We recently heard from Leesa Cross-Smith, author of “Whiskey & Ribbons” and winner of the Editor’s Choice award in the 2011 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. We recalled that Leesa was absolutely THRILLED last year to place in the contest, so we were curious to see what kind of interaction she had with the agencies that read the winning stories last year. Here’s what she had to say:
I was contacted by the Irene Goodman Agency shortly after y’all announced the winners. They were very sweet, told me they loved my story and asked me to query them if I had a novel or novel in progress. I don’t have a novel-novel, but I had a completed YA novel that I sent them (they were kind in their rejection :) But they didn’t/don’t do short story collections (which is what I’m shopping around at the moment). It was awesome to be contacted by them … but didn’t work out for me, personally, because I’m not currently working on a novel. But the fact that an agent/agency sent ME an email was pretty amazing enough to hold me over until I ACTUALLY DO get an agent/sell my short story collection.
[Getting published in] Carve has been nothing but awesome. Starting at the basics with my love for minimalist writing and my love for a one Raymond Carver…it is such an honor to have my name associated with Carve in any way. I love getting to write that in my author bio. And I have received the nicest comments/emails about “Whiskey & Ribbons”! And it being listed as a Notable Story over at storySouth…all of that stuff is awesome, awesome, so the experience has been really special to me. And always will be!
Thanks for writing in, Leesa! While we wish the agency partnership had been more fruitful, it is true that most agencies are looking for novels or novels-in-progress. Still, we make an effort each year to invite literary agencies to read our winning stories based on their past interest in our published stories/contributors.
Enter the contest today - deadline is June 30th!