I recently saw via my Query Tracker newsletter that Firebrand Literary is asking for the first chapter of an author’s novel, rather than the traditional query letter, until January 15th. They are calling this bonanza of beginnings a Query Holiday. As of the last count, the agency had received 2582 first chapters, had read 241 of those, and had requested additional pages from 21 of those.
Despite these odds not being much better than the traditional process, I applaud Firebrand for doing something a little out there. Right now, writers need something to feel positive about and, by removing the great bugaboo of the query letter, they have allowed authors who feel more comfortable writing fiction than telling someone about it to have a warm, fuzzy feeling about getting their work out. And, yes, in the spirit of full disclosure, my first chapter for Project Superhero–tentatively titled The Gifts of the Hirakee–is one of those 2582.
So, the query process for the new book has officially begun, even without a finished query letter. God bless the internet.