Writing a query letter and sending it to agents and editors is one way to get your work read. But it’s not the only way.
Submitting to literary contests, can be another option.
The Guide to Literary Agents (http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/Dear+Lucky+Agent+Contest+Fantasy+And+SciFi.aspx) is running one right now (from May 12 to May 26) for unpublished fantasy/SF adult/YA fiction novels.
To participate you must submit the first 150-200 words or your novel. If you are one of the three winners, the judge, Roseanne Wells (a literary agent at Marianne Strong Literary Agency) will critique the first 10 pages of your work.
Having finished a YA fantasy novel recently, the contest is just perfect for me. Not only because it gave me an excuse to postpone writing that dreary query letter, but because it forced me to polish my first page which I have also sent to the June Meet the Editors workshop (SCBWI Eastern PA chapter).
So don’t be shy and send yours too.
And if you happen to attend the workshop, please come and say hello.
Carmen Ferreiro Esteban