Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Fricassee

Did you ever wake up to face a ridiculously busy day?  So busy that you're not sure when you're going to fit in bathroom breaks?  Yep.  I've got one of those.  Which is why I'm writing this post super early and super fast, and hoping it comes out somewhat coherently.

Well, we've completed our adult round of submissions!  Jodi and I are starting the reading process this afternoon (Yay! Skype time with Jodi!), and will continue it over the weekend.  As always, there is a diverse collection of genres, so we definitely won't be bored!  I'll admit that I expected to see more NA among the ranks.  So far, that's been my biggest surprise.

I will keep you up to date with little quips and comments as we go.  If you don't follow me on Twitter, NOW'S A GOOD TIME TO START.

Next week:  YA/MG submissions!  This is always a bigger rush, since there seem to be so many more of you.  (Why is that, I wonder?  I've never advertised this blog as a YA/MG blog, but you've seem to have gravitated here like gravy to roast turkey.  And I love you!)

Oh, and feel free to throw an evil laugh my way, because yesterday evening I had to write a logline--AND I FREAKED.  I totally get the logline thing, and I know a good one when I see it.  I'm also good at, yanno, PREACHING AT YOU about the importance of a good logline.  And Holly Bodger is my logline idol.  But when it comes to my sitting down and writing one?  You guys.  NOT PRETTY.

Amazingly, I cranked one out, and Jodi said, "I like it," which was good enough for me.  But it was not a lovely process.  No, not lovely at all.

So, yeah.  There's me, on the eve of the Baker's Dozen, squirming over my own logline.  I suppose there's some poetic justice in that.

Okay, I'm off and running.  See you all on Monday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Baker's Dozen--So Far, So Good!

I'm pleased to report that yesterday's submissions went off without a hitch.  Yay!

Well, there was an ALMOST hitch, as I couldn't get into the database an hour before the contest was set to open.  Fortunately, I'd had the foresight to set up this week's contests ahead of time, so it was just a matter of my not being able to SEE anything once the submissions opened.

No.  That didn't bother me at all.  Not even a little.

Fortunately, Michael the Great eventually woke up (darn mountain-time-without-daylight-savings) and fixed the problem.  And all was well.

Anyway!  If you missed yesterday's opportunity, the second round of ADULT SUBMISSIONS is tomorrow.  Just a reminder that NA is included this year, and should be submitted in the adult round.

(Please note:  Any NA entries that are submitted during the YA/MG round will be disqualified.  Jodi and I will have already finished judging the adult entries by the time we start the YA/MG.)



Monday, October 27, 2014

Auxiliary Logline Critique Session is Live

Good morning!  Today is the official Last Day Before Submissions!  Are you ready?

L.C. McGee's Logline Critique Round is now LIVE ON HER BLOG.  Please head over there when you have a few spare minutes and offer your critique.

A reminder that this week's submissions are for the ADULT CATEGORY, which includes NEW ADULT.  (If your entry is the latter, please label it as NA, along with its genre.)

Post your FINAL QUESTIONS below!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Fricassee

So I'm working on about five hours of sleep and I'm not sure how I'm going to stumble my way through my ballet and contemporary classes this morning, but HEY, IT'S FRIDAY!

First of all, MAKE SURE YOU SEE THIS if you tried 3 times to get into a Logline Critique Round and didn't make it.  Thank you so much, L.C. McGehee!

Secondly, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THIS POST BOOKMARKED, because Baker's Dozen submissions start NEXT WEEK.

(Which probably means that I should catch up on sleep before that happens.)

And on an Authoress's-personal-writing-journey note:  You all know I hate drafting, right?  RIGHT?  So it's interesting that I'm not hating it right now.  You may remember that I mentioned that this novel has turned out to have a 3-act plot arc, which sort of happened organically.  (I mean, really?  Who plans this stuff?  Oh, wait.  Some people do.  I should maybe try to catch up with the learning curve here.)  Well, I'm almost a third of the way through my projected word count (80,000), and it doesn't look like I'm going to make it to the end of my first act by then.

Which means I'M ACTUALLY WRITING LOTS OF WORDS.  Many of them will die, of course.  But part of the reason I'm such a slow drafter (other than my high distractibility) is the fact that I tend to craft words painstakingly.  So it's a bit surprising to me that this story is sort of vomiting itself out.  Here's the thing, though--I'm still crafting painstakingly (and being distracted).  But the flow is just...happening.

