of this is self-explanataory but “time period of story” means, (length of time/time increments) so if your story is 1 minute in the real world but every scene is a microsecond this factor is longer than if your story is a week but time increments are days.

Familiarity is where you incorporate things from our own world or existing mythology so that we do not have to spend valuable words worldbuilding. e.g. if you write about a new world and you open with “Delphine exploded, sending debris raining on Feta below.” We have no context. Is Delphine an airplane, a spaceship, a building? Is Feta a spacestation, a person, or a lump of cheese? If we were instead to write “The moon exploded, sending debris raining on Earth below.” It might be a bad sentence with inaccurate and unnecessary words (Earth is not below the moon…) but we do know what is happening without explanation. If my story uses an analogy to Humpty Dumpty we know that character probably cannot be put back together. Or, depending on context, maybe they are fragile like an egg. But we have context which helps save words.

So, thinking about the above equation, obviously the less we have in familiarity, and the more we have in all the other categories, the longer the story needs to be. Conversely, if you want to write something short, you will find it easier if you lean into familiarity and cut all the other categories to their minimum.

But all stories must have some kind of arc, so we can’t eliminate everything. In order to have an arc in something under 100 words we usually have one character and we do not usually have time for a character arc so no depth, so it is usually a ‘surprise’ or twist that we are portraying eg someone (either the character themselves, or the reader) suddenly realizes the main characters is already dead, or that God doesn’t exist. It has to be something big that we intuitively understand is meaningful if there is going to be any point to it. We have no time for buildup. The story is the very moment of change. Often with fiction this short it helps if we can rely heavily on familiarity to even make such a story possible.

Does your story need multiple scenes, or a lot of dialogue? Then you are probably not writing nanofiction. Multiple scenes and dialogue are hard, if not impossible, in nanofiction which is really just the second before change and the moment after. 

Microfiction and Flash-fiction have similar limitations but the breathing room those few extra words gives us allows us to consider two brief scenes, or a little dialogue. We do not have to use context and familiarity here, but it still helps. In microfiction, although we may switch scenes once, that’s probably about the limit, and we may have to choose between scene set-ups and dialogue. Remember, every choice you make to enlarge one of the factors, has a cost in what you can do in the other areas if you are staying in that length category. However, with these lengths we’re still probably only having a single POV character. If you want to stretch your wings into multiple POV, you will feel far more comfortable in the short story or longer formats.

Short stories are usually good for a single idea, a single event, or a single character’s inner change. What do I mean by the last of these? Well, I shall use the same example my English teacher used with me forty years ago – in the bible Jesus says to Peter, his closest disciple, that he will deny him and Peter stoutly denies that he ever will. Peter believes he is stronger and more devout than that. Jesus reasserts he will and that he will know that he has done it by the cock crowing. We are then shown Peter traveling. Eventually, he finds himself amongst people that he is afraid will kill him if he acknowledges he is one of Jesus’ disciples. He then denies Jesus, not once, not twice, but three times, and it is only when he hears the cock crow he realizes what he is doing. Peter learns something about himself. And, though we don’t find this out as that is where the story ends, hopefully this makes him a better person, more understanding of other people’s weaknesses too.

What about novelette vs novella vs novel vs doorstop? Again, it’s about what you need to cover.

If you are worldbuilding a complete new world with a cast of fifteen different point-of-view characters you are writing a doorstop of a novel. As you reduce the elements, you reduce the length you may need in order to tell your story. For a novelette, I would stick with a single POV character. Its not to say you can’t have more, but the more you use the less depth you have on each and the less your reader is going to understand or care about them. Bear in mind there are full-length novels told from a single perspective, and there are many reasons, other than just word length, to do that.

If you are writing about a world that needs worldbuilding, as is so often the case in fantasy and SciFi, and you are unable to use any familiar elements (eg Earth, but in the past, or in the near future) then the easiest thing to reduce is the #POV as you should be careful sacrificing character depth as doing that may make it hard for readers to engage and care about the characters.

So even if you are a pantser, whether you are dealing in a completely new world, or the present one, and whether you need one POV or forty, these are decisions you usually make as you start to write. I would contend therefore you have at least an idea of the range of possibilities in length for that story, and you can make some conscious decisions to guide it in the direction you want. I hope this is helpful! Let me know in the comments below if you liked it, or if you have another approach to solving this problem.

The Justice of Kings

One liner:

We follow Helena Sedanka, clerk to Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice as he investigates a noblewoman’s murder and uncovers a political plot that goes much, much deeper.

