Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Answers to lots of itty-bitty questions

I think it's time for a quick overview of MSFV "stuff." Sometimes I tend to view my readership as static, when it's actually an ever-evolving, constantly-adding-newbies sort of process.

So. A few things, some of which have come up as questions in comment boxes recently:

  • The Secret Agent contests run monthly, except for June and December (summer and Christmas break, respectively). You may not enter two consecutive Secret Agent contests, and if you are a winner, you must wait six months before entering the same manuscript in a future contest. The full Secret Agent contest rules are clickized in the sidebar.
  • The 1000-word critiques run whenever I feel like it--or whenever there isn't a lot of other stuff happening (such as a Secret Agent contest). When you send your 1000-word excerpt, you will be assigned a post number. Your number will wait in the queue until your turn is up. If you have revisions, you can send them at any time (just put 1000 words and your post number in the subject line). If you want to redact, you may do so at any time. And if you want to enter a Secret Agent contest, you must redact, but you may re-submit after the contest, taking a later spot in the queue. Yes, there is a full post about all this, listed under "1000 Words." No, I don't feel like finding it right now. (Humor me. I'm flying through this so I can dig in to my writing today.)
  • No, I am not an agent. (Seriously.)
  • I am honored and blessed when you nominate me for blog awards--I really am. The reason I don't reciprocate is because I can't afford to take up my sidebar space with the cute little award piccies--and I also don't want to give the impression that I'm endorsing one author's blog over another simply because I've passed along a nomination to someone. I wouldn't dream of accepting the award without playing fairly, so I usually don't respond. But I wanted to let you all know that I sincerely appreciate the nominations and blog awards. I really do!
  • I'm still waiting for The Person Who Nominated Me For The Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites For Writers list to step forward and confess. That, and I want to ask you to nominate me for 2010. *grin*
  • We've got two more Secret Agent contests coming up this year, so stay tuned for October's submission info.
  • No, your title is not included in the word count of your submission. For anything. Ever.
  • Yes, I'm still working on my dystopic thing. Hello, Draft 3. But right now I'm focusing on a rewrite of my MG fantasy, which is coming along nicely.
  • Yes, I'd be MORE THAN HAPPY to receive online gift cards for fine chocolate, gourmet cashews, and books. No, really.
Feel free to use today's comment box to ask all the questions you've been meaning to ask. My goal is to have a brandnewshiny, revamped blog early next year, complete with automated contest submissions. Life has been busy and writing has been all-consuming, so it's been put on the back burner. But I think it's time I found something to wear other than the red hat. Don't you?


  1. I have a you ever take submissions for success stories? I know many writers have gone on to get agents using the tips learned here on the blog (Myself included :))and it may be cool to have guest bloggers give their success stories. Just a thought (It would also give you more time to write).

  2. YES!! I'm glad you brought this up. I already have a (growing) collection of these success stories, and I am going to have a special section for them on the "new" blog. So yes, bring 'em on! I guess I ought to post guidelines for success stories, huh? Maybe just "Success Story" in the subject line. Yeah, that'll do it! =)

  3. Yay! I love reading success stories. They really keep you motivated when you're facing an inbox full of rejections. :S

  4. Just wanted to pop in to tell you I hope your writing is going well, no matter what project you're working on. It means a lot to me-- and other writers, I'm sure-- to know you spend so much of your time arranging your secret agent contests and other submissions.


    And congrats, Teh Awe-Some Sauce!

  5. Now THAT was one informative pot pourri of blog. :)

  6. Ooh! Can't wait for the brandnewshiny blog!

  7. Authoress,

    Middle Grade Fantasy is my weapon of choice in the writing world. Do you ever post any of your work on here? I'd love to read some of it. Or, if you need a beta reader (I'm sure you've got tons) I would be happy to volunteer for a chapter, or more, if you'd like additional input. I would enjoy it.


  8. I don't know, Authoress--I really love the red hat. It's got that Carmen-Sandiego-mysterious to it.

    Oh, and thanks for the informative post! Well, thanks for all your posts, really...

  9. Thanks for all the contests! It's a great service...

    I loved the query contest--will you do that again soon?

  10. Dear Authoress,

    I love everything you do and think you're fantastic....maybe like Julie from Julie and Julia!....but can I try this by you?

    The 1000 word critique groups, unless I'm missing something, are only for critiquing by fellow writers. That is, they have nothing to do with the secret agent contest (although I suppose you could get discovered). So, I don't understand why people should redact and then resubmit, if entering the secret agent contests. Could you explain.

    Another related but weaker point: You had a query contest, which basically focused on the query, the 250 were tacked on I believe for the agent's pleasure if she wanted to read more. Many of us aren't used to or need critique help with their queries and therefore entered hoping to learn from the process (I did). Their 250 may or may not have been in a different league. (Mine was, a partial is now in the hands of an agent). Basically, I don't see the logical correlation to the secret agent contests. Regarding restricting entrants from the 1000 or the query groups I hope you'll consider my argument for the future.