Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Fricassee

And so ends the first submission week for the Baker's Dozen.  (Can you believe it?)  You may remember (though I hope you don't) that last year I completely messed up the submissions.  Twice.

No, really.  I'm over it.  O__O

I'm glad to report that this week's submissions ran smoothly.  Yay!  Anyone who had a question or a problem was gracious and kind, and I'm fairly certain all oddities have been worked out.

Just a reminder that the authoress.submissions email address IS NOT FOR EMAILING QUESTIONS.  That address is set up to talk to the bot only.  I do not see those emails, and will therefore not be able to respond.  Please make sure you address all questions (and all communications, for that matter) to facelesswords(at)

A small bit of advice for those of you who are planning to submit next week:  Please add to your address book to ensure that your automated response won't get shunted to spam (this has happened to some people).

So Jodi and I have enjoyed two evenings of slush reading so far, and we're almost finished with the adult entries (we've got about 25 to go of roughly 130).  And yes, I really do mean "enjoyed" -- I think this gets more fun every year!  (Or maybe we've just really found our groove; we go through these like a well-oiled, brain-sharing machine.)

Early observations?  This year is particularly heavy on women's fiction and literary, and light on sci/fi and fantasy.  We've encountered a genre or two we've never heard of before (yes, really), and at least 3 of the entries were missing--wait for it--a logline.  

Five or six of the entries were actually missing--the entries.  But that wasn't their fault.  My guess is that these folks all used the same word processor and method of cut-and-paste, because there was some weird HTML going on in the database, where I was able to retrieve these entries and pop them into Blogger.  (Channeling my inner geek, there.)  

When the entire slush process is complete (both categories), I'll share trends and observations with you in more detail.  For now, just know that it's a privilege to read your work, and that we are truly enjoying the process. 

Hooray!  Hugs to all and I'll see you Monday.


  1. I'm going to call this post an "informative tease" - I loved the behind-the-scenes peek, but now I'm really anxious to see the results!

    Thanks for all the hard work, the literary lords are smiling down upon you.

  2. Quick question - and I'm sorry if you've answered this elsewhere - when will the submissions be going up on the blog? (If you've already answered this, point me in that direction. I can be clueless sometimes.)

  3. Thank you for the advice to check spam/add the bot address to my address book! I entered the contest during a power outage (hurricane) and it messed up my email so wasn't sure my entry was accepted. Just checked my spam and there it was! THANK YOU! :)

  4. Hey B.E. -- Here's the post with all the dates and details!

  5. Now I'm intrigued to know what these "new" genres are lol!!

  6. Thanks, Jodi! I read that post, but must've brainfarted out on the posting dates. Derp.

  7. I'd love to know your process, if you wouldn't mind sharing it. Some of my questions are:

    Do you start with 3 piles: "no thanks," "maybe" and "love it?" Or just a "love it" pile?

    Do you read each entry together at the same time and discuss on the spot? Or do you read separately and then discuss which ones you loved and try to talk each other into (or out of) a keeper?

    Do you find you and Jodi have the same impression of a entry 95% of the time?

    Do you find that your personal preference for category/genre plays a role in whether you had an overall favorable impression of the submission?

    I know when I'm reading through to give critique to others on your blog, I typically don't pay attention to title/category, but dive right into the logline. It's only if I'm confused by the first 250 or logline that I'll go back and check category to see if I'm missing something or going on the wrong assumption. But, for me, good writing shines through, regardless of category.


  8. Ha, I had totally forgotten about the technical difficulties last year! :) It all worked out though.

    And yay for slush - can't wait to find out if I made the cut this year!

  9. Will you contact those writers whose entries crossed the ethernet incorrectly to give them another chance to enter? I double checked the preview section for mine, but I'm not a computer genius. Have in the past missed an essential "click" or "enter" or some other step, and am now worried that mine might be one of the incomplete entries. Thanks in advance for all the hard work - you and Jodi are reading about 40,000 words.

  10. Courtney -- Good questions!! I may have to just do a detailed post on How-We-Do-It. But basically, we skype while we're reading, discussing as we go. And yes, 95% of the time we feel exactly the same way (it's uncanny). There have only been 2 instances so far this year where we had opposite responses to things. (We generally put those in the "maybe" pile so we can work it out later.)

    Anon -- No worries; I was able to retrieve the text from the database for all of them. Otherwise, I would have emailed the authors to ask for the material. I always do whatever I can to get the right stuff from everyone who enters. :)

  11. That's interesting about the missing entries. I composed my entry once the entry form appeared (a half hour before 9:00). I tried to submit right after the countdown and was told I didn't have any content. Huh? Then when I was busy panicking, my entry miraculously appeared.

    I don't understand computers. I don't think they like me. They do strange things when I am around them. (More than one technical support person has told me that whatever I was reporting was impossible.) Bottom line -- my bad juju might have jinxed the system. Sorry!

    (No, I don't really believe this. But I'm close.)

  12. So excited for the fun to begin. Question: Should commentors stay within their own genres? Meaning, should MG/YA commentors only post on MG/YA entries and not adult entries - and vice versa?

    The reason I ask is because I've been involved in online contests where someone starts out saying, "well, this isn't my genre, but blah, blah, blah..." (and they are negative comments). I think this hurts the entrants.

    Will there be any "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" rules? (My mother's voice comes to mind!!!)

    This isn't a workshop, it's an opportunity to get an agent's attention. Please don't poo-poo an entrant's chances! ;)

    Just sayin' -

  13. Katie -- People usually critique within their comfort zones, which is fine. We have to offer ourselves where we feel can give the best, yes? Snark is never a big problem around here, as the vast majority of critters are kind while still being honest. That's a standing "rule" around here, but I don't have to often remind people. The community here is just that wonderful! :)

  14. Do we include the word count/genre of the MS with the logline?

  15. Kathleen -- No. Your title and genre will be entered separately (unless you're using email to enter, in which case you need to follow the formatting outlines in the guidelines). After that, just type your logline, hit a double space, and then enter your excerpt.

  16. Thanks so much for hosting this - and for making the entry process so easy!