Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Finally, the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! On Tuesday, December 7, the gavel will fall on our first-ever BAKER'S DOZEN AGENT AUCTION. And you won't want to miss it!


Auction! As in, agents placing bids. Here's how the whole thing will work:
  • 40 entries will be posted on the auction block. Of these 40, 15 will be for the adult market and 25 for MG/YA.
  • Each entry will consist of a log line followed by the first 250 words of the manuscript.
  • Thirteen participating agents (our baker's dozen) will place bids on the entries they like. The minimum bid requirement is a request to read the first 5 pages.
  • The auction will remain open for 24 hours. At the close, each entry will go to the highest bidder, at whatever "price" they bid (up to a request for a full).
It's that simple!

Some other things you need to know:
  • All contest entries will be open to critique by everyone.
  • Each contest entry will receive a critique from at least one of three agented authors who have agreed to participate.
  • Each contest entry will receive a critique from a Special Guest Editor.
Because let's face it. It's not a given that everyone will receive an agent bid. We all know that's not how things work in the Publishing Universe. So this way, EVERY PARTICIPANT will receive something valuable.

IMPORTANT: Not every entry will be accepted. Here's the breakdown:

MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT, including all subgenres and literary:

I will accept 50 submissions, from which 25 will be selected for the contest.

ADULT FICTION (genres listed below):

I will accept 25 submissions, from which 15 will be selected for the contest.

  • Women's fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Thriller (including historical)
  • Mystery
  • Romance (including historical and paranormal)
  • Fantasy (including urban and all subgenres)
  • Science Fiction (including all subgenres)
  • Suspense
  • Literary
Author Jodi Meadows will assist me with the slush pile. Her experience as an agent's assistant has honed her critical eye, so I'm counting on her expertise to help me cull through the entries (I don't relish this part, I assure you).


Submissions for the contest will be held on two separate dates in November, one for adult and the other for MG/YA. Winners will be notified after we've gone through the contest slush. Winning entries will be posted on Saturday, December 4, to give the agents time to look over them before the bidding starts on Tuesday.

  • This contest is for COMPLETED, POLISHED, QUERY-READY MANUSCRIPTS only. If you're not ready to embark on the querying process, please do not enter.
  • This contest is open to ALL PAST PARTICIPANTS AND WINNERS OF SECRET AGENT CONTESTS and ANY OTHER CONTEST OR CRITIQUE SESSION with THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION: If you enter the November SA contest and then enter the same work in the Agent Auction, that work has to show a considerable amount of editing as per the feedback you received during the contest. Reason: Despite the excitement of the auction, the main thrust of this contest is CRITIQUE. And it will be a waste of time to the critters (and to you) if you haven't made substantial changes. Acceptance of these entries will be at the discretion of Jodi Meadows and me.
  • This contest is open to NON-AGENTED AUTHORS ONLY.


Heh. Not telling! But I'll announce their names prior to the onset of the auction. Unlike our Secret Agent contests, these agents will use their real names during the bidding.

And now you can see why I've been so excited about this! I'm worried I've forgotten something important, so please post your questions below.


  1. Mind blown. Seriously. This is amazing! What a great idea.

    Just another push to get this last set of revisions done.

    Thank you, Authoress!!

  2. This sounds AWESOME! I really wish I was ready with my submission! I have no doubt this will be a successful contest and hope you choose to run it in the future! Good luck everyone!

  3. Holy Mega-Opportunity, Batman!


    Just wow.

    *skips and jumps with glee*

    Thank you for everything you do for us un-agented authors!

    *goes back to re-read in case she's dreaming - but really, could she dream up such awesomeness?*

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This is just amazing. I wish, wish, wish that my manuscript was completely ready for querying. If it was then I would for sure enter. Please, like Lisa said, do this again in the future so that I can be a part of the Baker's Dozen fun!
    PS: Miss Snark, how can I get my blog placed under your Blogging Authors (Aspiring) list?
    Merci and Ciao!

  6. This sounds so awesome. I'm very much looking forward to reading the submission for this...and of course I've got some hope that mine will be among them.

  7. I'm so close to finishing my draft and to start sending it out. Definitely motivated now!

  8. Wow! What a great idea - thank you, Authoress, Jodi and the thirteen agents for making this possible. Even if I don't get in - which of course I hope to - I'll be excited to watch this happen. Better get cracking on my revisions...

  9. Awesome! And such great timing for me. I'm all over this.

  10. So exciting. I'll mark my calendar.

  11. sounds like a fantastic opportunity! thanks again, A~ :o)

  12. A fantastic opportunity for the unagented! We need to call the dictionary people and let them know we need a word that makes 'awesome' look bland by comparison. Then we can place your picture next to it!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  13. wow, wow, wow! Miss Snark, you've just elevated yourself to Goddess Snark in my book.

  14. Well now THAT is interesting. My favorite part about this setup is that it feels like the agents are vying for OUR attention for once.
    Very, very cool idea!

    Thanks in advance to Authoress, Ms. Meadows and the Agents of Organization XIII!

  15. Yay! I'll be ready. :D

    Can't wait for the fun to begin. Now I just have to work on my logline (and redo my first chapter!)

