Clint sent me this question last week:
I ran across this blog entry about Virtual Pitch Fest and thought it might be fodder for your site.
What is your take? Useful or useless hustle?
I've never participated in a Pitch Fest - virtual or otherwise - so I can't really bring any first-hand experience to this assessment.
My thoughts are that at first glance, it seems a bit pricey to pay all that for a "query" - though the blog writer's request rate and success at landing representation certainly go a long way towards making this look like a decent use of the money.
I'd like a little more information on who specifically at the company is reading these queries - and it would have been interesting to do a comparison on how these responses stacked up against query letters and emails sent to the same people. Does the email query get ignored or sent to the spam folder, while this gets a little more attention because it's specifically flagged as a query? I can't really think of why someone who responds to a VPF query wouldn't respond to a direct letter or email, and that information is certainly easy enough to look up for free.
(I don't think any of the responders would assume that the paid queries are of any higher quality than the cold queries. You might think that someone wouldn't spend $100 putting their work out there unless they and polished it and workshopped it to death, but you would be dead wrong in that assessment.)
But I suspect this is an area where some of my readers might have more experience than I. What say you?