The right questions are the best way to achieve desired results.
To read a chapter of the book! Forget the synopsis he can waste his time on that just as well, if the agent would just read a few pages of the of the frist chapter. If he or she likes what they read then ask for the manuscript. Again if they like it then the agent could come up with a contract I think it would be faster than any submission parkage. The more authors the agent can put out there the more money he could make. Richard.
Richard's posting has sparked an idea. The TV program The Voice has contestants who sing but who cannot initially be seen by the judges, so the judges do their initial judging solely on the basis of the sound of the voice, its style, the way the song is interpreted, etc. In that first stage, the judges don't have any idea what the person looks like, his/her age, past experience, or background. They are using this as a way to uncover new talent based on the core ability they are looking for, which in the case of The Voice is the person's voice.
Maybe their could be a similar contest called The Page where authors submit a few pages (say, a maximum of five double-spaced pages) to an agent or group of agents, and the pages are judged by the quality of the writing, their ability to hook interest, etc., without consideration of whether or not the author already has a "platform". The number of contestants would have to be controlled, just as in The Voice. It might have to be a first come, first served type of thing...for example, the first 25 authors to submit will be the authors that get read for evaluation of those five pages.
This would be so cool to organize, but we'd need an agent or agents to agree to participate. Could this be something done within WAE?
I really like your idea, Sharon. I would be grateful for an opportunity like that. Please let me know if you can get something set up.