Thursday, June 28, 2012

Winners -- And My Reasons For Choosing Them

I'll admit -- this was FUN!

Here are my 5 favorites:

#1 -- Amelia and the Other Worlds

I read the query and fell in love.  I'm a sucker for parallel words/alternate realities, and this query is so tight that I'm sensing the story arc is tight as well.  If I were an agent, I'd have asked for the full immediately.

#2 -- Coveted

This query was a tad on the wordy side, but the potential for a great voice shone through.  Also?  You had me at "But the Sins have information Caleb is willing to pay any price for: they know what happened to his family." Great stakes.

#4 -- Lost Stars Broken Galaxy

So I love pirates.  Beyond that, this is a clear, well written query, and I love that Violet will have to make such a difficult choice.  (Did I mention I love pirates?)

#16 -- Moonsilk

This query isn't as tight as it could be; fewer details would help the plot to shine through a little better.  Still, I am intrigued by the premise and by the Asian setting for this Rapunzel-like tale.  If I were an agent, I'd have asked for the first 3 chapters.

#17 -- Sol of a Gladiator

This query needs a little work.  Epic fantasy is likely one of the most difficult genres to distill into a brief, impact-punching query.  Despite this, my love for fantasy has won out, and I'm eager to see how this author's writing brings this tale to life.  The plot details in the query were clear enough to spark my interest in the main character, and in how he will deal with a conflict unlike any he's yet encountered.  In fact, this is probably the sentence that won me over:  "For the first time Sol must battle an opponent beyond the reach of his sword..."

And there you have it!  WINNERS:  Please email me your first 500 words at facelesswords(at)  I will post your excerpts on Monday for public critique.


  1. I voted yes for 4 out of the five. Maybe I wasn't all that bad at this! Congrats to all the winners.

  2. 4 out of 5 for me as well. :) Congrats guys, I can't wait to read your openings!

  3. Congrats everyone! Can't wait to see your first 500 words. :D

  4. Well paint me green and call me a cucumber...

  5. Oh, sheesh, you east coasters are too quick for me. I'm sitting here adding my feedback to the entries and realized the finalists have already been posted.

    Congrats all!

  6. 1/5 but I only got to the first 9.

    On a side note, I'm very excited to know that space pirates are so loved as they are a part of the epic SF I am writing now. I'll have to be sure they get a good sized role :)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Thank you for having this contest, Miss Snark.
    And thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments.

  9. 4 of 5 for me too. Great minds think alike. Congrats guys. So excited to read the excerpts!

  10. Man, I was SO TORN on Moonsilk. There were a couple of these that I voted NO on, but that I think the sample pages might have swayed me. Just goes to show how very, very subjective this business is.

    But can I add another HECK YES to Amelia and the Other Worlds? I expect to see that one on shelves someday.

  11. Adam -- Yeah, I went with MOONSILK on premise alone; I am VERY intrigued and looking forward to reading the 500 words. A couple months ago, I would have been put off by the verse thing, too. of my beloved crit partners sent me her novel-in-verse, and I LOVED it! I was shocked, because I was prepared to very much not like it. So that's sort of opened me to this sort of thing.

    If I were agenting right now, I'd be salivating over AMELIA. :)

  12. This was a fun exercise. Thanks for facilitating it, Authoress. Congratulations to all the finalists and to those who got requests! Great job guys and thanks so much for putting your work out there for us to see (that takes guts)!