Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September Secret Agent Early Info

Holy cow, this crept up on me while everything else was going on, and now I'm late posting this info!  Nevertheless, it's better late than never.  (Ugh!)

Please note: This is NOT the call for submissions! The contest will open next Monday, September 3.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (please read carefully):

*There are TWO WAYS to enter: a) via email to authoress.submissions(at) OR via web form at
* THIS WILL BE A LOTTERY: The submission window will be open from NOON to 5:00 PM EDT.  Once the submission window is closed, the bot will randomly choose the winning entries.
* 2 alternates will also be accepted, for a total of 52 entries.
* 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 (March-August) 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 WON A CONTEST WITHIN THE PAST 12 MONTHS (i.e., offered any kind of prize from a Secret Agent), 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 GO HERE to submit via our web form. If you choose to submit via email, 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 lottery number.
* Submissions go to authoress.submissions(at) They DO NOT GO to my facelesswords address. Or any other address.
*It doesn't matter what you put in the subject line. The only thing you MUST NOT do is to use "RE:" The bot will think you are attempting to respond to an email, and will reject you. As always, there is no fee to enter the Secret Agent contest. This month's contest will include the following genres:

  • Literary Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Middle Grade Fiction (all genres)
  • Young Adult Fiction (all genres)
And there you have it!


  1. Glad to see memoir included! I have a question for the community and hope someone can help. When submitting partial or full manuscripts after an agent request, do you normally format your sub so that those words to be italicized are actually in italics or do you underline the words that are to be italicized?? There used to be a time when underlining was considered the proper format to indicate italics but I'm wondering if that has changed with the advent of digital readers? Can anyone help please? Thank you in advance writing community!

  2. Jasmine -- Yes, it has changed. Let your italics be italics. :)

  3. Thank you very much Authoress. It was a small question but a nagging one and I hope it was not bad form to ask it here. Thank you so much again.

  4. It is never bad form to ask a question here; that's what this place is about. :)

  5. Hi Authoress, I have a submission question. In order to avoid stopping in the middle of a sentence, should I cut off my submission so that it's shorter than 250 words, or can it be longer? If so, how much longer can it be?

    Thanks for all you do!


  6. Kerri -- The word count is set at 255, so you can go up to 5 words over to finish a sentence. If that doesn't work, then just chop it off earlier than the 250 limit.

  7. Thanks so much for all you do, Authoress! Good luck, everybody!

  8. I sent mine in but realized something after I hit send. Can I resend the same entry?

  9. Oh my god, I'm such an airhead. I entered the first line. I had first line grabber on my mind. Wow! Now I hope the bot doesn't pick me. I guess that will teach me to try and submit things with four kids running around. It's not my week and it's only Sunday!

    I guess it wasn't meant to be