Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Fricassee

Happy birthday Miss Snark's First Victim!

In a way, it's hard to believe that so much has developed here in one year. And of course, each of you is a part of that "so much." It would be a lonely place here without you.

Let's take a few minutes to look back.

The blog went live on April 4, 2008, with this exciting post.

Our very first ARE YOU HOOKED? critique round kicked off on April 10, with 16 submissions and no Secret Agent.

Thanks to early participation of some fine members of Critique Circle, the quality of our critiques and loyalty of readership got off to a strong start.

Our first Drop the Needle boasted only 9 submissions, and our first Talkin' Heads only 8.

Still, readership continued to grow.

Things got really exciting, of course, when we had our first Secret Agent Contest with Holly Root in July. I didn't have any idea of what kind of turn-out to expect, so I didn't set any parameters on submissions. When 115 of you bombarded my inbox with your first pages, Holly graciously and tenaciously waded through all of them, leaving kind and helpful feedback.

The Secret Agent contests have continued to grow in popularity and the quality of the critiques has remained strong. And, as I say on a regular basis, the sense of community that you all have helped create is astounding.

Each of you is a birthday gift to this blog.

For those of you who may have missed it the first time, I wrote this Ode To My Readers in February. The sentiment stands.

So celebrate with me! Pop into the comment box and tell us how you discovered the blog and why you've stuck around. Share the stories of how your writing has been impacted by what goes on here.

And though the list has not yet been published online, I am honored to announce that Miss Snark's First Victim has been included on the 2009 Writer's Digest 101 Best Web Sites list. I would like to thank my fans, my agent, my--wait, I don't have an agent. Um, my mom?

Seriously -- the inclusion on the Writer's Digest list is kudos to all of you. I am humbled and delighted that this blog would achieve such recognition in less than a year.

Happy birthday! Eat chocolate cake, cashews, and key lime pie for me. Well, not all at once.


  1. Big congrats on making the WD list! You deserve it. The blog is great and I'm obviously not alone in my thinking.

  2. Congratulations on making the WD list. I haven't been lurking around here long, but I really appreciate what you're doing with this blog. Now I just need to get off my duff and enter one of your contests.

  3. I found you on Querytracker, and after reading through a few posts, I'm hooked. I signed up to follow our blog today. :)

    Happy anniversary!

  4. Kudos to you, Authoress! I, too, found this blog through querytracker back in January. It has helped me feel connected and improved my craft. That is a wonderful thing.

  5. I'm not sure how I found you, but what keeps me coming back is how down to earth it is here - no hoity toity-ness. Like that word? Thought so!

  6. Dear Authoress,
    I am new here, found you through QueryTracker as well. I'm appreciative of any forum that helps authors improve their work and provides support. I'll be sticking around.

  7. Congrats on the WD listing!

    I found MSFV via PubRants after she had been a Secret Agent and she blogged about it. It's been a great joy to both give and receive feedback on this site and I hope that some people have found my critiques of value. I know that I have greatly benefited from the comments that have been left for me (as evidenced by the request for a full I received earlier this week from an agent) (yes, I have crossed fingers, prayed, and sacrificed the traditional goat upon sending in the full).

    Thanks, keep up the great work, and I can't wait to see what your 2nd birthday is going to be like!

  8. I found you from another writing website. Sorry, I can't remember which one, but I stuck around because of the all the helpful advice that submissions receive here. AND, of course, the help I have gotten.

    People here tend to be helpful without being snooty about it. I like that.

    I want to thank you for all the time that you sacrifice to make this blog the success it is.

    This is by far my favorite blog.

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  9. Happy Birthday - and a huge congrats on making the list. It's not a surprise, this is a great place for writers, a real community of those willing to learn and cheer on each other.

    And, with that - congratulations Peter on the request for a full on your manuscript. I have my fingers crossed for you (I'll leave goat sacrifices to others)

  10. The quality of critiques here is excellent -- that's why I come back every day. Kudos to you, Authoress, for attracting such good readers.

  11. Happy birthday!

    I can't remember how I found this blog. The AW boards maybe? I've learned a lot here, both from critiques I've received and through critiquing myself. You do have some very insightful and helpful readers.

    Congrats on making the list, too. That's well deserved.

