Monday, July 25, 2011

In-House Crit: Drop the Needle

Let's have some fun!

Drop us into a scene with HIGH EMOTION.  It can be anywhere in your story, and should be dialogue-rich (the best way to convey emotion, yes?). Make sure you give us a 1- to 2-sentence lead-in so we understand what's happening.  (Sometimes people skip this part. Please don't do that. It's hard to land head-first in a scene without having any idea of the setting or characters.)

Submissions will open at 5:00 pm EDT today (Monday). I will accept the first 25 entries.  All genres except erotica, as always.

The word count is set at 320.  This gives you extra words for your lead-in.

Your submission for this contest should be formatted EXACTLY as follows:

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

(Type a brief lead-in to your scene here. Please do not skip this step.)

(Followed by the excerpt here.)

* No "chapter one," chapter titles, etc.
* You will receive a confirmation email with your post number.
* Submissions go to authoress.submissions(at) 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.)
*It doesn't matter what you put in the subject line. The only thing you MUST NOT do is to use "RE:" The bot will think you are attempting to respond to an email, and will reject you.

Please post your questions below.


  1. Oh I love the idea for this one! Can't wait!

    Also...I'm giving away a copy of Elana Johnson's POSSESSION on my blog to someone with some awesome rule breaking characters!

  2. I sent mine but didn't get a reply, so I sent it again, using a different excerpt the second time. Still didn't get a response, so I sent the first version. If you end up with more than one, if that's not allowed or fair, just pick whichever one you wish. Thanks for doing this. I love these things.

  3. I sent mine three times and it was rejected every time saying I hadn't included the correct info, but it was there, just as you asked for it. Sure wish I could have gotten mine in.

  4. Michael, it's completely automated; I don't "pick" anything. Not sure why you're not receiving responses; did you check your spam box? The bot automatically rejects subsequent submissions, since everyone is allowed to only enter once.

    Rosi, did you type it JUST LIKE THIS? ::

    SCREEN NAME: (here)
    TITLE: (here)
    GENRE: (here)

    When I say JUST LIKE THIS I mean including the colons. SO many people skip them, and the bot will not read it properly without them. That's why I explicitly state to type it "JUST LIKE THIS."

    If you DO have the colons and are still getting rejected, I suggest resending and typing that part in BY HAND (no cut-and-paste). And make sure your email is in PLAIN TEXT mode.

    As of this typing, there are still 9 slots open. So you can all try again. :)

  5. I did have everything just the way you wanted it. I tried it again typing in rather than cut and paste. It hasn't been rejected yet, but no confirmation yet either. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  6. Rosi -- You're marked "missing tags" again. I notice you're using Yahoo, which hates me. Do you have a gmail account?

  7. Okay. I give up. Now I was rejected for being over the word count. Your "screener" counted the heading words (Name, Title, and Genre) putting me over. The rest of it was exactly 320 words. What am I missing here?

  8. Hi,

    I sent my entry in and haven't received any sort of confirmation or rejection yet either, so I'm not sure if it made it in. I sent it right at 5 EDT. I didn't submit multiple entries because I didn't want to flood your system.

  9. Rosi -- No, the bot doesn't count the header. There is obviously invisible gobbledy-gook (from pasting rich text into an email); the bot counts those as words.

    Open a fresh, plain-text email and type your entry in by hand. I know it's a pain, but your email client is making problems for you. There are still openings, so you have time!

    Nicci -- Multiple entries are automatically rejected by the bot, anyway. Check your spam box for your auto-response.

  10. I see it! Thank you very much for your time and help. Much appreciated!

  11. Thanks, Authoress, for your patience. Computers hate me. I couldn't do what you do for all of us.

  12. I just might do this. I have a scene that might be good to put out there.

  13. Thanks for getting back to me. I did finally retype everything and got it accepted. YAY!

  14. Nice, I'm in. It has been a while since I've done one of these, and it'll give me good feedback on a project I kind of stepped away from because it's normally not my thing.

  15. Yay! Exhausting, but hopefully worth it! I'm so sorry for the fuss.

    We're eventually moving to an online submission form (actually it just needs to be tested and tweaked; my awesome programmer has already created it!). That will eliminate this sort of frustration. =)

  16. You were right. The replies were in my Spam box. I have added the email as a contact and hopefully that won't happen in the future. Thanks for all you do.

  17. The bot says the entry window closed at 8 p.m. CDT, in case anyone (besides me) was wondering if there's still room. Ah well -- next time!

  18. There are still 2 slots so I am re-opening the window for a bit. =)

  19. i tried a couple of times, 1st time got disqualified for going over tho i had 315 words but the bot said 333, so i chopped out a bunch more of my entry and resent it. No confirmation so i have no idea if it got accepted or not. No biggie. Maybe next time i'll try again. :)

  20. Hello, authoress! I sent my entry at 6:30 p.m. in plain text, colons, etc. but never got a reply. I'm assuming the window is no longer open. Should I send again or wait until the next opportunity? Thanks for making this competition available.

  21. Nevermind. The acceptance was in my Spam box. Thanks!! By the way, yours is the featured blog on my blog this month.

  22. Oh, i see what i did wrong and why i didn't get a confirmation. I forgot to put an "s" at the end of submissions in authoress's email addy. Ha! Oh, well. Maybe i'll try again next time. :)