Monday, October 4, 2010

October Secret Agent Early Info

Please note: This is NOT the call for submissions! The contest will open NEXT Monday, October 11.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (please read carefully):

* There will be TWO SEPARATE SUBMISSION WINDOWS. Each window will be open for 2 hours and will receive a maximum of 25 entries. This is to accommodate my other-side-of-the-globe readers.
* SUBMISSION WINDOW #1: Monday, October 11, NOON to 2:00 PM EDT or 25 entries, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
*SUBMISSION WINDOW #2: Monday, October 11, 7:00 to 9:00 PM EDT or 25 entries, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
*2 alternates will be chosen from the second submission window.
*PLEASE NOTE: You are responsible for figuring out your own time zone. "Time Zone differences" are NOT a reason for not getting your entry in.
* Submissions received before the contest opens will be rejected.
* 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 (April-September) 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 rejected.
* If you are a 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 EXACTLY as follows:

SCREEN NAME: Your Screen Name Here
TITLE: Your Title Here
GENRE: Your Genre Here

(Followed by the excerpt here.)

* No "chapter one," chapter titles, etc.
* You will receive a confirmation email with your post number.
* Submissions go to authoress.submissions(at) They DO NOT GO to my facelesswords address. Or any other address.
*PLAIN TEXT is your best bet! And if you receive a rejection notice that claims you didn't include TITLE, etc., please TYPE THE SCREEN NAME, TITLE, AND GENRE BY HAND and resubmit. (In other words, don't copy and paste that part.)

This month's contest will include the following genres:
  • Adult commercial fiction (NO SF/F)
  • Young adult
Questions below!


  1. Does women's fiction count? Thanks!

  2. No SF/F at all. Sorry. :(

    Yes, women's fiction counts. :)

  3. I might give it a try. Thanks Authoress!

  4. Hey Authoress,

    Would the secret agent be open to non-fiction if it's highly commercial and reads like fiction? Thanks! Keeping fingers crossed!

  5. Does adult commercial fiction mean no genres at all, or does historical fiction qualify if it branches across into the women's fiction area?

  6. I'll be submitting mine in the Adult section. So what about language? Should I just edit it out? It's only one word, but I wasn't sure what kind of policy you had on that.

  7. Thanks for asking, Bethany. :) I'm okay with hells and damns, but pretty much everything else gets asterisks with only the first letter still in place. If you want to do that ahead of time, it will save me one edit during the posting process. :)

  8. Samantha--for the sake of consistency in my contests, I only open them to fiction, even when the occasional SA might have narrative non-fiction listed. I don't want to open a can of "Is THIS okay?" worms for every single contest. I may change that in the future, but for now I've got to do whatever I can to keep things sane.

    Susan--go ahead and submit it. The only genre fiction DEFINITELY excluded is SF/F.

  9. I saw this question asked on the other post, but I can't find if it was ever answered. If we enter this SA contest, will that disqualify us from participating in the "Very Special December Thing"?

    Please let us know. :)
    Thank you!

  10. Authoress - I put mine as adult up market fiction, but I've queried it as women's up market - does it matter for the contest?