The Pros:
  1. The magic is sparse, but very well done.
  2. Combining legal considerations, and investigation and fantasy is original and truly refreshing
  3. The world feels much bigger than this book and while this first volume is complete unto itself by the end you are already aching for book 2
The Cons:
  1. My main negative on this book is on the narrator Helena as she does flip-flop quite a bit in the second half of the book as to what to do with her life. Perhaps realistic for someone her age, but in real life I would have found it an annoying characteristic too.
  2. I would have liked more POVs – but that’s a personal preference – with one main narrator recalling earlier events I know Helena will survive which takes the edge out of a few scenes where she could have died but you know already she can’t
  3. I personally like dreary medieval settings, but if you are ‘over that’ as someone said on twitter, then this book may not be for you, as that is what it portrays.
Bottom Line:

I literally could not put the book down – I finished it in one intense weekend, and then wanted more. I think the legal/crime angle broadens the appeal beyond just traditional fantasy fans. If you haven’t read it, absolutely do yourself a favor and buy it now!

Twitter #PitchContests

So it is the evening of August 25th and I spent the day taking part in the Twitter pitch event #SFFPit. Many of you will know what this is, but for anyone that does not: it is a day where you get to tweet a 280-character summary of your novel as a ‘pitch’, once per hour, for 8 hours. The hope of doing this is that an agent will see your tweet and like it. If you get a like, this means that the agent would like to see a formal query or partial (depending on their tweeted guidelines). That 280-character limit, by the way, also includes characters for the relevant hashtags that describe your genre/audience (#SFFPit #A #FA for example, would be adult fantasy). Having just participated, I thought I might share my early thoughts and experiences.

First, as you can imagine, condensing your work into less than 280 characters is tough. It used to be 140 characters, of course, back when tweets were shorter, but that was before I became a twitter-user. But given the challenge in writing something enticing, and yet representative of your work, in this tight of a word limit, I did actually start early and prepared all 10 different versions of my pitch two weeks in advance. If you are going to do one of these events, I encourage you to do the same. I also encourage you to schedule your tweets. That way all you have to do is watch for likes and interact with other people, not worry about creating the perfect pitch or whether it is time to post.

In terms of my own experience, I will start off by saying that I am incredibly grateful to Dan Koboldt @dankoboldt and Michael Mammay @MichaelMammay for putting in the work to organize this and invite agents and editors to attend. I’m also grateful to the agents and editors who found time to look in and comment, and the other writers who supported each other through comments and re-tweets.

At the end of the day, I had what I considered a good number of replies and retweets – but no likes from agents. So what is my conclusion? Was this worthwhile? The answer is yes.

I’m glad I participated. For one, it forced me to condense my work down into 280 characters. That’s an elevator pitch. And as I’m going to #chicon8 ( #woldcon ) this week, maybe I’ll even get to re-use it verbally a few times! I also got feedback on what pitches worked better, as those were the ones that got more retweets. I’m also really happy to have received support from my fellow writers. I even gained some followers from it, which are probably engaged, genuine followers who followed because they liked my ideas (I assume).

However, I will say that before I did SFFpit, my expectations of doing a Twitter pitch contest were radically different from the reality of participating.

For one, with not a single like, the experience was a little demoralizing for the few hours after it ended. I had read so much about scamming agents, and bots that would like your work and you had to watch out for – so I had to laugh when my work wasn’t even appealing enough to bots and scam artists to attract likes!

But on reflection, I quickly got over the lack of genuine agent likes. After all, I am a relatively new Twitter user (I in fact started using it purely to do #SFFpit) so what did I expect? As a newer user to Twitter, I do not have that many followers. With few followers, few people were going to organically see my work and I would not get many retweets or comments. That probably made it harder for my pitches to be seen amongst the sea of pitches. So for me to be successful, I would have had to depend on a fair amount of luck – I was not only depending on the agent I wanted to be online but for them to see my pitch and for them to respond. Putting your happiness and sense of self-worth in the hands of luck is the road to madness.

I am still happy I participated due to the contacts I made with other writers. But in the future, I will probably stick with traditional querying. The author-agent relationship is usually a career-long one and finding the right match is critical. Traditional querying may be more upfront work, but that way I can hand pick the agents I want to work with, rather than send out my work to whoever is available for that specific day’s Twitter pitch. Traditional querying also guarantees that the agent will see it, rather than forcing me to depend on the vagaries of luck plus twitter algorithms. At least for now, to me, that seems a better way to pitch for anyone.