Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On The Block -- MORE INFO!


Submissions for our first ON THE BLOCK are two weeks from tomorrow.  Final submission instructions will post on Thursday, September 3.  At that time, I will have a submission link for you.  Right now, that link doesn't exist, because the fearless Michael, the developer of our wonderful automated system, is hard at work creating an entirely new bot.  This is a labor of love for him--his way of continuing to give back to the writing community.  If you have a moment, find him on Twitter and thank him!

For now, though, here are the basics, so that you can continue to prepare your entry:


Submissions will be via web form only (we are retiring the email option).  Your entry will include a logline and the first 250 words of your completed manuscript.  Loglines should be no more than 50 words long (up to 75 is allowable, but discouraged).

The submission window will open at 8:00 am EDT and will close at 10:00 pm EDT.  (Note:  I have changed the start time from 6:00 to 8:00, due to requests from folks on the west coast.  So if you live in LA and you've already set an alarm on your phone for 3:00 am on September 10, you might want to change that!)

All categories (MG, YA, NA, Adult) and all genres except erotica and erotic romance will be included.  Unlike the Baker's Dozen Auction, there will not be separate submissions dates for children and adult entries.  It all goes into one big pot, and I will pick the 24 strongest entries from that pot.

The submission instruction post on September 3 will include the date that winners can be expected to be notified on, as well as any other needed information.  Please remember that there is a $21 entry fee.  It's set up via Paypal, but you do not have to have a Paypal account to enter.  Paypal will prompt you to choose the "use a card" option.  (Though, sometimes Paypal gets a little ornery.  Let's be very nice to Paypal so that it doesn't do that.)

Remember that we've got FIFTEEN AMAZING AGENTS ready to bid!  And three AWESOME EDITORS that will be lurking about.


A common question I get is:  "If I've queried some of these agents, can I still enter?"  The answer is YES!  It happens time and time again -- an agent who has rejected someone's query ends up requesting the material after reading the opening page here on the blog.  JUST ENTER.  You honestly never know what will happen.

If any new questions crop up, please post them below!  Submission day will be here before you know it.


  1. Good day. Can manuscripts that received bids in last year's Baker's Dozen be entered for consideration?


    1. Leo,

      No. And the reason is: A lot of the agents participating in ON THE BLOCK also participated in last year's Baker's Dozen. They're not going to want to see the same material. The material would have to be SERIOUSLY rewritten (as in, a completely new opening) to be considered.

    2. So does that mean I can re-enter with my entirely new open, even if the log line is the same?

    3. (Didn't I answer this question somewhere else, Judy...?)

      If agents won bids on your entry, that means they've already read more of it. Having a different opening won't change the fact that, if they already rejected the manuscript last year, they won't want to read it again just because the opening is different.

      It's all about the agents, really. I want them to have fresh material to bid on -- not material that's been recycled after receiving rejections from them.

    4. Thanks. And I did ask this elsewhere, but it looks like it was deleted. Thanks for the clarification.

    5. Judy, my original response is right here:

    6. Judy, my original response is right here:

  2. Will there be a "grace count" allowed for the 250 word requirement? (For past SA contests I know you've allowed up to 255 to finish a sentence and whatnot). Will that be the case here? Or just straight up 250 and make it work? Thanks!

    1. Julie --

      I will be adding words to accommodate the loglines (50), so there is some leeway there. (The bot won't be able to tell the difference--only the total word count.)

  3. Hi, I have a couple questions:
    First, a full request is the highest bid, so what if two agents ask for fulls? Or, what if one agent asks for a partial and then another asks for a full (does the first agent not get a partial at all because he/she was not the highest bidder)?
    Second, why is the fee $21?

    1. Hi, Anon!

      1. Only the agent who bids for the full first gets it. After a 1-week exclusive, any other agents who didn't win will have the option to then request what they want. All details will post this Thursday.

      2. The extra dollar is to cover the ridiculous Paypal fees. That's all. :)