Monday, November 1, 2010

November Secret Agent Early Info

Please note: This is NOT the call for submissions! The contest will open NEXT Monday, November 8.

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, November 8, NOON to 2:00 PM EDT or 25 entries, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
*SUBMISSION WINDOW #2: Monday, November 8, 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 (May-October) 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 fiction, all genres (including SFF)
Literary YA

Questions below!


  1. I am betting that most people have no idea what "plain text" is* - and that "screen name" is just whatever name they want to use to submit their entry.

    *Open your Word document and where it says Save as type, choose Plain Text (*txt)

  2. I'm guessing you mean November 8th? ;)

  3. I entered the secret agent contest in Sept., but didn't win. I have revised ms. Can I enter the bakers dozen contest??

  4. Thanks, coffeelvnmom--I edited it. :)

    Anon -- Yes, you may!

  5. You do know I wuv you don't ya! ;-)

  6. Can we enter both the Baker's Dozen contest AND the secret agent? Or is it just one or the other.

    Eek. If it's either that's a hard choice. I've been following you and my dream agent on Twitter, and I'd love so much for her to read my submission. Wish we knew who was going to be where!!

    BTW - you're awesome for doing all this 4 us.

  7. Yay! Here's hoping I'm not working during those times...(watch, they'll shedule me from 12 to 8...)

  8. Just to make sure I'm clear on this... when you say the format should be plain text (.txt), does this mean that the submissions are an attachment to an e-mail?


  9. Diana -

    I don't know if you have Gmail or not, but if you do, you can actually highlight your submission and click "plain text" and it will remove all formatting. This is also an option like that on Microsoft Word that says "remove formatting". Just copy and paste into the email and you should be fine.

  10. Anon 2:37PM: Yes, you may enter both! The stipulation is, though that if you haven't made substantial enough edits to warrant further critique from peers (as determined by Jodi Meadows and myself), your submission will not be accepted. For the obvious reason that it would be a waste of time both for you and the critters.

    Tiny hint: If you're craving feedback, it's going to be easier to "get in" the SA contest than in the agent auction. Just sayin'. ;)

  11. Diana - no, you paste it into your email - not as an attachment. You can save it in Word as plain text (*.txt) and THEN copy it and paste it into the email.

    If you're in any doubt, simply TYPE your entry into the email, under the other info that's required (name, title, genre).

  12. Can you define "screen name" for the uninitiated? If we blog using our real names, should we think up a nom de plume exclusively for this contest?

  13. Hello! I just discovered this great blog and thinking of entering the contest last minute! If anyone can answer this question from another uninitiated participant...should I go five words over to finish a sentence or just end at the previous sentence and not reach 250? Seems trifling I know but want to get it right...thanks for this fun opportunity! Now to figure out my time zone....

  14. Anne: "Screen name" is however you choose to sign your posts here.

    Stephanie: Welcome! ALWAYS finish a sentence. I add 5 words to the count to accommodate.