Pitch contests are great, but what happens if an agent requests but you don't want to work with them for either personal/professional reasons? Ignore the request (Another agent told me pocket vetoes are fine, but I'd like a second opinion) /pretend you didn't see it? (This is substantially harder to do on blog contests as opposed to Twitter pitch parties.) Send a polite "thanks, but no thanks, I don't think we're a good fit" email? Send them materials and hope they'll reject? Send them shitty first draft materials that you know they'll reject? The latter 2 seem like Very Bad Ideas, but I have to admit it's kinda tempting to make them reject you instead of risking offending an agent by saying you don't want to work with them.Under no circumstances do you send work to an agent you don't want to work with, or knowingly send substandard work to any agent ever.
Was I wrong to enter the contest? There were some participating agents that I really liked, and I never thought the one I didn't like would request. Should I stay away from all contests in the future?
Or am I worrying about something that's absolutely meaningless?
(Also, if you want to send a Duchess of Yowl post to chase me off my hamster wheel, that would be almost as good as advice.)
That leaves whether or not to respond. I vote for not responding. It leaves you the most options later. It's also a very nice twist on the horrible "no reply means no" practiced by some agents in their query pile.
Also, it doesn't burn any bridges.
I don't know why you don't want to work with the agent who favorited your pitch, but if you change your mind (or s/he cleans up her act?) you've not closed the door to interactions at a later date.
And a Twitter contest or a #MSWL call is a far different thing than a pitch appointment at a conference. At a conference, I assume you've asked to talk to me and would be willing to work with me. If you are not, then you should meet with another agent and not waste your scarce resource of access to an agent.
But the answer to the bigger question is this: agents are looking for good stuff to sell. They'll overlook a lot to get it. A misstep in a Twitter feed isn't that big a deal. Twenty missteps, we're going to pause. Being rude or disdainful, that we are going to notice.
That means you do NOT say on Twitter "I"m only sending this to agents I want to work with" or "Gee, I'm getting some requests from real tools here, too bad they don't vet the agent list better."
Generally someone as keen not to make an error as you are is going to do just fine.
Let your work do the heavy lifting. Write a terrific book I want to read and I'll come to your house to get it if I have to.