  12. Many more happy birthdays for this blog, Authoress. You're doing a fantastic service for us, and it's fun, too.

  13. This is one of my favorite blog sites. I found it after Pub Rants was your secret agent, and I've been "Hooked" ever since. Not only have I enjoyed the community of this blog, but I've also become critique partners with another reader.

    Happy Birthday MSFV and Authoress!!!

  14. Congrats on the WD List! I'm not at all surprised.

    On PubRants, Agent Kristen was so positive about her Secret Agent experience and the people involved, and the name caught my eye because I had finished Miss Snark's archives about a month before, so I clicked over here to check it out.

    And I'm still here. I love the positive, honest, and down-to-earth atmosphere of this site. This is exactly what a crit group should be.

    Thanks, Authoress! And many happy returns of the day!

  15. Congrats Authoress. I stumbled on this blog from The New Author blog I believe, and its been truly helpful in so many ways. Learning the industry, improving my craft, and just figuring out where to go from here has been aided in so many ways thanks to your site. I'm actually pretty surprised that you don't have an agent though. Enjoy the celebration, you deserve it.

  16. I can't remember how I found you, but I can say I sent the link to my opening sentence to a friend. She said she didn't realize you were still here in your Snarkerous glory, and will sign up for your e-mail updates and read again. Huzzah!

    Wonderful job and many kudos!

  17. A member of my writer's group told us about the SA contests. So I entered back in November and got sucked in. Thanks to the great crits, I've landed a number of requests. And as I read more crits of other people's work, my writing continues to improve. I come back every day because of the supportive environment you provide (and this is more fun than twiddling my thumbs while I wait to hear back from agents).

    Thanks, Authoress, for all the hard work you do here. It's greatly appreciated.

  18. Congrats on the WD list! Wow! Hope the next secret agent contest happens before the list is printed ;-). Competition is getting fierce in your inbox, huh?

    I check this blog first thing in the morning & I'm always bummed when you take a well-deserved day off...

    Thanks for everything and well done.

  19. Happy blog-iversary!

    I found you through one of my writer friend's blogs; I think it was H.L. Dyer. I like the critting sessions you offer, though I haven't had a chance to participate in the most recent ones.

  20. A friend of mine told me about you a month or so ago, so I'm relatively new. I have yet to put myself in the running for any of your critique opportunities, but I really appreciate them. I enjoy reading the feedback and making myself a stronger writer by proxy.

    So thank you, authoress.

  21. Congrats.

    I can't remember how I found this blog, but I'm glad I did. The wealth of knowledge and opportunity available on this blog is phenomenal. I'll raise a margarita in your honor at 7:30 PM CT tonight in thanks for all you've done!


  22. Happy Blog-Birthday! Here's to another kick-butt year in the wonderful world of writing :)

  23. Happy Birthday! Thanks for everything.

  24. P.S. Forgot to tell you, I found your blog on Kristen Nelson's blog, PubRants after she was introduced as the current SA. I've followed your blog ever since.

    Hearty congratulations on winning the honor from WD. You obviously started doing things write,(had to say that)from the very beginning.

  25. Huzzah to cashews! Yum. :)

    Happy Birthday to the blog! I discovered it... I can't remember exactly when. When I first started blogging. Probably through some of my friends on Critique Circle. So glad I did.

  26. Congrats! Your hard work has paid off and you're an inspiration to the rest of us who are still muddling around the bottom. Thank you.

  27. Congrats Authoress! And thank you. From the bottom of my heart - thank you. This site/community is a writer's best friend.

    It gives us inspiration, aspirations, comradery, and faith that there are other people out there just like us, going through the same trials and tribulations as us and they are making it through.

    MSFV rocks. :D

  28. Congrats! What you've done here is a GREAT thing – very impressive too!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Hugs and chocolate covered cashews. (We'll leave the elves out of this one). : )


  29. Congrats -- seriously, this blog is such a great find for an aspiring writer almost at the stage of looking for an agent. It's helped me a great deal to see what works and what doesn't in my own writing and in others. I bought Agent:Demystified as soon as I found the site and appreciate the insider's look at getting agentified, so to speak. :D Bravo for the inclusion in the 101 Best Web Sites! Well deserved.

