Friday, April 4, 2008

What are SECRET AGENT contests?

By far the most popular event on Miss Snark's First Victim, the Secret Agent: Are You Hooked? contests run monthly (more or less) and include a literary agent on the "critique panel" whose identity remains secret until the close of the contest.

Here's how it works:

There will be a call for submissions. When the call comes, follow the guidelines carefully and submit your excerpt before the deadline. All submissions will then be posted (anonymously) on the blog, and all readers are invited to leave critiques/feedback. Everyone who has entered the contest is expected to crit a minimum of five entries -- it's the mutual backscratch thing.

Our Secret Agent will join the panel of critters (that is, you) and will leave feedback for every entry. When the contest has ended, the Secret Agent will choose a winner or winners.

That's it in a nutshell!

Here are the basic guidelines for each Secret Agent contest:

  • All excerpts submitted to a Secret Agent: Are You Hooked? contest must be the first 250 words of your COMPLETED manuscript.
  • Your submission must include your screen name and the title and genre of your novel.
  • By emailing your submission to me, you are giving implicit permission to have your work posted and publicly critiqued.
  • No submissions will be accepted prior to the opening of the contest. The maximum number of entries per contest is 50 submissions.
  • Winners of previous contests may not submit the same manuscript in future contests.
  • All contest entrants are required to critique a minimum of five other entries.
  • No attachments are accepted. Your 250 submission must be pasted into the body of your email.

Questions about the Secret Agent contests can be emailed to Authoress at facelesswords(at)gmail.com.

38 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful service to the writing world. But did you mean 250 PAGES or WORDS?

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  2. LOL This is at least the 3rd time I've typed "pages" instead of words. Fortunately nobody has held me to it so far. ;) Thanks for pointing this out!!

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  3. First of all, you're terrific to run these contests. Besides the chance to land an agent, this is a great way to get unvarnished criticsm.

    FYI, I noticed at least one entry in the August contest that ran way over the word limit (about 100 words over).

    ReplyDelete
  4. What if the 'completed manuscript' is only 300 words long? or 3,000? Would that be okay?
    Is there a minimum word count that constitutes a 'completed manuscript'?
    What if the book was a collection of twelve short pieces, similarly themed, but only a few were 'complete' - would that count?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Juan -- Welcome!

    A "completely manuscript" is a finished, full-length novel. No novelettes, collections, etc. And definitely nothing incomplete. Agents do not want to be queried on incomplete works.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Picture books can also be submitted? The first 250 words, that is- or is this not a genre that is eligible for the contest? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Beth--

    No picture books. Novels only. Most agents don't deal with picture books, and statistically more than 80 percent of debut PBs sell without an agent.

    Which is kinda cool, when you think about it. =)

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Winners of previous contests" --

    Can you quantify that? Is this anyone that submitted pages to a manuscript, whether they were the official "Winner" or "Runner Up" or neither (i.e., with sGinger--she just asked for everything she would keep reading)?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Meant to say, "submitted pages to an agent." *

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  10. Fingers crossed...

    ReplyDelete
  11. First of all, you're terrific to run these contests. Besides the chance to land an agent, this is a great way to get unvarnished criticsm.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is awesome contest I'm excited and looking forward to it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gah! This is so awesome, I wish I'd found it sooner.

    -Amalynne
    fictionfaze.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looking forward to this contest!

    ReplyDelete
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  15. How do I find where the selected entries are listed? Thanks, Sarah.

    ReplyDelete
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  17. So excited about this contest! Thanks for hosting, Authoress!

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