Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Fricassee

Happy Friday, mis amigos!

Well, the submissions are in, and now it's just a matter of, well, reading them.  There's a great variety of genres sitting in the pile, and it's going to be fun picking out the gems.

If you sent a submission yesterday, sit tight.  (This will take some time, as you know.)  WINNERS will be notified by email on Monday, November 7.

The 20 winning entries will post on Friday, November 11.  At this time, the agents (and lurking editors and authors) will start reading.  Also at this time, all readers may begin to leave feedback.  The actual auction is on Tuesday, November 15.

I'll post detailed information on everything when it's closer to the auction, so you'll know exactly how everything's going to work.  (And if you're super curious, just look at last year's ON THE BLOCK posts.  I'm pretty much running things exactly the same way this year.)

A big THANK YOU to everyone who submitted their work yesterday.  BRAVO for believing in yourself--and in your writing--enough to enter this contest.  And, yes, it does take bravery.  It's daunting enough to send out queries, which are read privately.  This contest gives each entrant the potential to have your excerpt read by hundreds of people.  That's no small thing!

(And, wow, just think how awesome it would be if hundreds of people actually LEFT CRITIQUE instead of just reading!  Yes, this is my first plug for drawing out the cautious lurkers.  Don't be afraid to leave a critique or two!  What you have to share is as valuable as the next person's.  IT REALLY IS.)

Anyway.  Thanks for entering.  All told, things ran very smoothly yesterday, due to the genius, hard work, and altruism of Michael Kato, who wrote, and continues to improve and trouble-shoot, our submission bot.  I'm not sure I would have had the fortitude to keep all the critiques and contests going over the past several years, if not for his hard work.  If you entered ON THE BLOCK yesterday (or, really, anything on the blog), why not take a moment to TWEET HIM A WORD OF THANKS? Trust me--the guy has worked really hard.

And there you have it.

As for me?  I'm at the toe-tingling starting edge of the climax of my WIP.  As in, ALMOST THERE.  Which is hard to believe, and not so hard to believe.  Making the 1000-words-a-day commitment ensures a steadily rising word count, and even though there are MESSES in there, I'll be ready to start my first round of revisions in October.


You know how long my journey has been.  You know that I, like you, have slogged through the ups and downs, wondering, at times, if I should simply walk away.  I've got to say that, for this entire year, the support and enthusiasm and incredible passion for my work that my agent, Danielle Burby, has offered has given me a new level of energy and determination.  Not only has she been working harder than humanly possible on behalf of my currently-on-submission project (for which she regularly expresses undying love), but also she has been an enduring cheerleader as I've written this new novel.  Even before I'd written a single word, she was swooning over the idea (and even chatting it up to an editor or two).

Seriously, who does that?  Danielle does!  And her enthusiasm and regular squeeing has kept me on track, because I know she's waiting to read it, and we're already a team on this new project, though it's still an unfinished WIP.  I also know that, once she reads it, she'll offer her incredible editorial eye and uncannily sharp ability to see the direction a story needs to take, and then the magic will truly begin.  I'm beyond grateful for her.  She's a rising star in the publishing world, for sure, and if you write what she loves, don't hesitate to query her.  I'm honored to be her client.

And I'm actually in tears now, which probably means I should wrap this up.  Whew!

All right, then.  I'm ready for a weekend of writing and Shakespeare and hopefully sushi.  See you all next week!


  1. Thanks again for doing this! You rock!

    For those of us who like to obsess (and who doesn't, really?), how many entries did you end up getting?

    1. There were 129 valid entries (144 total, but that includes the non-paid or mess-ups).

    2. Can't wait to see who ends up on the block! It's always so informative whether you're in it or not. :)

  2. I'll admit I closed my eyes when I hit the submit button. It's nice that these go up anonymously, I think people just look at and study the words, ya know?

    The contests are so wonderful. I've gleaned (love that word) stuff just from reading the old contests entries. The latest Secret Agent was helpful. Since we make our betas read the whole book (and they get a blurb), questions in that first page are answered. Having someone just read that bit without context—priceless. I made changes based on that and even my betas were excited about the changes!

    Aw, how wonderful your agent is! Enjoy your Shakespeare and sushi.

    1. Thank you! :)

      I love hearing how reading contest entries helps people. LOVE. And I love that your betas were excited about your changes! To me, that is priceless.

      You closed your eyes? LOL Glad you didn't miss the button. :)

      And the anonymity is good on my end, too. I read them all in Blogger with no name attached (even the screen names don't show up). Admittedly, I will sometimes recognize a work from one of my clients or even a crit partner. But I have a fairly amazing ability to stay objective (I use the word "amazing" not because I'm amazing, but because it amazes me that I am able to set aside my feelings for people at times like this!).

  3. I'm a relatively new follower of Miss Snark, and I continue to be in awe of the amazing things that happen here. I am so grateful for the opportunities that you offer up so routinely. THANK YOU, Authoress. And thank you, Michael Kato! A.Wells

    1. It's my pleasure! Thank you for joining our community here. :)

  4. Hi, Authoress,

    Hoping you had a bit of relaxation this weekend! I'm sure your eyes are bleary from reading all those entries.

    I am really excited about this years' ON THE BLOCK! It feels good to know so many qualified people will be reading our entries... and feedback will be awesome!

    All the best to those who have entered.

    I am sooo happy to hear how amazing your agent is to you. It's something all writers dream of. Since I am still unagented, it will certainly be a coo if an agent wants to bid on my story...

    ALL the best to you, too with your own WIP. How exciting to have a first draft almost finished.

    1. Thank you, Michael! Yes, Danielle is amazing, to a degree that I never expected.

      I haven't begun reading the entries yet--I had to wrap up a couple other projects first--so I'm not bleary-eyed. I will be soon, though! :)

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