Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Call For Submissions: Beta Testing Round

Okay, this is going to be fun!  (No, I promise!)

Michael Extraordinaire wants to be sure that everything's running smoothly by the time the Baker's Dozen submissions open (next month!).  So we're running a live test right here on the blog.

Best part?  It's still going to be a real critique!  So please only enter work on which you would like to receive feedback.

FUN THING NUMBER ONE:  This round is going to be a LOTTERY!  That is, everyone who submits will receive a lottery number.  Once the submissions close, the bot will randomly choose the winners.  These winners are the ones whose entries will be included in the crit round.

FUN THING NUMBER TWO:  Our submission web form is ALIVE AND WELL! So for this round, you will have the option of using email or the web form, whichever works best for you.  (We need to test widely, so please don't feel compelled to only use the web form.)

FUN THING NUMBER THREE:  Plain text in emails is no longer necessary!  When you receive your lottery number, you will also receive a link to preview your entry.  So you'll get to see exactly what it will look like BEFORE it goes live.  (If your entry is chosen, naturally.)

FUN THING NUMBER FOUR:  Italics will work in the web form!  Instructions are included in the form.


Email:  authoress.submissions(at)gmail.com (same as always)
Web form: msfv.thoughtbin.org

With me so far?  Yay!!

Here are the submission guidelines:

1.  Submissions will open tomorrow at 9:00 am EDT and will close at 3:00 pm EDT.  All entries will receive a lottery number.
2.  At the close of the submission window, the bot will choose 10 winning entries.  All winning entries will receive email notification.  Winning numbers will also be posted on the blog.
3.  The crit:  Talking Heads!  Please submit a 250-word excerpt from your novel (completed or in progress) that is heavy on the dialogue.  Please include a BRIEF lead-in sentence to help drop us into the scene.  (You will be allowed 30 extra words for this.)

The format:


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

(type your lead-in here IN ITALICS)

(type your 250-word excerpt here)


Follow the instructions on the web page.

That's everything, I think.  Please post your questions below.


  1. When I clicked on the form it said there were no contests available. :-(

  2. Yep. That's because the contest doesn't open until tomorrow morning. :)

  3. Great. You have the BEST contests and critiques. Sharing.

  4. Cool! Is this how the Baker's Dozen auction is going to work as well, by lottery?

  5. No, Karen: the Baker's Dozen is slush. We'll be reading through all the entries and choosing the 60 we feel are best.

    Lotteries will be used during our more popular SA contests -- the ones that fill up really fast because they include YA, MG, and SFF. :)

  6. Sorry to be so dense, but is this open to specific genres?

  7. It can be less than 250 words, right? I'm looking for a good spot to cut my excerpt off.

  8. This is so COOL!! I am truly looking forward to this year's Baker's Dozen Auction, like a 9-year-old waiting for Christmas morning! ㋡

  9. Authoress, I have two questions:

    I'm a student and I have classes during the time the contest is open. Is there any possible way I can enter if I can't be on during those times?

    Also, you said the submission should be heavy on dialogue. But is that necessary? Because I have a scene I want to get critiqued on (assuming I get picked from the lottery) but it's more emotional rather than dialogue.

  10. Jade, yes, fewer than 250 words is fine.

    Juliana, you can ask a friend to submit for you. I set the times and the bot opens and closes the submissions automatically, so you have to submit within that time frame to be accepted.

    And yes, this critique is specifically for dialogue. We do all kinds of different crits, though, so save your scene for a round that fits it. :)

  11. Do we need to put something specific in the subject line?

  12. No. Just don't use "RE:" or the bot will read that as an email response and will reject it (no email responses allowed at the bot address).

  13. @Julianna Helms in outlook, just use Options -> Don't Deliver Before (make sure to leave outlook running)

    You can also try a service like LetterMeLater or timecave. I haven't tested any of these with the bot, but if you have troubles let me [via authoress] know!

  14. Just got my ticket number - fun! The new system looks slick from my end. Nice!

    Two questions about the preview:
    Will our email addresses be posted on the blog?

    If we see something wrong can it be fixed before posting?

  15. @B.Lois It will appear EXACTLY as you see it in the preview.

    Your email appears in the post because you put it in the post for some reason :)

    If your number is picked as a winner, contact authoress via the contact link on the blog and ask her to remove it. Otherwise, no harm done. (FYI - she checks for these sorts of things anyways)

  16. Duh, I see what I did. In Authoress's format instructions I saw EMAIL: so I included it - now I realize it was a header for the email format. Stupid mistake >:\

  17. Melody -- all genres except erotica are welcomed for this round. :)

  18. This is an amazing oppotunity!

  19. I decided to give it a shot because I was curious to try the form (although I'm always eager for the critiques). The online form was great. Especially wonderful was the word count feature. Thanks Authoress for the opportunity and Michael Extraordinaire for the lovely submission form!