The agent I interviewed with asked for an email submission, so I got that off to her. If she doesn’t like it, there were two others who said they were interested. I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.
I believe there is a lot of value in going to conferences. When you and agents or editors meet face to face, it is much easier to decide whether you want to want to have a business relationship with them, and I’m sure, for them to decide about you. It is also good to meet other writers. No telling what kind of connections you can make or what sort of useful information you might learn (or impart).
Middle grade books sell the most. Partly because librarians are encouraging kids to read the most at that time, and partly because boys tend to stop reading around 10 (cutting into the YA/Teen market).
Paranormal/supernatural is very hot right now
Girls will read about boys, but boys will not read about girls (unless they are vampires, or buried alive)
Tweens (older MG, younger YA) are very popular
The “gritty” trend for YA may be starting to wane
Contests are great for building your writing credentials, so enter as many LEGITIMATE ones as you can.
Graphic novels are hot and getting hotter