Yay! My crit partner signed with an agent – what we can learn from it.

I’m pretty sure you all know at this point who that is – Kris Asselin. She signed with Vickie Motter. Yay! Vickie has a great blog so go check it out and follow her.

And we can all learn from Kris’s experience. But I wanted to share her signing from a crit partner’s pov.

  • Kris has what it takes to make it in this industry. And she has been much too humble in her post on how she got an agent. The girl has skill and talent.
  • Kris is an incredibly fast learner. She picked up and applied elements of craft to her writing in a year what takes most people several to learn. Did she mention The Sweet Spot was her first novel? Yeah. Probably not. It was her first novel. Pretty cool.
  • From the very start Kris had amazing confidence. Not ego, confidence. She didn’t let rejections from high profile agents get her down. After receiving an incredible rejection letter with suggestions – she kept querying. Many would have stopped to rewrite. Many would have given up after the first 20, 30, 40 rejections. Kris kept chugging along. And she found Vickie on her 67th query.
  • She also used wisdom. She didn’t stop to rewrite or look at her query again because she was receiving plenty of requests for partials and fulls. Her query letter was solid. She has mad query letter skills so if you ever get a chance to win a crit from her– go for it!

I remember chatting about a year ago and mentioning that I could totally picture the cover for The Sweet Spot. And hopefully within the next couple years I will. She hit the “sweet spot” in the industry with her sweet story of a girl named Kate – with bunches of romance and mystery thrown in.

What can we learn?

  • Don’t query until you are completely confident in your manuscript.
  • Conversely, don’t keep fiddling with your manuscript until it’s perfect because it never will be.
  • Make sure your query letter is in tiptop shape. Visit forums, ask friends – but get it critiqued.
  • Keep up with industry blogs and interviews with agents.
  • Query widely. Don’t stop. Keep going. No matter how hard the journey.

For me, having my crit partner sign with an agent makes it real. It’s no longer some avatar on Twitter announcing she/he got an agent. It’s someone I know. I read her story and saw it in the infancy stages.

And I’m telling every aspiring writer out there. You can do it. Dreams are possible. Work hard and write. Be inspired.

My 200 followers celebration ends today at noon. The winner to be announced on Wednesday.

And check out Kris’s blog for an AMAZING celebration contest!  You won’t want to miss it.

Congrats and best of luck, Kris!

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39 Responses to Yay! My crit partner signed with an agent – what we can learn from it.

  1. Andrea March 7, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Great post, Laura! I like your tips…though reading #1 and #2 together made me laugh. I don’t know if I will ever be completely confident…it’s always possible to make changes.

  2. Kris March 7, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Laura, thank you. You have me in tears this morning. You’ve got some mad skill yourself and it’s just a matter of time before you’ll be celebrating.

    My other advice for your followers is to get a great crit partner or group. Seriously. Not only does it help your writing, but they cheer you when you’re down, and help you pick up from rejection. And they help you celebrate all the moments along the way. Not just the big ones.



  3. christine danek March 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Congrats Kris! This inspiration that is always needed. Thanks, I needed this today.

  4. Jennifer Shirk March 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Oh that’s so awesome!!!!! Will have to check out her blog!

    • Laura March 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      Jennifer – Thanks! she has a great blog.

      Christine – Inspiration is always needed!

      Kris – There you go, being humble again!

      Andrea – I know they seem like a contradiction but it’s a fine line to walk!

  5. Matthew Rush March 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Excellent advice here, thanks Laura!

  6. Creepy Query Girl March 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    awe, I did see this on her blog already and sent out congrats! But it’s so cool she’s your crit partner! I’m always happy to see success stories- it keeps me pumped and motivated.

  7. anne gallagher March 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Congratulations Kris. That’s awesome.

    And thanks Laura for posting this. It’s inspirational.

    • Laura March 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      Anne – It definitely inspired me!

      Katie – Success stories are def. inspiring!

      Matthew – I know. I need to follow it the next time I query. 🙂

  8. Sheri Larsen March 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Congrats, Kris!!

    Great advice about staying the course to make it. Best to you both.

  9. Tana Adams March 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Congrats to Kris! I’ll check out both her blog and Vicki’s! Can’t wait to hear news of her first sale. =)

  10. Stina Lindenblatt March 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    That’s awesome news. It’s always fun when your crit partner or friends land an agent (and even more so when I land a book contract). It becomes real.

