Michael Drayton, Detective Guy did not make the cut in the contest over at Gather.com. Twenty semi-finalists were chosen yesterday, leaving Drayton, I'm sure, at position 21 or maybe 27. So close and yet so far. I got the impression that all the semi-finalists are genre-friendly potboilers, something which Drayton certainly is not, and since the imprint that all this is directed toward, Touchstone/Fireside, specializes in genre-friendly potboilers, that is all well and good.
Be of good cheer, though. All is not lost. I have already sent a query to an agent. At the very least, this contest gave me a solid deadline to shoot for, and I made it with a reasonable draft left behind for my troubles. The current version isn't perfect--the last half needs a thorough rewrite--but the story is in place with enough good writing along the way to show that I can write somewhat. And whether this first agent bites or whether it takes 100 queries to find somebody, I'll keep on. It's really that good.