Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fricassee

What a week! I can honestly say that blog traffic's never been higher.

A few questions that keep popping up concerning the agent auction:

1. Does "250 word" mean ANY 250 words?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Contests are ALWAYS for the first 250 words--your first page. Why? Because THAT IS WHAT AGENTS WANT TO READ. For that matter, it's what anyone wants to read.

How many of you pick up a book that looks interesting and start reading in the middle to see whether or not it sucks you in?

Okay, maybe some of you do that. Rest assured you're in the minority.

2. Your word count restriction includes 100 extra words for the logline. If my logline is only 50 words, may I send a 300 excerpt?

Um, you can send it; the bot won't know the difference. BUT JODI AND I WILL. And we will be rejecting entries that are over 255 words. Period.

Seriously, please pay attention to this. It will KILL me to reject a strong entry because of word count. But with the kind of response we're expecting for this contest, we've got to have hard-and-fast rules. And word count is one of them.

100 words or less for your logline.

255 words or less for your excerpt.

3. What about memoirs? What about narrative non-fiction?

The genres for this contest ARE CLEARLY STATED IN THE CONTEST RULES. They do not include memoirs, narrative non-fiction, or how-to-fix-your-own-plumbing books. I'm sorry (truly!) if your genre isn't included. The genre list reflects the interests of our participating agents. I didn't pick them out of a hat.

Not even a red hat.

4. Are YOU, Authoress, entering the contest?

Of course not. Even if I had something I wanted these agents to see, I wouldn't enter my own contest. Especially a contest with a built-in slush pile. Sure, I'd love the feedback! I'm as hungry for it as the rest of you. But I'm perfectly happy to run the thing.

The administrative assistant in me is experiencing a regular squee-fest over it. Seriously.

5. Well then, what can we send you to make you happy? Chocolate truffles? Sonona Cutrer? Organic cashews? A huge gift certificate for

All of the above.

Okay, I made that last question up. Things were feeling too serious.

If there's ANYTHING I missed, please post it in the comment box below. If you ask a question that's already been answered, I'm not answering.

No, really. Please refer to the links in yesterday's post to get ALL THE DETAILS. I know there are many. But I've tried to be as clear as possible.

BIG HUGS TO ALL! This is going to be so much fun.

Especially when my presents start arriving. *grin*


  1. And the address is??? :-)

    You're amazing for doing this and I thank you. Sincerely.

    Now ... it's off to revise! *big wink*

  2. As you are anonymous, I'm sending an anonymous package of everything you asked for to some anonymous person. I hope you/that random person enjoys.


  3. I agree with Kyle and Erin - you're amazing for doing this for the rest of us. Santa had better treat you well this year - starting with an outstanding contract and working his way up from there ;-)

  4. I'd like to add my thanks, too, Authoress! I appreciated the extra attention this week. Your comments and the S/A's really did help me.


  5. Thanks for explaining this- I think the stress of making sure our submissions get through caused a bit of panic!;)

    Glad you're getting lots of traffic - you of all people deserve it! Your blog, the opportunities, and wise words are always VERY MUCH appreciated!


  6. Thank you so much for hosting this and putting it together. I can't imagine the hours you've put into it. I did have one the start time of the entries a particular clock or is it the moment you post on your blog?

  7. As I don't know where to send the chocolates, I'll have no choice but to have those. Right now, in fact.

  8. Good question, Karen.

    NEVER rely on the blog. I have no idea what the server lag might be.

    Rely on the best online clock possible. That's all I can tell you. I know it's going to be tight!

  9. Ooh, I have a question. In the rules you stated that if we enter the same manuscript for the auction (as we did for this month's contest), there should be significant revision to the excerpt. And that makes sense....but what if the comments left are split. Half saying - change this and this, the other half saying they love those things.

  10. Authoress, what you do here is invaluable and I'm so happy I found your blog. I was an entry in this week's SA contest and the agent's comments--with some big-issue critique--came on the same night as the request for a full from an editor at a big house. I had the critique from the agent to apply to my opening before I sent it off.

    What a HUGE help this has been. Thanks again.

  11. Ahhh anon. I cannot answer that difficult question! You've got to decide which comments resonate for you and which ones don't. Also which ones resonate with what OTHERS have said outside of this blog.

    I can't tell you how or what to revise. In fact, if you are unsure and your reviews are so evenly split, it may take some mulling time for you to get to your "eureka" moment (it took me several months on my YA). And between now and next week might not be enough mulling time for you to make the right decision for your work.

    All that to say -- your revisions are more important than the agent auction.

  12. Oh YAY, Leah! Thanks for letting me know! :)

  13. I just wanted to add my thanks for all that you do on this blog! I figured you wouldn't be entering, and it's so selfless to create all these opportunities for others. Maybe over the Christmas break you should post your own excerpt for feedback so you can get some too?

  14. So, I'm a little confused. You started this post saying 250 words for our excerpt, then halfway through it changed to 255...

  15. The word count is technically 250. I always set it at 255 to accommodate sentence endings. It's not okay to stop in the middle of a sentence, though I still see it sometimes!

  16. Thanks, Authoress. It's wonderful of you to do all of this. It's like Christmas Eve is here, and all the elves are polishing their masterpieces for Santa to inspect. So exciting!

  17. This is so exciting. Thank you so much for running this contest.

    *goes off to proofread and polish again*

  18. Authoress,

    You are awesome! Are you a far of caramel's? With pecans? Without?

    My 250 words (actually right under, 243 words0 are ready to go... now for the logline :)

  19. I hate to add yet another mundane question, but I am new to this and not sure what my "screen name" is - is it my email address, with the @ included, or just the part before the @? My last attempt to participate failed and I want to be sure to fail on my merits and not a technicality!

  20. OK - as best I can tell no one has asked this one yet. How do we know if we made the cutoff time on the first window? I'll be submitting YA, so assuming I try for the noon window on Thursday and am one of the first ones in, will I be made aware of that? I don't want to take someone else's spot on the later window if I make the first one, but I don't want to miss the first one and not try for the second one, either.

    Oi! And hey, big thanks for doing this, even if it is making me neurotic. Er... more neurotic.

  21. bigblackcat97--

    You will get an automated response, just like other contests. Also, you won't be able to take someone else's spot in the 2nd round because the bot will not accept a 2nd entry from the same person. So no worries!

    Make sure you add authoress.submissions(at) to your address book so your response doesn't get funneled to spam.

  22. Awesome - thanks so much for the fast response. My neuroticism level has lowered for the day, briefly.

  23. Will the bot be taking alternates, as with the SA contests? I know you said you'd personally reject entries who go over the word count. I hope that the 40 and 80 that you choose from are all rule-following entries, for your sake!

  24. No alternates. Because, yeah, we're hand-picking. And if we can't get 15 out of 40 possible, something's wrong. (Probably with us! :P)

  25. Thanks! I just went back and read one of your earlier posts where you said "no alternates". :P Oops!