Wednesday, February 13, 2013

All Sorts of Things About MSFV

Here it is, all in one place: Everything I can think of that anyone marginally new will need to know about this blog.

  • MSFV = Miss Snark's First Victim. I didn't start this; it happened organically among the readership. It's a lot easier to type.
  • The focus of MSFV is critique, information, and fellowship/encouragement.  This is a place for writers who want to grow into better writers. 
  • In-house critiques -- Drop the Needle, Kissing Scenes, Talkin' Heads, et al. -- are for all manuscripts, whether finished or not.  These critiques sessions do not include any agents or editors, so it's okay to throw your work in there if it's not ready for professional eyes.
  • Secret Agent Contests and the Baker's Dozen Agent Auction are for completed, query-ready manuscripts only. 
  • Secret Agent Contests occur monthly from January to May and July to October.  Submission information (including genres for that month's contest) are always posted one week before the contest week.
  • The Baker's Dozen Agent Auction is an annual event occurring in December (with submissions earlier in the fall).  It's by far the most popular event on MSFV.
  • All in-house critiques and Secret Agent Contests are free of charge.  Always.
  • The Baker's Dozen Agent Auction has an entry fee, payable via Paypal.
  • You do not need a Blogger I.D., a password, or special permission from the government to read or to post comments on MSFV.  I have set up the comments so that anyone can leave them.
  • When leaving comments (especially critiques), I prefer that you do not choose "Anonymous" to sign your comments.  Use the "Name/URL" option and choose a screen name.
  • "Screen Name" is not an official term.  Just...pick one. Call yourself something onscreen.  (No, really. I think I get more emails and questions about this one than anything else.)
  • All readers are warmly welcomed to participate in critiquing entries in contests and in-house rounds. You do not have to have an excerpt up to participating in the critiquing.
  • If your excerpt is included in a critique round or contest, you are respectfully requested to critique a minimum of 5 other entries.  Because this journey (and this life, for that matter) is about giving, and not only taking.
  • This blog includes all genres except erotica and erotic romance.  I've had readers as young as 13 (in a Secret Agent Contest, even), and I choose to keep the content here PG-13.
  • In the same vein, I will *** all expletives except "hell" and "damn" in excerpts.  (I don't have a problem with those; they're not vulgar in the...vulgar sense.  I mean, even Ron Weasley says, "Bloody hell!")
  • The genres for each Secret Agent Contest are chosen according to whatever that month's agent has on his/her current wish list (usually found on the agency's web site).  I do not choose the genres.
  • This blog IS NOT solely for writers of children's fiction.  Yes, my readership is largely comprised of kidlit authors. But I think that's indicative of writers in general. There are a HECK of a lot of people out there writing YA and MG. If you're an adult fiction writer, INVITE YOUR ADULT FICTION WRITER FRIENDS HERE. 
  • I do not include picture books in the contests simply because the vast majority of agents don't represent them.  That, and the information and critique on MSFV is focused on the Novel (with a capital N, yes). I don't disparage picture books -- I have written them! If you want to do a special in-house round for PB critique, petition me for it! I need to know that there will be enough interest/participation.
  • I do not include query critiques on the blog. There are other excellent online resources for query critiques. MSFV's focus is on the writing.

(There's a wee tab at the top there called "AUTHORESS".  But here are the basics.)
  • I write MG and YA science fiction and fantasy.
  • I am represented by Josh Getzler of the Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency.
  • I have recently launched an editing service called AUTHORESS EDITS.  If you are interested in an in-depth line edit and editorial letter for your first 3 chapters or 30 pages (whichever is shorter), email me at authoress.edits(at)gmail(dot)com.
  • I love high quality/organic chocolate, salted caramels, and toffee.  And cashews.  Feel free to send me any and all of these things
  • I probably shouldn't write things like that. People will take me seriously and get offended.
  • Nevertheless.

Have I forgotten something?  Please feel free to add it in the comment box!


  1. Nice list.

    Suggestion, only because I've seen it asked recently:

    After "This blog includes all genres except erotica and erotic romance...." you could add a bullet that allowable genres vary from one Secret Agent contest to the next, depending on what the secret agent represents.

  2. Perfect, Heather -- I'll add that. Thanks!

  3. I'm so glad that you put all this material together so that I can point people to it! You do such a fantastic service to the writing community!

  4. Yes ... but who are you really? Just kidding. Love ya Authoress!

  5. I love reading the comments left by readers in the contests. I would like to see MSFV become a place for all writers and not just children's (YA and MG) as that does get a a bit old. I would hope once in a while to see some manuscripts for adults.

  6. Frankiewrites -- There are adult manuscripts on here all the time; 25 of the BD manuscripts are adult. As I said above, participation is heavy on the MG and YA, but I believe that's indicative of what writers in general are writing. So many are writing kidlit, and this blog reflects that.

    By all means, spread the word to adult fiction writers. This place is as much for them as it is for the kidlitters. :)

  7. You know what else MSFV stands for? Mobile Strike Force Vehicle. So, yeah.

  8. I dooooooooo! I love cats!! :)

    Also...LOL, Leah!