Monday, January 6, 2014

January Secret Agent Early Info

Please note: This is NOT the call for submissions! The contest will open next Monday, January 13.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (please read carefully):

*There are TWO WAYS to enter: a) via email to authoress.submissions(at) OR via web form at
*THIS WILL BE A LOTTERY: The submission window will be open from NOON to 6:00 PM EDT, after which the bot will randomly select 50 entries.
* 2 alternates will also be accepted, for a total of 52 entries.
* PLEASE NOTE: You are responsible for figuring out your own time zone. "Time Zone differences" are NOT a reason for not getting your entry in.
* Submissions received before the contest opens will be rejected.
* Submissions are for COMPLETED MANUSCRIPTS ONLY. If you wouldn't want an agent to read the entire thing, DON'T SEND IT. If an "entire thing" doesn't exist, you shouldn't even be reading these rules.
* Manuscripts THAT HAVE BEEN IN EITHER OF THE LAST 2 SECRET AGENT CONTESTS (September or October) will not be accepted.
* You may submit A DIFFERENT MANUSCRIPT if you've participated in any previous Secret Agent contests.
* Only ONE ENTRY per person per contest. If you send more than one, your subsequent entry(ies) will be rejected.
* If you WON A CONTEST WITHIN THE PAST 12 MONTHS (i.e., offered any kind of prize from a Secret Agent), please DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST. (Unless it's a different manuscript.)
* Submissions are for THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript. Please do not stop in the middle of a

GO HERE to submit via our web form.

If you choose to submit via email, 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

(Followed by the excerpt here.)

* No "chapter one," chapter titles, etc.
* You will receive a confirmation email with your lottery number.
* Submissions go to authoress.submissions(at) They DO NOT GO to my facelesswords address. Or any other address.
*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.

As always, there is no fee to enter the Secret Agent contest.

This month's contest will include the following genres:

  • Historical fiction
  • Historical romance
  • Young adult (all genres)
Questions below!


  1. Okay, so this is probably a stupid question, but what about manuscripts that have undergone substantial rewrites since submission in October?

  2. If your manuscript was in the October SA, you still need to wait, even if you've revised. It keeps the filed open for more people and ensures (hopefully) the solidity of revisions. You will be eligible to enter again in March. :)

  3. Hi Authoress, just wondering why there is no MG this month? Can we expect it to return in March? Thanks so much!

  4. Hi, Karen! There is no MG this month because our Secret Agent doesn't represent it. The calls for submission for SA contests always reflect the tastes/desires of the participating agent.

  5. No problem..just curious ;-) Thanks so much Authoress!

  6. I'm so happy to see a new SA coming up. I'm teaching an online workshop right now called "Your Novel's First 5 Pages" for the YA chapter of RWA. The last time I taught this class one of my homework assignments was to check out Authoress's SA contest (that was last August), so I'll be giving that assignment again. I'm requesting my students leave a critique or two if they're so inclined. My last class really enjoyed reading the submissions.

  7. I'm so please to see. "All genres" for YA. Does this mean the much loved PNR is becoming less of a taboo now?? Thoughts anyone??