Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our Very First Query Contest!!

Okay, all you whine-and-beg-Authoress-for-a-query-critique-rounders--we're going to do it! Announcing our first (and possibly last) Query Contest, featuring the kind but crusty-when-she-wants-to-be Jodi Meadows, irreplaceable Girl Friday to agent Jenny Rappaport.

That's right. Jodi's the one who sends out the sweetly worded rejection emails from Jenny's agency. I should know; I've received two of them.

At any rate, Jodi has kindly volunteered her time in order to read and comment on 50 queries right here on the blog. Here's how it will work:

  • The Query Contest is open to authors of COMPLETED MANUSCRIPTS who have ALREADY BEGUN or are GETTING READY TO BEGIN the query process.
  • Your query letter should be in FINAL FORM (no rough drafts or "first tries")
  • Each entrant will mail his QUERY LETTER and FIRST 250 WORDS OF THE NOVEL to me at facelesswords(at)gmail.com in the following format:
SCREEN NAME
(space)
QUERY LETTER (don't type "query letter"; just insert the letter here)
(space)
FIRST 250 WORDS (don't type "first 250 words"; just insert the words here)

  • I will take THE FIRST 50 ENTRIES in the submission time frame
  • Submissions will open on MONDAY, JULY 27 at 9:00 am EDT
  • Submissions will close AS SOON AS I HAVE RECEIVED 50 entries
GENRES FOR THE CONTEST are AS FOLLOW:

  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Young Adult (including SFF)
  • MG (including SFF)
  • Horror
  • Romance
  • Women's Fiction (including Chicklit)
PLEASE NOTE: (PLEASE oh PLEASE oh PLEASE note): SUBMISSIONS ARE NOT OPEN YET. PLEASE don't send anything right now. Submissions will open on Monday at 9:00 am EDT. Early submissions will be disqualified.

Questions? The comment box eagerly awaits.

And...do I hear a HUZZAH!! ?

45 comments:

beth said...

OH HOORAY! That is just brilliant. I am SO STOKED about this!

thelittlefluffycat said...

just forwarded word to two people in my crit group who are at this point - hoping like heck they make it in! Jodi, you are awesome!

Feywriter said...

Huzzah! Does it matter if we've already been rejected by Jenny Rappaport? I'd love the feedback.

Teh Awe-Some Sauce said...

HUZZAH! Great idea! I'm probably the only person in the world who likes writing queries.

I guess this means I should hold off on querying Ms. Rappaport.

Authoress said...

Hey Fey --

Doesn't matter, since you're not actually querying her and she's not involved with this contest. Of course, if your query has garnered the rejection, you may want to tweak it before entering the contest, since Jodi's already read and rejected it...and she is going to be picking a favorite or two as part of this contest!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This sounds way cool. Do we get to crit as well? I can't wait!

Boy, Authoress, you're just full of great ideas.

Christina Lee said...

very cool! are you allowed to enter if you did the last secret agent contest? I am assuming no..

Authoress said...

Yes, you may enter. Because this is a completely new and different contest, and nobody has ever read your query on this blog. So go for it. =)

ElanaJ said...

:) Great ideas! Yay Authoress and Jodi!

The Screaming Guppy said...

What happens with the two favorite queries? Or is that a secret until later?

Liana Brooks said...

So very, very, tempting. But I've resigned myself to another round of rewrites on my current WIP. This is about four months to early. But I shall watch with avid interest.

M. Dunham said...

Will winners be given a chance to give her something more? Or is it only a query/250 word critique honor?

Contest insinuates a prize, so I'm just checking. :) Of course the query and word crit is lovely in and of itself.

Authoress said...

Any and all prizes will be announced at the end of the contest. As always. ;)

Sheila said...

Bummer. I'm going on vacation next week. Oh, well, I don't think you'll be short on entries.

Good luck, everyone!

Anonymous said...

I hope it isn't the last time for a review by an agent - but my hope also goes with a huge thanks to those that do do it. I know it's a huge junk out of a busy work day and it isn't unappreciated by us.

Pennyoz

Michelle said...

Does this mean the whole query, including credential, or just the mini-synopsis?

Authoress said...

The entire query letter, exactly as you would send it to an agent (minus your name, of course).

Megs said...

Eeeh! I want to play too!

If I don't make it in though (ha! I'll bet you get 50 subs by 9:00.59) - I'm looking forward to reading and commenting on all of the queries...

:]

Linda said...