I'm going to have LOTS of snip-snipping to do.  But you all know that I love revisions, so it'll be hog heaven a few months from now.

Isn't it fascinating how we keep morphing?  I began this journey as a die-hard pantser, and today I'm in the middle of a carefully planned 3-act novel.  WHO KNEW?

Anyway.  Writing is weird.  And I wouldn't want any other life.

Rest up this weekend, because next week THE CRAZY BEGINS!

ATTENTION: Extra Logline Critique Available

For the second year in a row, one of our dedicated readers is offering her blog for a logline critique session for those of you WHO ENTERED THE LOGLINE CRITIQUE SESSIONS ON MSFV BUT DID NOT GET PICKED.  Now's your chance to get some feedback, after all!


I am hosting another logline critique session on my website. Since I can’t handle too many, I will post thirteen loglines for critique, in honor of the original ‘Baker’s Dozen’, as I did last year. This time I’m asking that anyone interested in submitting their logline for critique send it to me in an email, and I will post the first thirteen legitimate logline entries I receive that follow the rules.

When I say legitimate logline, I mean that it can’t be a tagline or something else that shows that you haven’t done any research on loglines or spent any time reviewing the other logline critiques. Of course your logline may be far from perfect--that’s why we’re trying to help each other improve them--but there’s no excuse for submitting something that shows that you have no idea what a logline is; Authoress has made plenty of information on loglines available here.

Here are the rules for this logline critique:

- This is only for those who are entering Baker’s Dozen but who did not get into one of the three logline critique rounds (either because your entry was never picked or you didn’t get a chance to submit).

- The submission window begins Saturday morning at 9:00 AM MST and ends at 5:00 PM MST. Yes, that’s Mountain Standard Time, since I’m out here in the wild west--and I’m afraid I’m terrible at keeping track of time zones and daylight savings time (which we don’t have in my state), so you will have to figure out what time that is in your own time zone.

- Send your logline in an email to lcm(at) The title of your email must say ‘Baker’s Dozen Logline Critique’.

- In the body of your email, please put the following information:


Age Category: XXXXX


Then type your logline below it, remembering that it cannot be more than 75 words.

Incidentally, I’ve seen a few entries here that just said ‘YA’ on the genre line--YA is not a genre, folks, it’s an age category. (And on top of the fact that it can help people when critiquing your logline to know the genre, you’d better know what your genre is if you’re querying agents!) :)

The age category must be either ‘Adult’ (or New Adult), ‘YA’ or ‘MG’. Although I will keep the critique session open for comments all week (and it may take me a few days to get through all of them myself), I will make certain to give feedback on the Adult ones first, and encourage the other participants to do the same. This is because the Adult submissions for Baker’s Dozen are this coming Tuesday and Thursday, while the YA and MG authors have a little more time to whip their loglines into shape.

I will email the entrants whose loglines will be posted, and tell them when the critique session begins, which should be Saturday afternoon or evening--it will begin as soon I have thirteen entries and have gotten them all posted on my website. I promise I will give feedback on each entry, and if your logline is posted for critique, please critique a minimum of five other loglines, just as Authoress requests here.

Lastly, if you don’t get an email reply, I'm sorry but that will mean your logline wasn’t selected.

Thanks, everyone!

L.C. McGehee :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 2014 Baker's Dozen Agent Auction: Submission Guidelines and Everything Else!

21 agents are ready to outbid each other in the 5th annual BAKER'S DOZEN AGENT AUCTION. Is your logline ready?  Do you have a clean, ready-to-be-queried manuscript? Then jump right in!


October 28: Submissions for adult fiction (all genres except erotica), 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (100 max)
October 30: Submissions for adult fiction (all genres except erotica) , 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (100 max)

(Note: NA is included in the adult submission round. Please label your entry as such.)

November 4:  Submissions for YA/MG fiction (all genres), 9 AM to 5 PM EST (150 max)
November 6:  Submissions for YA/MG fiction (all genres), 9 AM to 5 PM EST (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

Friday, November 28: 60 winning entries posted on blog
Tuesday, December 2: auction is LIVE at 11:00 AM EST (agents will place bids)

December 2:  auction closes at 11:00 PM EST
December 4:  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 60 Baker's Dozen entrants...UNLESS it is a DIFFERENT MANUSCRIPT.
  • YES, you may submit more than one entry.  Each entry must be processed separately.
  • The word count will be set at 325. This includes your logline and your first page.
  • All entrants must pay a $15 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 should be given 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.
  • As soon as the winning entries post on November 28, 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 November 28, but bidding will not begin until 11:00 AM EDT on December 2.  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 (11:00 PM EDT on Dec 2).




