The 24 ON THE BLOCK winners have been officially emailed.
To EVERYONE who entered: Thank you. I'm sorry to not be able to respond personally to your submissions, but I simply couldn't make that time commitment. Please know that I gave careful consideration to each entry, and that I had quite a few "maybes" that I had to weed through at the end as I was working toward that magic 24 number.
In the end, the ones I kept going back to gave me that little bit of a stomach drop. As in, "Oh, yeah, THIS one!" Which means I was engaged enough to have that small physical response. (I'm sure it's not that way for everyone, but that's how I experience it. It becomes a "gut thing".)
Sometimes, too, when I was going back and forth between this "maybe" and that one, I had to look at it from the standpoint of the agents who are participating. I had to ask myself, "Will this one garner interest from the agents?" or "Does this one feel marketable enough to include?" Those are hard questions, but important ones.
So it's never simply about Everything Authoress Likes. Yes, I have to like an entry to give it a "yes", but "like" encompasses everything from "well written" to "timely" to "marketable" to "agents are looking for this". Sometimes I say yes when I don't thoroughly love the writing, because the premise is good and the voice is there. (Oh, voice. I could write an entire piece on voice. Wait--I probably have.)
A few of the entries got immediate, enthusiastic YESES, which is rare! So I'm pretty excited to see how the agents respond to my quick yeses. (No, I'm not telling. Please don't ask.)
Anyway, thank you again to everyone who entered. It's always a privilege to be entrusted with other people's work, and I don't take it lightly.
The 24 winning entries will post this Friday morning, and critique may begin immediately.