I'm a tiny bit confused. We send the ENTIRE query letter AND the first 250 words? That seems redundant, but I suspect I'm not understanding. Great opportunity! Thank you!

Authoress said...

Linda, that's correct. It's standard practice, unless an agent specifically says NOT to, to send the first 3-5 pages along with your query. 3-5 pages is too much for the blog, so I'm going with the 250 word limit.

jessjordan said...

I sense Linda's confusion was with respect to her thinking that entries should include queries plus "the first 250 words" of said query (which would be redundant), rather than the query and the first 250 words of the completed MS. But I could be wrong. It happens on occasion. Okay, it happens all the time.

Lucy Woodhull said...

Does it matter the length of the completed MS? I have a novella (25K).

Authoress said...

I'm sorry, Lucy, but only full-length novels are eligible, as Jodi's agency does not represent novellas.

Judy said...

This is great. Can't wait for the learning experience.

Feywriter said...

Maybe I'll try my alternate query version, that mentions the romantic element. I honestly don't know how to improve my query. Even my husband, who has an opinion on everything, doesn't know how to improve on it. The critique will be the prize for me. :-)

Linda said...

I'm feeling dumb as dirt. When you said, post the query letter, and then post the first 250 words, I thought you meant, send the query letter, then send the first 250 words of the query letter, which made no sense to me. Yes, yes, 250 words OF THE MANUSCRIPT makes a lot more sense! Perfect sense, in fact! Thanks for the opportunity -- and the clarification!

Walter said...

One question, if your first 250 words is from a prologue, should you use those, or from the first chapter?

My guts is to go with chapter 1.

Authoress said...

That's always a tricky question, but I say go with your gut.

Azimuth said...

Yay! Thanks, Authoress -- I was one of those asking for a query contest and I'm so glad you're hosting one. I hope I can be quick on the draw on Monday and get in the first 50.

Anonymous said...

re: formatting the email we send to you.

Do you want us to single space the query letter? I usually do block paragraphs (no indention) with a double space between them when I send query letters. If I do this for the contest, then the query doesn't look separate from the 250words. I mean, yeah, it's obvious the 250 words begin after the 'sincerely', but...

Well, I'm probably just being too anal. Unless you say otherwise, I'll stick with my block paras. :-)

Thanks! I'm looking forward to Jodi's comments on all the queries.

Authoress said...

Yep, you're being about as anal as I am. ;)

Send it to me exactly the way you'd send it to an agent. Block paragraphs are perfect.

careann said...

This is exactly the kind of help we need but so seldom get! Thanks for this opportunity. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I make it in as one of the 50, but even if I don't it will be a terrific learning experience.

Careann/Carol

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

HUZZAH! When one can get an opinion from an agent and/or an agent's assistant, it's golden.

Thanks, Authoress, for the opportunity.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Oops, I do have a question too. Do we just wait for our computer clocks to say 9a.m. and then press SEND? Or do you want us to wait for an open-for-submissions blog post? I hope my hand doesn't tremble like it did the last time I entered something in the SA contest. :)

Authoress said...

Oh Amy, I hope not!

To answer your question: Both. Keep a window open with the blog, but mainly keep your eye on the clock (making sure it's synced to time.gov). Ultimatley I go by time stamp; you never know when Blogger is going to burp, so you can't rely on the post, even though I have it set for 9:00 am EDT.

Good luck! =)

Jennifer said...

so excited!

jennifermclaughlin said...

I'm ready!

Feywriter said...

And time.gov fails me... and isn't showing the time!

jennifermclaughlin said...

me too feywriter. I went by gmail time.

Anja said...

Weird. It's 9:11 am EST (7:11 am my time), but still nothing about the contest being open. But then again, according to the blog (which I have reset numerous times), there's only 15 comments but there are actually already 39 when you check them out. Maybe my computer's still on vacation like me.

Anonymous said...

Any chance on the next round to be kind to us West Coast folks who had to scramble during the rush to work to submit?

Just asking...

Hope you hvae a great week!

Sue Ford said...

Your video had me almost in hysterics. SO funny!

FYI - two of your links aren't working on blogging agents: Caren Johnson and Paper Cuts! Glorious Paper Cuts!

Terisa Wilcox said...

Loved the video. Very funny!

Charlie said...

It is tempting, but I rushed out the first one and I won't make the same mistake twice. Maybe next year.

Good luck to everyone!

Callie said...

August 19:

Is this still on, or is it well over?