  16. What a great opportunity! This is amazing on so many levels.
    Thank you! :)

  17. I am grinning from ear to ear. What an awesome idea, Authoress! Definitely worth the wait to hear what it was. Thanks for thinking up another fun opportunity for us!

  18. Wow. What an incredible contest! I can't wait. :)

  19. OMG This is epic ^_^ WOOT! I have to start polishing...

  20. This is such a freaking awesome idea!!

  21. Wow -- what a great contest! What a great opportunity. Any hint as to when in November the submission windows will be? Just so we can prepare!

  22. I'm shocked (in a good way!)

    Authoress, you are AMAZING!!!

  23. Hi Authoress,
    Great contest! I have a novel that is a love story, but not romance. Nor is it literary. Would it be accepted as adult commercial fiction?

  24. This is great! Thank you so much! Looking forward to it.

  25. What a creative FUN way to pitch!!! :)

    I love it!!!

    Do we get to know the submission dates in November?

    Thanks for the oppotunity!!!

    Lisa :)

  26. Seriously beyond excited about this!!

  27. December Fun indeed! What a great idea. This is the inspiration I need to finish revising my manuscript. I've already got the logline ready and waiting.

  28. Such a cool concept.

    I did have one question. Are the three agents that will be critting part of the baker's dozen or "alternates" for lack of a better word? Doesn't matter, of course, just curious.

  29. This sounds so awesome!

    Will there be a limit to the number of submissions you accept to choose the 25 or 15?

  30. You've outdone yourself this time, Authoress. Not sure if I'll be ready, but it's a fabulous opportunity all the same.

  31. Wow! How cool. And how much fun right in time for the holidays. Looks like a lot of people will be getting great presents this season. Thanks Authoress and Jodi for taking the time to organize this.

  32. Oh my, oh my. Not only is this contest awesomeness - it's awesomeness dipped in fine chocolate.

    Let the woo-hooing begin.

  33. GAH!!!! So fun!!! And I'll be all ready to participate by then!

    So, one clarification - we don't have to be one of the first 25 entries? We all get to submit if we want and you and Jodi choose who will get to participate from there. Is that right? If so, it makes me very happy because I was already feeling an adrenaline rush trying to figure out how to be quick on the "send" button. :)

  34. You still have to be quick on the send button, though. I'm only accepting 50 entries for MG/YA. Otherwise I fear I'd have 100s!

  35. I'm so excited! This is such a great opportunity.

    Question: can we submit more than one story? My adult novel is all ready to go and I should have my YA piece ready by then.

  36. You have just given me the best excuse in the world to quite wasting time on the internet and stick to revision.

    Thank you and BOOYAY! This is freaking fantastic--and fun.

  37. That would be quit not quite--see you've got me rattled :)

  38. So...when you announce you're accepting the submissions, only the fastest authors to respond will be among those considered for the culled list?

  39. Fabulous idea, sounds great, and I'll be watching for the adult submission date!

  40. This is just about the coolest contest ever. I'm happily agented now, but I'll be watching the fireworks and cheering everyone on.

    Authoress, you ROCK!

  41. Wow, this is an incredible opportunity. Thank you so much, Authoress!

    I believe you've mentioned in previous posts that we would need a logline to participate in this contest. Would we all submit it as part of the first 250 words, or would the winners submit it once their entries are accepted? The logline could cause problems with word count.

  42. I will be setting the word count higher to accommodate the log lines. :)

  43. Holy WOW!!! This is incredible!!! :)

  44. What fun! I won't have anything ready by then but i'm so excited to see the entries and the process. Thank you for dreaming this up and making it a reality (that must have been a lot of work).

  45. What a fantastic, ingenious idea! Wish I had something to submit, but just watching should be fun!

  46. No wonder you've been really excited, Authoress. This is great.

    Thanks you!

  47. Is there a word limit to the pitch? Just so we know we won't get booted out because it put us over the max word limit.

  48. So excited. I received a lot of feedback from the secret agent contest and I hope I can improve enough to get at least one bid.

  49. This is simply awesome! Thanks Authoress, you are so freaking amazing with all you do for the writing community!

  50. Contests don't get better than this. Thank you Authoress.

  51. What a fantastic contest! I will help spread the word, Authoress. I'm not at this stage for my own work, but I still love to follow your blog and appreciate all you do to help writers on the publication journey.

    Word verification: upers. Yes, I think this will be an upper for a lot of people. :)

  52. Wow, sweetie, you have really created something radical for December. Everyone wins.


    Mr A

  53. I'm doing an excited jig at the moment because of how cool this competition is. Makes typing hard.

  54. Wow. I've been away all week and missed the logline comp, but this is incredible! December was going to be my first chance to participate in an SA content (MS should finally be ready!) but this is way better! Thank you so much for all of the work you do for aspiring authors. I'm trying to control my excitement because I imagine there will be hundreds of people sitting and waiting to enter, but even if I don't get in, it will lots of fun to critique and see which entries get bids!

  55. You do so much for aspiring writers - thanks!

  56. What an amazing idea! Thank you so much for all you do to help others. You are so cool.

  57. This sounds like so much fun! I'm sad my ms won't be polished and ready in time, but I'm planning to be a spectator!

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