Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Here Comes the Public Slushpile!

A quick recap of the query evaluation rules:

  • Each comment needs to begin with YES or NO, followed by one sentence (one!) explaining why.
  • One comment per reader.
  • Comments that do not begin with YES or NO will not be included in the final tally.
  • The 5 queries with the most YES responses will be invited to submit their first 500 words for critique.
  • Because this contest includes public voting, entrants are NOT encouraged to participate in the commenting.

As for your "yes" and "no" reasons:  Try to encapsulate the main strong or weak point of the query into your sentence so that it is as helpful as possible to the author.


NO.  I could not determine what the main conflict of your protagonist is.

YES.  You've taken a tried-and-true premise and given it a unique twist that makes me want to read more.


NO.  Your main character's name reminds me of my ex-husband.

YES.  Wow! Awesome! I read this before and I've also line-edited your manuscript twice, as you know (hee hee!), so of COURSE you also already know that THIS QUERY ROCKS and you're the BESTEST!

Have fun! Voting will be open until 9:00 am EDT on Thursday.  Winners will be announced later that morning.


  1. Is is one comment per reader per entry, or just one comment for the whole thing?

  2. Omg, Authoress, you just made me totally laugh out loud at the second "not so good" example. Thanks...I needed that. :)

  3. Empress -- 1 comment per entry.

    Vivi -- *grin*

  4. So "yes" means I would want to read the manuscript? Or does "yes" mean I think it's a good query?

  5. Both, really. The mark of a good query is that it makes you want to read the manuscript. :)

  6. Argh! *chokes* Didn't see this post, didn't see the one-sentence rule... sorry, Authoress! I gotta to practice following directions. =\

  7. My query isn't among the 25 but I'm finding it a great exercise to participate. I hope the writers who receive lots of NOs understand that there are nuggets of wisdom embedded in the comments that can help them improve immensely. It's sometimes hard to see those nuggets when it feels like rejection. I think this is an awesome exercise, Authoress. I hope all authors see the value!

  8. @Riley Redgate:
    I think I most people have forgotten about the one-sentence rule. I know I did. -_-

  9. Ooops! Just realized the voting has been closed for almost an hour now. I was just happily plugging along...

    I also didn't have an entry, but I still found this very helpful and fun. I hope you consider doing another Pubic Slushpile.