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 AND LOGLINE POSTS before asking.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And a Final Chunk of Logline Wisdom From Holly Bodger

(Feel free to heap accolades, thanks, sycophantic remarks, and promises of your firstborn children for Holly in the comment box!)

1) The most common problem I saw this round was the use of vague or cliché expressions in the place of real details. I think some writers do this because they think it creates intrigue. It doesn’t. When you say something like, “Linda needs to come to terms with her past,” this tells me nothing. Did she cheat on her first boyfriend? Was she abused by her father? Was she a mermaid who sold her voice for the chance of love with a guy with unusually perfect hair? YOU MUST BE SPECIFIC! All stories are pretty much the same without the specifics. The specifics are what makes it SPECIAL!!!

2) A few of you started off with the need (YAY!) For those of you who didn’t, please remember that readers engage with the character’s need, not their goal. That’s why I tell you to put it first. For example, start your logline with, “All Harry wants is to belong,” and I am in for 7 books, 8 movies, and a theme park. Start it with, “All Harry wants is to find the sword with the magic powers,” and I’m mildly interested, but I’m not paying $39 for a fake wand.

3) For those of you who completely ignored the rules of a logline, I’m going to guess that you’re also ignoring this post. If you aren’t, please please please remember that this is not the time and place to try to break the rules. If you can pull it off, please go ahead and break rules and conventions and stereotypes with your story. But don’t do it in your logline. You’re trying to show agents that you are a great writer who will be a pleasure to work with for years to come. Screaming, I DON’T FOLLOW RULES is not really the best way to accomplish this. Yes, you may be the one person who manages to pull it off, but you are a lot more likely to be one of the 99 who doesn’t.

Feel free to email me if you have further questions.


I announced Ava Jae's original success story in February.  I'm happy to share this exciting update with you!

Sometime last year, Team Fury member extraordinaire Lady Lioness noticed some promising entries on one of Authoresss Secret Agent contests and told agent of awesome Louise Fury about them. (Can you tell I love my agent and her team? Anyway). They then e-mailed Authoress and asked about the entries, and Authoress asked if Louise would be willing to be a secret agent for one of her blog contests. Louise agreed to do it with another agent, so she and Emily Keyes lined up to be October Secret Agents.

Meanwhile, Id been querying my newest Sci-Fi novel, then titled SLAVE & SIRA for about a month when, on October 7, 2013, the entry period for Miss Snarks First Victims October Secret Agent contest opened up. I figured it was worth a try, entered, and crossed my fingers.

After some confusion I detailed in my last MSFV happy post, on October 14th Louise picked my entry as a runner up, requesting my query and the first three chapters. Which then led to a request of the first fifty pages, which led to a request of the full, which led to a super happy e-mail about setting up a phone call, and a ridiculously exciting phone call in which she offered representation! 

On February 2, 2014 I officially announced that Id signed with Louise and became part of Team Fury! YAY!

And thus began several months of editing and brainstorming new titles (because apparently titles with made up words arent that popular or something? Who wouldve guessed, right? *ehem*). We went on submission in June and after four-ish months of fretting, and writing, and waiting, and incessantly checking e-mails

On October 7, 2014 (EXACTLY a year after I entered the Secret Agent contest!) I accepted an offer of hardcover publication from Sky Pony Press! Sky Pony is the YA imprint of Skyhorse and their website is here.

The PM announcement says this:

"Ava Jae's debut BEYOND THE RED, in which a feud on a distant, crimson planet with established nanite technology creates a violent uprising that threatens the reign of a teenage queen and forces her to turn to her rebel half-blood bodyguard for help, before the planet's human population is destroyed at the hands of her power-hungry twin brother, to Nicole Frail at Sky Pony Press, in a nice deal, for publication in early 2016, by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency …”

Im completely elated and seriously cannot wait to share BEYOND THE RED with you guys, which is currently slated for release in hardcover/e-book in March 2016! You can add BEYOND THE RED to your Goodreads shelf right here.

