Monday, April 5, 2010

April's Secret Agent Contest

Yep, it's that time again! Submissions for our April contest will open a week from today.

Please note: Submissions are NOT OPEN right now. This is an early announcement to give everyone heads up. I've been receiving early submissions in increasing amounts! This contest will open on Monday, April 12.


* Submissions will open at 12:00 pm 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 (October-March) 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:

YA and MG

Yes, that's right. It's a kidlit contest. Anything but high fantasy. No picture books.

Questions below, please!


  1. Sounds good. I think I might be ready this time.

  2. Awesome, I have monday off! *Squeals with delight*

  3. I live abroad. In which time zone do you live and what time does submission start?

  4. kathryn-- sorry, I just added that info above. The contest opens at noon eastern standard time (NY time).

  5. Sorry, just wondering - what exactly do you mean by "high fantasy"?

  6. Same question as Jennifer Q. I have a novel that is SF with a fantasy element. The first few chapters would give a strong fantasy feel.

  7. High Fantasy = Tolkien. And the like. Medieval-type fantasy world, magic and swords, quests and amulets. And unpronounceable names. ;)

    You know the thing.

  8. I have a question. (I'm newer to this site so I apologize if this subject has been addressed before.)What age group does the YA genre encompass? I have a coming-of-age story of four friends growing up that culminates in their graduation from college. Half the story revolves around their childhood and the other half takes place in college. Is this story still considered YA? There doesn't seem to be a genre that cleanly fits this type of storyline (or age group). Is it ok to submit this as YA?

  9. Is there any need of a synopsis or at least a couple of lines about what the book is about. Or would that be against all protocall, thus invalidating our submission?

  10. MG Ninja -- no synopsis. Just Screen Name, Title, Genre, in that order, followed by your 250 words. :)

  11. What do you mean by "Screen Name?"

  12. That's whatever name you use when you post here. So I can find you. :)

  13. I look forward to submitting my 250 words. :) Thanks for doing this!

  14. Curses! Why didn't I wait...

  15. I hope I get a spot. Noon on the East coast is nine a.m. on the West coast, right? or is it three p.m. on the West coast.

    I get so confused.

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