    Great advice. 😀

    • Laura March 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      Stina – Yes, I think when we as a writer sign an agent – that is def. real! 🙂

      Tana – I can’t wait either. I think someone will snap it up!

      sheri – I’m going to beat it into my head – stay the course, stay the course!

  11. Karen B. Schwartz March 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Congrats to Kris! A great example for all of us. How lucky she is to have such a supportive crit partner!

  12. Angela Felsted March 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Congratulations to your crit. partner. You must be so excited for her!

    • Laura March 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

      Thanks Angela and Karen – I am extremely excited for her. I forget that I can’t tell people outside of my writing life about it. They’d be like, huh?

  13. MG Higgins March 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Kris’s story is so inspiring. Thanks for adding to it with your post–very good advice.

  14. Kelly Polark March 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Congrats to Kris! So great to hear good news in the writing world!!

  15. Amanda March 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Love hearing about these success stories, and you’re right — there’s a lot we can learn. Thanks for sharing, and congrats to Kris!

  16. Lydia K March 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    That “confidence in your manuscript” thing is very important. I only got that much later. I know I won’t query my WIP until it’s solid.

  17. Terri Tffany March 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    So happy for her! Each time someone lands an agent, it gives the rest of us unagented writers hope:)) Great advice. I am especially not querying until I am more ready this time.

  18. Susan Kaye Quinn March 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I love when the good news lands close to home! SO inspiring! Congrats to Kris!!

  19. Misha March 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Oh wow! That’s wonderful! I am heading over right now.


    • Laura March 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      Thanks everyone! Hope you head on over to Kris’s blog!

  20. Laura Marcella March 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Congrats to Kris! That’s very exciting. Heading over to her blog now!

  21. Lisa Green March 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    That is so awesome!! Congrats to Kris!! OF COURSE IT’S POSSIBLE YOU SILLY SILLY PERSON!! ;D You’re doing all the right things, and so did she. And it’s thrilling when you actually KNOW someone who gets to take that next big step.

  22. Jessica March 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    That’s awesome! And thanks so much for posting these pointers! =)

    • Laura March 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

      Jessica – thanks for commenting and stopping by!

      Lisa – And interacting with you on twitter makes it seem more real too!

      Laura – Def. check out her contest!

  23. angela ackerman March 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Huge congrats to her–awesome news!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  24. Patti March 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    Congratulations to Kris, I loved what you wrote about her, especially not changing her book after the rejections.

  25. erica and christy March 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    congrats to your partner and i totally get what you mean by it making it more real. not because i’ve experienced it myself, but i imagine that when someone i know well gets signed, it will seem more real. :0) you’re next! christy

  26. becca puglisi March 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Congrats to your crit partner! 67 queries! Holy cow, that’s totally inspiring. The road must’ve been really hard for her, but I appreciate being able to hear her story.

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

    • Laura March 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      I know – 67 queries is a marathon! And she just kept sending them out week by week. She didn’t wait to hear back from a bunch first. She’d move on. And let’s face it – some agents are slower than others in getting back. When we know which agents are slower – we have to keep going! And it’s hard to keep going with rejections. But, as in her case, if you’ve been getting requests, it’s a little bit easier.

  27. Theresa Milstein March 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Congratulations, Kris! And what a good friend and critique partner you are to offer such nice praise. And lessons for the rest of us.

  28. Sherrie Petersen March 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    I love inspiring stories like this 🙂 I didn’t even realize Kris was your crit partner. I just won one of her non-fiction books last week!

  29. Leigh Moore March 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    that is VERY cool, and congrats to Kris! How exciting for her–moving to the next level. And I like your advice. Know you’ve done your homework and just keep swimming~

    good stuff! :o) <3

  30. Kristin Gray March 8, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    Ha, love how Laura gives the juicy details! 🙂
    SO excited for you, Kris, and I’m sure your CPs helped get you there!
    (I’m so glad to know this is the first book, b/c I think I read the opening long ago online somewhere and loved it…..)

  31. Lola Sharp March 8, 2011 at 2:26 am #

    CONGRATS to your CP and friend. 🙂


  32. Paul Greci March 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Congrats Kris!!!

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