Monday, January 23, 2012

Secret Agent Contest: Tidbits

Well, it's been 3 months since our last Secret Agent Contest, and we have lots of new readers, so I thought I'd do a mini "This is what goes on this week" post.

  • Submissions are TODAY!  Submission guidelines are HERE.  (Note: the online form is VERY COOL and easy to use.  If you choose not to use it, make sure you follow the email submission guidelines to the letter.)
  • Your SCREEN NAME is simply whatever name you use when you leave comments on this blog. It's not any kind of secret handshake thing, and you don't have to have a Blogger account or reveal your blood type or anything complicated.  I promise. 
  • Note that "2 alternates" will be chosen.  This means that, after the 50 entries are received, 2 more will be included and marked "alternate."  This is in case I have to redact any of the other entries prior to the opening of the contest on Wednesday.  (If we don't get 50 entries, no alternates are chosen.)
  • The entries will post on Wednesday morning.  Critiquing may begin immediately.
  • All entrants are requested to critique a minimum of 5 other entries. (Yes. My awesome database gives me lists of comments by screen name. It's very KGB. Or Santa Claus.)
  • The Secret Agent will show up at any time over the next 5 days to leave critique on each entry.
  • Winners--and the Secret Agent's identity--will be announced next Monday.
That's about it!  If you're new and you have any questions, today's your day to ask them in the comment box.  

41 comments:

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...

I need a refresher--are we agreeing to crit at least 3 others or 5 others, if our work makes it into the contest?

Thank you for doing this, MSFV!

Authoress said...

Ooooo I'm glad you mentioned that; I meant to include it above (and will add it). It's 5. Thank you!!

Leslie Rose said...

Good morning and thank you for such a kickin' contest. When submitting via email do we write SCREEN NAME: and then put our screen name or just put our screen name with no label?

Authoress said...

When submitting via email, type it EXACTLY as I have it in the submission guidelines.

SCREEN NAME: (screen name here)

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about this bot that randomly selects participants. If there is a 2 hour window for submissions, I would think that after that window has closed, the bot would choose, at random, submissions to go forward in the contest from pieces received within that time frame.

I attempted to submit at 6:06am PST (9:06am EST) and was told that the contest is full.

Perhaps a slight rewording would help any confusion (I can't be the only one) - that is is first submitted, first accepted. Had I known that the contest would fill in 6 minutes, I would not have had that first cup of coffee before sitting down at my computer.

That being said, I'm not deterred. I'll be sitting at my computer tonight at 4pm PST (7pm EST) waiting for the clock to click over to the top of the hour so I can have a submission in immediately.

Jonathan 3d said...

The submission form says the stat time is 5 pm EST, but the early info say 9 am and 7 pm.

Anonymous said...

That's what I meant, thanks Jonathan 3d!

Authoress said...

Anon -- Submissions for SA Contests are always first submitted, first accepted, UNLESS I specifically announce that there will be a lottery. This month's is not a lottery (though, judging by how quickly that first window filled, perhaps it should have been!).

Sorry for the confusion. :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Authoress,

Even though the bot is randomly selecting the winning entries,it looks like it only takes a certain number of entries and then closes, even though the submission window is open until 11 AM EST? Is this correct?

Thanks for the opportunity.

Authoress said...

Submission windows are open for 2 hours OR until the maximum is received, whichever comes first. I used to have that in my submission guidelines and for some reason it's missing this time around -- I will have to remedy that.

This is NOT a lottery. Lotteries are always announced as such.

Anonymous said...

I guess it was the combo of:
"* There will be 2 submission windows on Monday, January 23: 9:00 am to 11:00 am EST and 7:00 to 9:00 pm EST.
* 40 winners and 2 alternates will be chosen by the bot. Winning entries will be notified by email."

Thanks, Authoress!

Authoress said...

Yep, I see the confusion there. I will fix that. Thanks for pointing it out!

samsevern said...

Dear Authoress,

Separate question for you:
I'm wondering what happened to the Baker's Dozen Auction non-winners posting n' critique of loglines and 250 words? I was looking forward to getting and giving feedback on the entries that weren't selected. But I don't see it happening anywhere.....Did I miss something, Authoress?

Thanks and continued love to all writers on this site! You guyz frickin' ROCK! ㋡

Authoress said...

