Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Fricassee

Wow. This one hit me off guard. Submissions for our November Secret Agent contest open ON MONDAY.

Yipes. Somehow I thought it was later in the month. So here's your completely last-minute, heads up submission guidelines for Monday the 2nd:

Submissions for our next Secret Agent contest will open at 12:00 NOON EDT on Monday, November 2.

* Submissions WILL NOT OPEN until NOON, EDT. Early submissions WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
* Submissions are for COMPLETED MANUSCRIPTS ONLY. If you wouldn't want an agent to read the entire thing, DON'T SEND IT. If an "entire thing" doesn't exist, you shouldn't even be reading these rules.
* Manuscripts THAT HAVE BEEN IN A SECRET AGENT CONTEST DURING THE PAST SIX MONTHS (May-October) will not be accepted.
* You may submit A DIFFERENT MANUSCRIPT if you've participated in any of the 2009 Secret Agent contests.
* Only ONE ENTRY per person per contest. If you send more than one, your subsequent entry(ies) will be deleted.
* If you are PAST WINNER, please DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST. (Unless it's a different manuscript.)
* Submissions are for THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript. Please do not stop in the middle of a

Your submission for this contest should be formatted as follows:


(Followed by the excerpt here.)

* No "chapter one," chapter titles, etc.
* You will receive a confirmation email with your post number. I don't always get through quickly. Don't resend.
* Submissions go to facelesswords(at) They DO NOT GO to my authoressmail address. Those of you who are subscribed to this blog via email will note the latter address as the "from." If you use this address for the contest, I WILL NOT SEE YOUR SUBMISSION.

This month's contest will include the following genres:

* Women's fiction (including romance)
* Mysteries and thrillers/suspense
* Fantasy
* Young Adult

Questions? Leave them in the comment box. Readers who know the answers should feel free to answer if you beat me to it.


  1. When you say "Screen Name", does that mean I have to have a blog to enter or can it be any old name?

  2. Your screen name is any old name. So I can identify you. =)

  3. Thanks for clarifying. :-)

  4. Does chick lit count as a subset of women's fiction (for this agent, anyway)?

  5. Does middle grade count as young adult?

  6. FYI, Eastern Daylight Time ends this weekend, and on Monday, we will be on Eastern Standard Time.

  7. If genre is young adult - urban fantasy should it be listed as both or just YA?

  8. No. Middle grade is not the same as YA.

    So, no middle grade.

    YA urban fantasy should be listed as such.

  9. I'm new to this contest so pardon my idiocy if you've answered before. :) (I searched and did not find it, but ...) When you say Please do not to stop in the middle of a

    Do you mean we should stop before the sentence that goes over 250 words if it's not complete, or submit that sentence even if it puts you a tad over 250?


  10. For the fantasy category, does that include paranormal romance? Or is it for only Futuristic, sci-fi stuff?

  11. Anon -- Just that. Submit slightly more or slightly less than 250 words for the sake of ending at a period.

    Lynn -- No sci/fi. And I imagine since both fantasy and romance are included, that paranormal romance is a go, since para is a subgenre of fantasy.

  12. i live on the east coast, so would I put it up this weekend? gah i suck at times differences, and I want to enter mine :)

  13. If I was in the May contest (my first ever), so exactly 6 mo. ago, will I be elegible to enter next time- assuming the agent reps my category ?

  14. If you are not in a position to enter, (can't get to a computer at noon, and I know these things fill up quickly), is it permissible to have someone else send in your submission for you?

  15. wooooo - this snuck up on me too.

    I'm not entering butI do plan to pitch in with the comments. Hope I'm of help! :P

  16. Oh boy! I qualify! :D Now, if I can do this AND NaNo... :)

  17. Ash. Elizabeth -- Pacific is 3 hours behind Eastern time.

    SusieJ -- Yes. =)

    CrankyDragon -- Yes, that's fine. Just make sure they understand that my reply will go to them, and they'll have to let you know what your post number is.

  18. I have a few agents who currently have the full or partial - but no exclusives. Would it be poor form to enter? I don't want to enter if it's going to backfire, though I'd love the feedback. :-/

  19. I honestly can't remember if I entered last month's contest, but I'm pretty sure I did not receive a confirmation email. Is there any way I can tell for sure? I'd really like to enter this, but would hate to be disqualified. (Last month was very hectic. That's my pathetic excuse.)

  20. Thank you so much for organizing this contest! What a great idea.

  21. SharonK - do you mean when the contest closes, or when the winners are announced? This one will probably close very very fast, considering the categories - I would submit dead-on at noon EST. And judging from past contests, it seems to take a week minimum for all the entries to be posted and the agent to enter comments and make a decision.