  30. Happy Blog Birthday and thank you so much, Authoress, for maintaining the positive and polite honesty that makes this site so helpful. And for all the contests that make us all =think= about what we write and how we respond to writings.

    You provide a great community a great place to meet!

    Your ebook is full of valuable information for anyone on an agent hunt. And my friend (whose snail address I gave you instead of her email *embarrassed grin*) was very happy to get her copy--she has an appointment with Elaine English tomorrow through her local RWA chapter and knows your tips will help.

    Sorry this is so long, but happy birthday, congrats on the WD list, and "...thanks for all the fish!" Er, writerly fellowship. :)

  31. Happy Blog Birthday, and congrats on the listing, Authoress! :D

    I think I found your blog soon after you'd started it last year, via someone's comments on CC and I'm way excited to see how it's grown and flourished. :D It's a great resource and always enjoyable to read and participate in.

    Kudos on the blog!


  32. Wow, Happy Birthday Blog!
    I think I found this blog, back in... maybe August 08, on a writers website. I love it!

  33. Congratulations Authoress on making the WD list
    Happy birthday for the blog.
    I'm a newbie reading old internet posts and tried to find the now defunct Miss Snark. Ended up here instead -only a couple of weeks ago - and am thoroughly enjoying it. My idea that there's no such thing as accidents, had me entering and subscribing on the spot. The fact that I share a birthday with the blog - I'm 50 today, connects me further.
    I've learned a lot already.
    Well done and all the best

  34. Authoress, your blog is one of the best resources for aspiring authors. You totally deserve to be on the WD list!

    Anyway, I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled across the blog. Maybe I saw it linked on someone's sidebar? I can't really remember, but I'm really glad that I did manage to find this blog :)

  35. Happy Blog Birthday, Authoress. I found this blog through two sources. Critique Circle and Absolute Write Water Cooler. (They’re both fantastic websites for writers.)

    Since coming over to your blog, the openings to my series of Molly Gumnut chapter books are so much better and the MC has also changed for the better. Her character is still the same, but she is now more of a tom boy. I’ve re written the first three and am working my way through them all. I’ve sent out the first one to a publisher and also to an American agent this week and I’m also entering a children’s writing competition here in Australia this month. It was such a thrill getting critiqued by Sarah Davies. (That critique changed my whole way of writing an opening, so thank you, Sarah so much.)

    Thanks to this wonderful blog, and the other two web sites that I frequent on a daily basis, my writing is improving every day. I’m just so grateful that I found this blog. It was Blodwyn from CC that originally told me about the Secret Agent competition. Thanks, Blodwyn.

    And thanks to all the wonderful critters that spend so much of their valuable time helping other writers. Let’s face it, no one else understands us.

    So thank you once again, Authoress, you are helping so many writers all over the world and congratulations on being on the WD list. And I wish you a Happy, Happy Blog Birthday and three cheers, Hip - Hip Hooray!

    Best wishes,


  36. Major congratulations to you, Authoress! *throws chocolate sprinkles*

  37. Here's to many more years of success!

  38. Here's to many more years!

    I found this blog when Kristen Nelson linked it on Pub Rants. I stayed around because It's a great concept and lots of fun!

  39. Happy Birthday! I stumbled in relatively recently, can't quite remember from where, and I'll be around some more soon.

  40. Another CCer here! It's so good to see how this blog took off.

    I can tell you that my writing has definitely improved, in part, from what I've learned here.

    Thanks for everything you do, Authoress. And here's to many more years of success!

  41. congrads! is so great to be a victim! :)

  42. Congrats on the list and Happy Birthday!

    I found your blog via Twitter -- I followed your red hat home. I've submitted one drop the needle piece and received spot-on critiques. I certainly hope to participate more. As I've found here and also at DA, giving critiques to others is just as important as receiving them.

    Thanks for all that you do to run this site. It's a real service -- and lots of fun for us.

  43. Happy belated birthday! Snark away!

  44. Authoress,

    Happy anniversary! I am in awe of others who can find enough to write about on a daily basis. Such a talent.

    I think I, too, learned about your website from Ms. Nelson, and I'm certainly glad I did. You and your minions are helpful and kind in their words.

    May your website continue to be an inspiration to us. Keep up the good work!