Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Call for Submissions: DEATH

Uplifting blog title, yes?

We're going to do a full-blown Drop the Needle crit round. Focus? DEATH SCENE. The death can occur on- or offstage (as in, news of the death can be brought by someone). Mainly, it's the EMOTIONAL IMPACT of the death that counts. The sense of loss (or perhaps relief) by those left behind (particularly your MC).

So if you've got a death scene in a completed work or WIP, now's your chance to get some solid critique.


  • Submissions will open at 5 PM EDT today.
  • Submissions will be open for 5 hours or until 50 entries have been received, whichever comes first.
  • Send a 250-word excerpt of your novel, including a small lead-in sentence or two. This excerpt should encompass THE DEATH OF A CHARACTER.
  • This excerpt can be from ANYWHERE IN YOUR NOVEL
  • All genres except erotica are welcomed (children and adult)
  • Email your submission to authoress.submissions(at)gmail.com
  • ALL entries will receive an automated response. If you don't get one, check your spam box.
  • Format as follows:
SCREEN NAME: (type it here)
TITLE: (type it here)
GENRE: (type it here)

(type your brief lead-in here)

(type your excerpt here)

Please note: I am setting the word count at 280 to accommodate the lead-ins. You'll still have to choose your words carefully, though.

IMPORTANT: If you receive a rejection and you can't figure out why, your best bet is to RE-SEND AS PLAIN TEXT. Cutting-and-pasting from a Word document is often fatal, because Word adds all sorts of invisible junk to the text. You may not see it, but my bot does. And it throws everything off.

So. When in doubt, plain plain plain.

Entries will post early Wednesday , ready for critique.


  1. To send as plain text, save your Word doc as a .txt file, then cut and paste from that. It will likely look exactly the same as it did before, but the invisible coding will be stripped.

  2. Can it be a scene where your main character discovers a death that's already taken place (as in, another character that has been murdered)?

  3. Sorry, scratch the last post--I think your explanation answers my question :)

  4. If you have gmail, you can also the remove formatting once you paste - it's to the far right of the formatting tool bar.

    Does it matter what the subject of the email is?

  5. Thanks, Sara and Sarah!

    And the subject line doesn't matter. It all gets funneled directly to the contest.

  6. If we participated in the previous critique, are we allowed to submit to this one as well? Or do we have to wait a certain amount of time before we participate in another?

    Thanks for the opportunities, by the way. This blog is so helpful. :)

  7. You may submit again. The "don't submit again" rule is for the Secret Agent contests.

  8. Got rejected again twice for not having a screen name, etc. at the top. I know that you were going to check, since I was having problems during the last contest...looks like something's still off. My log numbers are 1867 and 1873, if that helps. No worries, though--I look forward to reading the entries that make it!

  9. I had a few technologically challenged moments... perhaps I'll try drinking a little coffee first next time... :)

  10. I've done all the right things...and this is what I got from you:

    Dear Henya,

    I'm sorry; your entry has been disqualified for the following reason: It looks like you tried to reply to the contest address. Unfortunately, this is only for automated submissions.

    All best,

    If you have submitted your message as HTML or Rich Text, you may have better luck resending it as plain/text!

    [log number: 1899]

  11. Well...got rejected twice.

    No matter. Will read other entries.

  12. Henya,

    You get that response if there is an "RE" in your subject line. That's because the bot reads that as a "reply to" which is not allowed at the contest address (simply because replies to emails could accidentally get posted as entries).

    Take the "RE" out of your subject line and resubmit!

  13. Cool! I'm in. Haven't done one of these in ages.

  14. I finally made it in! The first few times I tried to enter, the bot rejected me saying that my entry was 288 words. According to MS Word, my entry was only 266 with my lead in. Even with the screen name info, title, & genre, my entry was only 276 words, but was still rejected. Eventually I wised up and deleted my lead in and my entry was accepted. I'm not sure what happened the first few attempts but I wanted to report the problem. Thanks for all your hard work.

  15. Oh shoot. I wish I hadn't missed this. I recently wrote my first death scene.