Monday, February 2, 2009

Heads Up: Secret Agent Next Week!

Seems like we've just finished a round, but here comes another one! Full submission guidelines and the official call for submissions will be posted Monday, February 9, at 9:00 am EST.

Note: I know we're spanning the globe and it's hard for some of you to submit because it's an odd time for you. I'm trying to figure out how to remedy this. In the meantime, I'm keeping it the way it is (9:00 am) because, well, since I'm running the contest, I kind of have to be awake. And at my computer. Feel free to email suggestions on the time zone problem to facelesswords(at)

In the meantime, here are the genres included in this month's Secret Agent: Are You Hooked? round:

  • Commercial (literary and mainstream)
  • Women's fiction (including chick lit in all its varieties)
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Young Adult/Middle Grade

  • Leave your questions in the comment box here.


    1. Oh dear, I might be calling in sick on Monday! I feel a cold starting. One of those 7 day ones.

    2. Hi, Authoress,

      After entering my first chapter of my chapter book on the last SA contest, I have changed the age of my MC. She’s now eight and gone is the rag doll, Jenny and her doll pram. She now has a fishing rod and a bicycle. I turned her into a tom boy. I only had to change the first two chapters to fit in with the rest of the book as she’s already a rascal. My manuscript is now too long for an early chapter book. Its now 16,000 words. What I’d like to know is, does it qualify for MG now? I hope so as I’ve totally re written the first two chapters and would love to enter next weeks SA. (My manuscript is completed with Query and Synopsis.)


    3. I forgot to say that I have about ten chapter books with the same character, but only two are polished and ready to send to agents.

    4. Oh! So tempting! I'm still a few months form querying though and not sure I'm ready for a SA just yet.

      Promise to do some more sci-fi agents this summer and fall?

    5. I'm with Just_Me (also including YA).

      1 week to polish a wip? Can't quite manage that one....not with this evil cold.

      YA & S/F from June will be perfect! (please?)

    6. Hi Authoress,

      I know we're not allowed to re-submit the same page that we submitted in January BUT what about in March? If there's a Secret Agent contest in March (*crosses fingers*), can we re-submit our January entry as is (no major revisions)?

      Thank you for all of this!


    7. I can't wait for this round, since I can't enter (no more revisions). Less stress and fingernail biting. Now I can enjoy from the sidelines and add my 2 Canadian cents.

      Good luck everyone. I'm dying to read as many entries as I can.

    8. Sorry, I see I should have left my comment here, instead of trying to email. (I'm a newbie.) Do I need to pre-register with the blog's Authoress, acquire a screen name, or anything else like that, in order to take part in the contest?

    9. Pat,

      No registration needed. You can use any screen name you like -- it's not necessary to have a URL attached to it.


      16,000 is a bit short for MG. Can you beef up the story, make it more substantial? That, in addition to more mature language, will create a MG manuscript for ya.

    10. Authoress, would you be so kind as to post the guidelines again for those of us new to your opportunity?

      Thanks! :)


    11. Do you know if urban fantasy is included this time? I know it falls under the fantasy umbrella, but I've seen some agents who prefer standard fantasy to urban fantasy and some who will take any sort. Thanks~ XD

    12. Cool<:

      I'm looking forward to submitting something this time.

      Thanks for hosting this again, Authoress!

    13. Best of luck to everyone. I'm projecting mine will be finished in the summer and I can't wait to start entering, especially after all of your helpful comments last week on the 1st chapter! I look forward to critiquing and reading others' critiques and of course the SA's thoughts!

    14. Hi Authoress,
      I'm a different author with a 16,000 word manuscript and don't know what to call it. It's too long for a chapter book and apparently too young for MG. However, there are plenty of books that do run this length -- the Clementine series (from 12,000-16,000), Goosebumps, Frindle --- and many elementary school kids love them. There are lots of 2nd-4th graders who want to read something longer and more challenging than a chapter book, but aren't quite ready for a much longer MG. So... what on earth are they called????? (I think they qualify for "younger MG" but that's just my opinion.)

    15. You know, that's a tricky question, and I hope others will weigh in.

      Borders calls them "Independent Readers." I've also heard them called "chapter books." "Younger MG" works, too.

      Tough, isn't it? It's one thing to know what you write, and it's another thing altogether to know what the market calls it. Unfortunately, we need to know both!

    16. I've enjoyed lurking for all these months, now I think I'll be brave enough to submit something.

      Good luck everyone and thank you Authoress for doing this!