Monday, July 5, 2010

July's Secret Agent Contest: Early Info

Wow! Right on the tail of a holiday weekend AND a month off. Good thing I remembered this.

Please note: This is NOT the call for submissions! The contest will open NEXT Monday, July 12.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (please read carefully):

* There will be TWO SEPARATE SUBMISSION WINDOWS. Each window will be open for 2 hours and will receive a maximum of 25 entries. This is to accommodate my other-side-of-the-globe readers.
* SUBMISSION WINDOW #1: Monday, July 12, NOON to 2:00 PM EDT or 25 entries, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
*SUBMISSION WINDOW #2: Monday, July 12, 7:00 to 9:00 PM EDT or 25 entries, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
*2 alternates will be chosen from the second submission window.
*PLEASE NOTE: You are responsible for figuring out your own time zone. "Time Zone differences" are NOT a reason for not getting your entry in.
* Submissions received before the contest opens will be rejected.
* 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 (January-May) will not be accepted.
* You may submit A DIFFERENT MANUSCRIPT if you've participated in any previous Secret Agent contests.
* Only ONE ENTRY per person per contest. If you send more than one, your subsequent entry(ies) will be rejected.
* 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:

SCREEN NAME: Your Screen Name Here
TITLE: Your Title Here
GENRE: Your Genre Here

(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 authoress.submissions(at) (And, um, you replace the word (at) with an @ sign. Yeah, sometimes people don't realize that.) They DO NOT GO to my facelesswords address. Or any other address.
*PLAIN TEXT is your best bet! And if you receive a rejection notice that claims you didn't include TITLE, etc., please TYPE THE SCREEN NAME, TITLE, AND GENRE BY HAND and resubmit. (In other words, don't copy and paste that part.)

This month's contest will include the following genres:
  • Young Adult (all genres)
  • Middle Grade (all genres)
  • Contemporary Women's Fiction
Did I miss anything? Post questions below!


  1. What is the definition of "contemporary women's fiction"?

    Just feeling ornery today, I reckon.

  2. Is it legit to submit an opening that hasn't been substantially revised since it was last entered more than 6 months ago?

  3. Well, if it's been more than 6 months, it's allowed. I can't help wondering, though, how helpful it would be to get feedback on exactly the same thing? Just a thought...

  4. At the risk of sounding incredibly stupid, "EDT" is Eastern Daylight Time, right?

  5. Not stupid. Yes, Eastern Daylight. :)

  6. How quickly will we get a response to let us know whether or not we made it in the first 25 entries? I'm asking because if I don't make it in the first time slot, I'd like to apply again in the second! Thanks :)

  7. It's an auto-responder and it usually comes back fairly quickly, like within a few seconds. Sometimes it might take a minute or two. You know how unpredictable these things can be! But at least it's faster than me doing it by hand...;P

  8. What should the subject heading of the e-mail be? Secret Agent contest?

    Thanks so much for running this contest!

  9. Subject heading doesn't matter. Just be sure not to have "RE:" in it (like a reply email), because the bot will think you are trying to reply to an email, and it won't let you do that. You'll be rejected. :)

  10. Thanks for answering my time question! I have one more - hope that's okay!

    What is a "screen name"? Simply a Blogger ID, or is it supposed to be a secret camouflage-your-real-identity sort of thing?

    Sorry for all the questions, but this is my first Secret Agent contest and I want to do it right! :) Thanks!

  11. *hugs for Nina*

    Your screen name is simply whatever name you use when you leave comments here. You don't need a Blogger ID to enter the contest.

  12. Will you have a "Contest Open" post? Or do we just go for it? :D

  13. Okay! Thanks a million! *is so excited*