Tuesday, October 11, 2011


16 agents are ready to outbid each other in the 2nd annual BAKER'S DOZEN AGENT AUCTION.  Do you have a crisp logline and completed manuscript? Then this auction is for you!


October 18: Submissions for adult fiction (all genres except erotica), 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (100 max)
October 20: Submissions for adult fiction (all genres except erotica) , 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (100 max)

November 1:  Submissions for YA/MG fiction (all genres), 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (150 max)
November 3:  Submissions for YA/MG fiction (all genres), 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (150 max)

November 14: 25 winning entries in adult category notified via email
November 21: 35 winning entries in YA/MG category notified via email

December 2: 60 winning entries posted on blog
December 6: auction is LIVE at 11:00 AM EDT (agents will place bids)

December 7:  auction closes
December 8:  winners announced

  • During the appropriate submission window, send your LOGLINE and the first 250 words of your COMPLETED AND POLISHED MANUSCRIPT. 
  • To submit, GO HERE and follow the directions. Be sure to check your word count and preview your entry before hitting "submit."
  • YES, you may submit your entry if you were in any Secret Agent contests this year.
  • NO, you MAY NOT submit if you were one of last year's 40 Baker's Dozen entrants...UNLESS it is a DIFFERENT MANUSCRIPT.
  • NO, you MAY NOT submit more than one manuscript in the same category.  You may, however, submit one entry in each category (1 adult and 1 MG/YA).
  • All entrants must pay an $8 entry fee. You will be asked to pay before your entry is completed. You do not need a Paypal account to pay the fee (you will have the option to use a credit card).
  • Please do not enter if you are already agented.
  • Please notify me if you receive an offer of representation prior to the announcement of winners.  Also, please understand that the entry fee is non-refundable.
  • By entering this contest, you are giving implicit permission to have your work posted and publicly critiqued.
  • All non-winning entries will be given the option for public critique on one of ten host blogs.  Details to be announced.

  • As soon as the winning entries post on December 2, critiquing may begin.  Critiques will be offered by one of our two participating editors (adult or YA/MG, depending on your genre), one of our two participating authors (adult or YA/MG, depending on your genre), and as many of our blog community members as show up.
  • Agent bids will consist of the number of pages they would like to read, up to a full manuscript.
  • There is no guarantee that every entry will receive an agent bid.
  • Each of the 60 winners is requested to critique a minimum of 5 other entries.
  • Agents will be reading the entries beginning on December 2, but bidding will not begin until 11:00 AM EDT on December 6.  This will give the agents several days to decide which entries, if any, they'd like to place a bid on.
  • Critiquing may continue after the bidding has closed (December 7).
  • The $8 fee applies to all entrants.
  • The breakdown:  A set amount is going to Michael Wulf (programmer), Jodi Meadows (slush reader), and a pile of new MG/YA books to be donated to my local library, which is sadly lacking in the kidlit area.  Once those amounts are filled, the rest goes to me.
  • If you are not planning on entering the auction BUT WOULD LIKE TO DONATE, you may do so at any time between now and December 2, as follows:
TO DONATE TOWARD THE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS, please press the DONATE button and put "ADMIN" in the message box before sending your donation.

TO DONATE TOWARD THE PURCHASE OF LIBRARY BOOKS, please press the DONATE button and put "BOOKS" in the message box before sending your donation.

I will make sure your donation is properly allocated.  Unspecified donations between now and December 2 will be automatically added to the book fund.


If I've missed anything, please leave your question in the comment box below.  But please MAKE SURE YOU CHECK ALL THE RECENT BAKER'S DOZEN POSTS before asking.

Whew! I think that's everything. (I hope that's everything...)


  1. Hi Authoress,

    Just to confirm, can manuscripts that were winners in a Secret Agent contest enter?

    And can participants from last year's Baker's Dozen enter (different manuscript)?


  2. Melinda --

    1. Yes. See above.

    2. SO glad you mentioned it. I will add it above, but yeah, if you were in last year's Baker's Dozen, you may not enter the same manuscript this year. A different manuscript, however, is fine.

  3. This sounds amazing. SO excited.

    Couple of questions:

    What determines the winning entries? Will it be a lottery again like the logline critiques?

  4. I'd like to enter using my writerly pseudonym. Is that acceptable? I'd be fine putting my real name somewhere.

  5. Will the 250 word count be padded a little to accommodate sentence endings?

  6. Jessica -- Jodi Meadows and I will be reading all the entries and choosing the winners. Mega-slush. :)

    Heather -- You may use any screen name you wish! They're for identification purposes only and will not be posted on the blog.

    A.E. -- Yes, I always pad by 5 words.

  7. Oooh! So you and Jodi are choosing the ones who make it in rather than just by random? I LIKE that. I'm assuming it's based on talent then?

    I hate contest where things are random. :)


  8. Yes, this is honest-to-goodness slush. Merit over chance. It's HARD! But I feel it's the best way to present the strongest entries for the auction.

  9. Just to elaborate on the previous manuscript... I can't submit the same one as last year, even if I didn't make it in? (Don't worry, a lot has changed!)

  10. I've tried to find the answer to this elsewhere, but I don't see it (hope it's not my brain malfunctioning b/c of the toddler talking to me!). There are two windows for each category. That is being done on the same random computer drawing as other contests, correct? So if we don't get chosen on the first try, we can try again the second window?

    Really sorry if this was addressed somewhere else.

