Monday, December 10, 2012

And now, a few words from our agents...

Winners have received their submission instructions and agents are reading.  While we wait for the exclusive to end (this Thursday!) and the extra requests to pour in, here are some thoughts from a few of our participating agents.  Enjoy!

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg:

I woke up late. Next year I'll wake up at six am to prepare. Also my thinking that the rules of the auction were super simple was wrong. I violated more rules at this auction than I did my entire high school career. This is absolutely, hands down, my favorite online pitch contest. I can't wait for next year.

Brooks Sherman:

This was my first invitation to participate in the Baker's Dozen auction. Given my antagonistic antics toward my fellow agents during the rush, it may well be the last one, too. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself immensely. I think auctions like this one serve as wonderful reminders--to agents and writers alike--just how much we all love good storytelling. The support among the writers was inspiring to witness, and the snarking between agents illustrates the very real competitive enthusiasm we all feel for strong projects. My thanks to Authoress (aka Miss Victim) for letting me play...and I hope I can find some way to convince you to let me do so again next year!

Lauren MacLeod:

Until Bakers’ Dozen came into my life, my experience with trash talk was limited to chanting “Yankees suck, Go Sox!” (There may also have been a t-shirt.) Three years in, however, and I’m slowly honing my skill. Sure, I still haven’t quite figured out how to intimidated Sarah LaPolla and Tamar Rydzinski into not bidding against me (WHY MUST YOU CONTINUE TO HAVE SUCH AMAZING, MACLEOD-LIKE TASTE?), but it worked on Josh Getzler who was totally vanquished, so I’m getting there!

I love Bakers’ Dozen—it is my favorite contest of the year. I love the strength of the entries (excellent work Authoress and Jodi Meadows!), the aforementioned friendly trash talking, getting to see the taste of other agents, and the competition--especially, but not only, when I win. Every year my hands literally shake with adrenaline for the first twenty minutes. Thanks so much to Authoress for hosting and arranging, to you guys for being so incredibly brave and putting your work out there in such a public forum, and to my fellow agents for filling my inbox with such hilarious email chains. And now I’ve got some reading to do!

Sarah LaPolla:

Baker’s Dozen is one of my favorite contests. I’ve met some great writers through it, and have seen many go on to get agents. The reason so many agents get so nervous once the bidding officially opens is because of the clear quality of these pitches! We want them all, and we need to get to them first. (Perhaps some of us – coughmecough – got too excited this year and may or may not have forgotten most of the rules… sorry you had to scold us this year, Authoress.) Thank you, as always, for putting together this contest. And thank you, writers, for being so amazing and putting your work out there. If I haven’t worn out my welcome, I’d love to be invited back. Baker’s Dozen has not only been a valuable source for finding new talent, but it’s also helped me learn who my nemeses are. My heart is still fragile from when Josh, Lauren, and Tamar stomped on it last year. This year I see Ms. MacLeod once again has resorted to her dirty tricks. But then, what else can one expect from a Red Sox fan?

Josh Getzler:

It's always such a fun day, the day of the Baker's Dozen. Sixty authors are trolling Miss Snark's First Victim, biting their nails and watching their entries be evaluated and bid on. Thirteen or so agents are jittery on caffeine, trying to outclick each other for their "Fight to the death" openers, cursing both out loud and on the screen, and generally trying to beat Brooks Sherman and Lauren MacLeod et al, and failing. Like Lauren said, there's a surge of adrenaline at the start of the day, when it's ON, and you're looking at your notes and trying to figure out your priorities.

And while some of the excitement comes from the competition, it's really the general rush of being around projects that excite us, that bring us back to the reasons most of us got into this business in the first place: We like stories, and we like to find new ones, exciting ones, ones that we want to guide to the Promised Land...



So thank you to all the writers who submitted; to the other writers and agents and editors who took their time to read and comment on the submissions before the day of the auction; and most of all to the fabulous Ms. A, for putting it together (and her faithful partner in crime Jodi!).

And next year I will be RUTHLESS!


  1. Nice work, Authoress, it's great that the agents enjoyed themselves as much as we writers did. I have a feeling there'll be even more agents wanting to join next year!

  2. Next year, you need to hook them up to videocams so we can enjoy watching their adrenaline-fueled duels and muttered curses.

  3. It's great to know the Baker's Dozen Agents get as excited as the writers during the auction. It confirms the pitches are high quality and writers are on the right track. It's comforting to know that literary agents are still looking for a well told story with a unique voice. Looking forward to seeing which writers are lucky enough to be offered representation.
    Thank you, Authoress for giving us the opportunity to be part of something wonderful.

  4. The agents' comments were hilarious to read. Thank you for addressing the auction with enthusiasm and competitive humor. I'll try again next year and hope I'm the target of your bids.

  5. This was my first Baker's Dozen (as a spectator) and I LOVE that I can say I watched the infamous MacLeod/LaPolla battle go down.

    Thanks to everyone, especially you Authoress, who made this year's auction possible.

  6. Big thanks to all the agents - and of course to Authoress! - for another successful Baker's Dozen! I'm no longer eligible to submit (the first book in my mystery series publishes next year) but speaking as a former participant, I can tell you this is an amazing opportunity for authors - and win, lose, or draw we are all so grateful to have Authoress and the participating agents willing to volunteer their time and effort for this competition!

  7. OmZ, that was so awesome! Love reading the agents' perspectives.