Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Fricassee

It sounds so clichéd to exclaim about how time flies, but I'm finding it truly mind-boggling that it's November already.  Not just in a holy-cow-the-Baker's-Dozen-is-practically-in-my-face sense, but in a general, how-can-2013-almost-be-over-already sense.

Are you feeling that?

Anyway, I'm happy to report that Jodi and I have had three successful slush-reading fests, and have made our way through the adult entries.  Winners will be emailed on November 15.  (Please understand that I can't email everyone.  If you don't receive an email from me--not the Bot, but me personally--then your entry was not chosen for this year's auction.)

There were just about a hundred entries, which is pretty normal for the adult category.  Slightly fewer than last year, perhaps, but definitely in the ballpark.  I will share Jodi's and my observations about submissions after we've read the YA and MG entries, too.

Just a few things for now:

  • Loglines remain a problem.  Too many of them simply don't mention THE STAKES, or even the conflict.  (We always read past this; a bad logline doesn't mean that the excerpt is bad.)  (Having said that:  Agents might NOT read past a bad logline.  So write a good one.)
  • Sometimes there was NO logline.  FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, PEOPLE!
  • As always, we're seeing creative, where-did-you-come-up-with-this genres.  Or genres that are too specific.  (For instance, you're not going to find a section for "social science fiction" in the bookstore. Just call it SCIENCE FICTION.)   Or a comparison to a known author, listed as a genre.  KNOW YOUR GENRE.
A big thank you to all who entered--for believing in your work (so important!) and for entrusting it to Jodi's and my eyeballs for consideration.  Submissions for YA and MG will be on November 5 and 7.  And I'm extending the submission windows on both days: Submissions will be open at 8:00 am EDT.  That's an extra four hours on the front end.

See you next week!


  1. Yay, can't wait for YA subs next week. Just wanted to say, "Thanks, Merci, Danke, Tak, Gracias & Domo Arigato." Phew, that's "Thanks" in every language I know. We writers so appreciate the opportunities you give us through your excellent contests. And Baker's Dozen is the Grand Finale!

  2. Does the YA submission window open at 8am or 5am? Thanks

  3. Will someone explain to me the difference between fantasy and paranormal? Thanks :)

  4. Oops! I'm one who added additional details about the genre. In my query I just call it Science Fiction.

    But lately I keep seeing the kind of books I think mine is most similar to being described as 'crossover' between literary and SF. Because there was room on the genre line, I didn't think it would hurt to squeeze in a little more info. I know to leave that out now. (Sorry about that!)

  5. YA submissions will open at 5 am EDT. Sorry for the confusion (I so stink at math).

    Paranormal = supernatural (angels, demons), spirit world (ghosts), and anything "otherworldly" in a story that takes place in this world. (Think Twilight.)

    Fantasy = Other world. Magic, magical creatures. (Think Harry Potter, The Girl of Fire and Thorns.)

    Urban fantasy = Fantasy in THIS world.

    L.C. No worries! I'm just trying to educate the masses. You don't need to "squeeze in a little more info" into a genre. A genre is a genre. The rest of the info belongs in your logline! :)

  6. Thanks, Authoress! :)

    When it was obvious you were talking about my entry I felt like a kid who's gotten in trouble and been called up in front of the class... ('Gosh, teacher, I really do know my genre and I wasn't trying to cheat or anything--honest!')

    Last year I saw another writer describe her work as 'too genre' for the literary folks and 'too literary' for the genre folks, and realized that probably applied to most of my books, so I suppose I tend to get overly anxious over the subject of genres!

    (Not to mention that I hate it when I tell people I write SF and they say, 'Oh, you mean spaceships and robots and little green men!' and I have to say, 'Well, no... Not exactly.') ;)


    For those who participated in the logline critique on my blog, I've now written comments on all thirteen loglines. So if I hadn't commented on yours before, you might want to check back, just in case I added anything you might find helpful.

    Also, just for those whose loglines were posted on my site, if you've done a revision and would like me to take a quick look at it, I would be happy to do that this weekend.

    Thank you again to everyone who participated. :) I will definitely do this again at some point. And I promise I'll find a better way to format it next time (probably putting each submission into a separate post), so it won't be necessary to scroll down through so many comments to get to each logline!

  8. Authoress,
    Just checking—hyphenated words count as one, not two??

  9. Just to double check, subs open at 5am Eastern. Which means 3am here in Az. Yeehaw! :)

  10. Also... do you take the first 150 entrants or do you pick 150 from all the entrants from open to close. If I need to wake up at 3am to get in I will, but if I can wait until the sun comes up, well.... :) Thanks for all your hard work!

  11. Something that's "too genre" and "too literary" at the same time seems to fit the definition of "upmarket fiction".

  12. Shiela -- All entries are accepted into the slush pile. This is not a lottery; these are paid entries and each one will be considered along with the others. So you don't have to get up at 3 am. ;)

  13. Authoress - But don't you only take the first 150 entries? Or will ALL entries be accepted into the slush pile, no matter how many you get? I thought it was capped at 150 on each day.

  14. Correct. As soon as 150 entries have been received, submissions on Tuesday will close. They will reopen on Thursday to accommodate the next batch of 150 entries.

    Honestly? The second submission window has historically not filled up. So even if you don't get in on Tuesday because it fills up, you will almost certainly get in on Thursday.

  15. Thanks! That's good to know!