Response was too low for the continued effort. I will post about it soon. I'm sorry!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm still confused. So we can still submit during the 2nd two-hour window, 7-9 pm EST? Or is the contest closed now? And there is no bot selecting entries, it's just first-come first-served?
Thanks

RubyRed0 said...

I had the same question as Samsevern. I hope u are still doing the BD non-winners posting. ;-)

Rin said...

Just wondering - when clicking the link to the submission form it says the contest will start in January 23 3 pm MST instead of the 7-9 pm EST written in the rules. That means the online submission will start at 5 pm EST. Is there a different time for the online form than the email submission?

Betsy said...

Oops - I think I shot myself in the foot. I assumed the web form wasn't working correctly when it said the contest was full at 9:23, so I emailed my submission. Do you think it would be okay to try again this afternoon, or would I disqualify myself by submitting twice? What to do, what to do... :)

Authoress said...

The 7 to 9 EST window will be open for the SECOND 25 ENTRIES PLUS 2 ALTERNATES.

The web form should reflect the correct time now (I am so challenged with military time!!).

Betsy, yes, you can enter the 2nd window. You should have gotten an email rejection for your email entry, at any rate.

Donelle Lacy said...

So unfamiliar with this contest, though it sounds good. What is the prize for it? Getting critiqued by an agent and fellow writers? Or is there the chance of the agent requesting more from a few people? Thanks!

Authoress said...

Donelle -- The secret agents choose their own prizes each month. Browse the archives to see past contests! :) (Also see "Success Stories" above.)

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennadanielle said...

Help ! I'm still torn for what genre my MS is. I feel like it's YA ( my characters are early twenties, there's no explicit content) but it could also be paranormal chic lit. Should I still attempt to enter it as a YA or hold out for future contests. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Authoress said...

Jennadanielle -- YA characters are NEVER older than 18. NEVER. Your novel is adult, so paranormal chic lit could be right.

Jennadanielle said...

Many thanks...I will be watching like a hawk for the next contest. Good luck to all participating!

KyCactus said...

I'm in! The last time I did this was about two years go with a different project. I look forward to getting good feedback like I had last time. To echo above sentiment, thank you for doing this, Authoress!

librarygiraffe said...

This is my first secret agent entry. I'm excited. Thanks Authoress!

Alleged Author said...

Bummer! Tried to enter but couldn't because it was full. :(

Anonymous said...

So excited to have gotten in!! But I submitted by email and noticed that the formatting changed once it was posted. The spacing was taken out between paragraphs and now it looks like one big paragraph. Is there any way to fix that?

Authoress said...

I always go through all the entries and fix formatting prior to the open of the contest. No worries! :)

Anonymous said...

Email went through at 4:02pm (7:02pm EST) and it was full. :: shakes fists at my slow 'high speed' internet ::

Virginia said...

Wow! I wonder how to get an entry in if it's filling up in six minutes (or two minutes) for the evening version. Ugh. Oh well, I think I shall revise my expectations because I LOVED reading the entries. There... Now I'm happy again. :)

Rin said...

Yay, I got in! Thank you so much for doing these contests! :) Always used to be a lurker and liked reading all the other entries, but now am throwing my hat in the ring, too!

Anonymous said...

I sent an e-mail entry at 7:00 EST. Will I receive an e-mail response so I will know if I made it in?

Many thanks.

Authoress said...

Yes, the bot automatically sends an email almost immediately. Check your spam box if you didn't get one.

If you used hotmail, I may not have received your entry. Hotmail doesn't like me. :P

Betsy said...

Hi Authoress - thank you so much for answering my question earlier today! In light of anon's comment, I should mention I never received the auto-reject this morning in response to my late emailed entry (AOL). I checked the spam folder, too. Maybe the bot has gone rogue. ;) I did receive an immediate response when I submitted this evening through the form, though. Thank you for this opportunity. I can't wait for Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Hi Authoress,

I checked my spam filter but still no e-mail reply to my 7:00 EST entry. And I didn't use hotmail. Is there any way to check to see if it made it thru?

Screen Name: LMT

Thanks again for the opportunity.

Authoress said...

Betsy -- AOL doesn't like my email address, either. :P

Anon -- I will need your email address to see whether or not you're in the database.

Anonymous said...

My email is ltussey at Mac.com or ltussey at me.com (alias)

Thank you for checking!

Authoress said...

Anon, you're not anywhere in my database, which means I never received your entry. Not sure what happened there...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for checking, Authoress. I'll have to try the form next time.