  11. Mariah -- If you were not one of the 40 winners last year, you may enter the same manuscript again.

    Kathleen -- No, there are no random drawings this time. Each window will accommodate 100 entries, and they will each be considered.

  12. Authoress, just to clarify, will the 100 accepted in the first window know this before the second window opportunity?

    If you're not chosen in the first 100, can you enter in the second window?

    Thanks, Jane

  13. I get that you and Jodi are personally reading all 500 entries, but are the 500 (100 or 150 on corresponding days) chosen randomly or on a first come first serve basis?

    I'm feeling like a total idiot cause I can't figure this particular point out either.

    Just want to know if I need to be hovering over the mouse come Nov. 1 or just worry about getting it in between 9-5 with the same chance as every other entry that day, then try again on the 3rd if I didn't get in.

    Thanks for this contest BTW, fantastic opportunity!

  14. Hi - I think what Melinda (and others) are probably wondering: it is still random luck to get an entry into the competition, but once you make it in it's based on merit, right? In other words, you have to be lucky to get into the 300+ entries that are being reviewed.

    Does it make any difference if you enter via web form or email, or is it only personal preference?

    Also, just to confirm, you must pay the $8 to enter, whether or not your submission even gets reviewed? (Again, since the cap is at 100 or 150 per window I'm assuming many people will not make it in).

    Many thanks!

  15. Looking forward to this mightily!

  16. Okay, let me try to do a better job:

    There will be no lotteries. The 100 or 150 entries per window are first come, first served.

    If you attempt to enter after the window is full, you will NOT be asked for the registration fee. You will receive a rejection email that says "contest full."

    Same thing if you have an error -- such as, bad word count or missing the headers. You will receive a rejection email to that effect, and will NOT be asked for the registration fee.

    If you enter and are accepted, you will receive a confirmation email that will include a Paypal button. THAT is when you pay the $8. Once it's paid, you'll be added to the official slush pile.

    And it makes absolutely no difference whether you enter via email or via the web form. They both go to the same place -- the illustrious AuthoressBot! :) It's your preference which you choose.

    Did I cover it? :)

  17. Excellent! I was reading all the way down, ready to post my question- but you addressed it!

    Thanks again for creating such an opportunity for all of us :).

  18. YAY!!! CAN'T WAIT!!!!! Thank you, Authoress (n' also your hard-working AuthoressBot!)

  19. Thanks so much for another great opportunity, Authoress.

    I'll be sitting with my finger over the 'send' button at midnight, here in Australia.

    I had a quick question, are verse novels eligible for this contest?


  20. I notice the instructions specify "type" your excerpt here. Is is okay to cut and paste, or will that create a formatting mess at the receiving end?

    Thanks for this terrific opportunity!

  21. Thank you so much for your hard work! I think $8 is too low for what you're doing here. Thank you thank you thank you!

  22. Can we enter more than one of our finished/polished manuscripts? Different genres?

  23. OK, big question: the main character of my urban fantasy is 25, so strictly speaking the novel wouldn't be a young adult one, BUT it really is suitable to young adults as well, probably even more, since she is a clumsy geek with a lot of childish issues, in a way. Where do I submit??

  24. Dee -- Yes, they are.

    Anon -- cut and paste is fine.

    jdspero -- I could hug you. :)

    shelly -- Only one allowed in each category. See above.

    louisa -- Your novel is clearly adult. The upper limit for YA is an 18-year-old protag. 19 would be pushing it.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. This is gonna be so awesome! So freakin excited! I don't mind the $8 fee. I pay more than that to go to the movies, and this will be waaaaay better. :)

    Good work!

    Oh my gosh, and that whole critters missed that hand/face cupping thing is so HILARIOUS. That made me laugh and laugh. Yes, I might me weird. Maybe because I'm in revisions right now. Bleh. :)

  27. Authoress, I hate to be a nudge, but my question wasn't answered. (And I realize this post is coming several days after all the others. Haven't been able to check back because of deadline.)

    I'm planning on entering in the first window. If I don't make it into the 100, will I know it before the second window? And may I then enter the second window?

    Thanks again for the fabulous opportunity.

  28. Jane -- Yes, you will know. You will have to pay your $8 entry fee in order for your entry to be accepted, so there's no way to be accepted without knowing it. You will have to pay first.

    And yes. If you don't make it into the first 100, you may enter again on Thursday. :)

  29. This is so awesome. Going to enter for sure.

  30. Thanks so much for this exciting opportunity. And thank you for being patient with all of us!

    You mentioned something about being rejected for headers...what does that mean? We won't have headers in our little 250 piece, right? Am I totally missing something?

  31. Melinda -- I laughed out loud when I saw the hands/face thing. :)

    Alisha -- the headers only refer to email entries, and we're going to be using the web form for the Baker's Dozen, so it doesn't apply. :) (It's the SCREEN NAME: et al in the email body.)

  32. Hi Authoress

    If several agents bid on my manuscript, is only the highest-bidding one permitted to see the manuscript? Thanks.

  33. I know the general rule on here is PG-13, but for the 'adult' portion of the contest, where do vulgarities stand?


  34. Chris -- I replace anything beyond a hell or a damn with the first-letter-plus-asterisks. If you do that for me on your own, I'll be even happier. :)

  35. What a great contest! Thanks for doing this. My question is: What if I've already queried a few of the agents on the list and been rejected by them? There are still several on that list I haven't queried, so can I still enter and the other few will just disregard my entry or something?

  36. Cortney -- It's totally up to you. Personally, I'd enter. :)

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