Monday, March 1, 2010

March Secret Agent Contest

Yep! Submissions for our next Secret Agent contest will open on Monday, March 8, at noon EST.


* Submissions will be open for 24 hours or until 50 eligible entries have been received, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
* Submissions received before the contest opens will be disqualified.
* Submissions are for COMPLETED MANUSCRIPTS ONLY. If you wouldn't want an agent to read the entire thing, DON'T SEND IT. If an "entire thing" doesn't exist, you shouldn't even be reading these rules.
* Manuscripts THAT HAVE BEEN IN A SECRET AGENT CONTEST DURING THE PAST SIX MONTHS (September-February) will not be accepted.
* You may submit A DIFFERENT MANUSCRIPT if you've participated in any previous Secret Agent contests.
* Only ONE ENTRY per person per contest. If you send more than one, your subsequent entry(ies) will be deleted.
* If you are PAST WINNER, please DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST. (Unless it's a different manuscript.)
* Submissions are for THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript. Please do not stop in the middle of a

Your submission for this contest should be formatted as follows:


(Followed by the excerpt here.)

* No "chapter one," chapter titles, etc.
* You will receive a confirmation email with your post number. I don't always get through quickly. Don't resend.
* Submissions go to facelesswords(at) They DO NOT GO to my authoressmail address. Those of you who are subscribed to this blog via email will note the latter address as the "from." If you use this address for the contest, I WILL NOT SEE YOUR SUBMISSION.

This month's contest will include the following genres:
  • Women's Fiction (including Romance)
  • YA/MG (including SF/F)
  • Chapter Books (no picture books)
  • Fantasy
  • Commercial Fiction
  • Literary Fiction
Questions in the box, please!


  1. Does Romance include Paranormal Romance?

  2. and SF/Fantasy?

  3. Yes, Paranormal romance.

    And WOW, I forgot to add SF/F to the list, which I've just done. So glad you mentioned it!

  4. Does it have to be the first 250 words, or any excerpt from the ms?


  5. It has to be the first 250. Agents aren't interested in getting dropped into the middle of a story.

  6. Um...I'm sorry, Mistress Snark/Authoress/many-other-named-awesome-red-hat-lady, but is there anything in specific that you want in the subject line of the e-mail? I'm sorry, I'm sorry-please don't be gentle, I'll pay for having asked this question, I promise.

  7. Will you pay in chocolate? =D

    Anything with "Secret Agent" in it is fine. I'll see it. =)

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  10. Is this open today or not open for submission until Mar 8?

  11. Wow, it's going to be crazy next Monday. My prediction is 2 mins for it to fill up! ;)

    Good luck to all that entry.

  12. Stina,

    I take that prediction and lower it by a minute. The internet will probably collapse from having so many people hit send at the same time. : )

  13. Just want to confirm the date and time the contest opens to submit is Monday, March 8 at noon EST, yes?

  14. Are you planning any 1000 word contests in the near future?

  15. Authoress, do you consider genre books to be within commercial fiction? I've read every definition I can find of CF and am more confused than ever. My genre is mystery/thriller and one minute I think it fits and the next I don't. What is your definition?

  16. Jane, I'm no Authoress, but I'd say mystery thrillers are very commercial (unless this month's Secret Agent specifically doesn't want to see those, of course).

  17. Typically I don't think so, but that's only my opinion and shouldn't be taken as gospel.

    As it stands, agents who wants mystery/thrillers usually ask for them specifically.

  18. See what I mean? Two people, two opinions.
    But what you said, Authoress, is obviously the way to look at it in this case.
    Thanks to you both for responding.

  19. My apologies if this is a lame-o question, but does fantasy include historical fantasy?

    Chocolate is on the way...

  20. What about horror? I checked the previous ones and didn't see anyone who asked for it, specifically.

  21. Ditto on DrunkenRaine's horror question.

  22. I just want to be sure, "SCREEN NAME" is what exactly?

  23. Another question. What should be in the subject line, if anything at all?

  24. Drunken and joekeck -- Go ahead and submit your horror this round.