And to thinkit all started with a random lottery drawing right here on this blog.

Thank you so much, Authoress! My dream is coming true and your awesome blog was the catalyst. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Logline Critique Round Three: Critique Guidelines

Guidelines for Critiquing the loglines:
  • If yours is one of the 40 entries posted today, PLEASE LEAVE CRITIQUE FOR A MINIMUM OF 5 OTHER ENTRIES.  
  • Please leave your critique for each entry in the comment box for that entry.
  • Please choose a screen name to sign your comments. The screen name DOES NOT have to be your real name; however, it needs to be an identifiable name.  ("Anonymous" is not a name.)
  • Critiques should be honest but kind, helpful but sensitive.
  • Critiques that attack the writer or are couched in unkind words will be deleted.*

*I can't possibly read every comment.  If you ever see a comment that is truly snarky, please email me.  I count on your help.

Logline Critique Round Three #40

TITLE: Daughter of the Seventh Moon
GENRE: YA Fantasy

On her sixteenth birthday Meredith Rhodes must use the powers of the moon to break a family curse and learn the truth - did she really kill her mother?

Logline Critique Round Three #39

TITLE: Calling Do Over
GENRE: Fantasy Romantic Comedy

Their love trumps the passage of time, global amnesia, and species, or at least Luke Preston would like to think so. Doesn't love _always_ trump everything? Now if only he wasn't reincarnated with a freakin' tail. No matter, chicks dig small furry animals.

Logline Critique Round Three #38

TITLE: The Faithful Son
GENRE: Fantasy/Myth retelling

When the pansexual prince Gilgamesh, once known for his beauty and wit, returns from the underworld, he’s haunted by shadows and by powers he cannot control. If he can’t overcome his personal demons and regain the trust of his former allies, he will lose the people he loves, the city he was born to rule, and even his soul.

Logline Critique Round Three #37

TITLE: Diva Diaries

To pay for college, an aspiring singer sells her voice to a tone-deaf Hollywood actress. The arrangement becomes more than she bargained for when the actress becomes the next teen pop princess.

Logline Critique Round Three #36

TITLE: Island Shadows

When a sixteen-year-old girl travels to a wooded river island to solve a forty-year old mystery of a missing heiress and an abandoned castle, she learns that not all fairy tales have happy endings and that someone is determined she doesn’t have one either.

Logline Critique Round Three #35

TITLE: Birds Of A Feather
GENRE: Fantasy

Beauty is a witch, and the beast was never human.

Logline Critique Round Three #34

TITLE: The Re-Education of Christopher Parker the Third
GENRE: Contemporary MG

A superstar at prestigious Fletcher Academy, 7th grader Christopher Parker the Third loses everything when the family’s finances crash. Now, trapped in the local public school and determined to reclaim his life at Fletcher, Christopher depends on a wise-cracking skateboarder and his friends for help that they’re not aware they’re giving.

Logline Critique Round Three #33

TITLE: The Michelangelist
GENRE: literary fiction/historical fiction

Sean Everett, a 25-year-old sculptor with a penchant for self defeat (and psychoactive herbs) finds a mentor in another 25-year-old artist—Michelangelo. Through vivid, psychic visitations, Sean witnesses Michelangelo transform a crude block of marble into the famous David, and in the process discovers technique, vision, and most of all, purpose.

Logline Critique Round Three #32

TITLE: Steam, Steel and Static
GENRE: YA Steampunk

Addie Tolliver wants independence. She never planned on protecting men in her matriarchal society; especially not the boy betrothed to her rival, the boy who makes her heart sing more than repairing old mechanations. When the Timekeeper decides to exile all men, Addie must either join the rebellion for equality, risking the lives of everyone she loves, or sacrifice her freedom working for the Timekeeper in the hopes she can save them all.

Logline Critique Round Three #31

TITLE: Saving Penelope
GENRE: Adult Literary Fiction

On a farm in the 90’s under a crazed father’s fist, half-black David simmers with his dream of being a black Gatsby. So when his white father whips David’s chest apart in some sick slave fantasy , David flees the golden wheat for Chicago, the promised city…for the naïve.

Logline Critique Round Three #30

TITLE: Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles
GENRE: MG contemporary (verse)

When her parents enroll in marriage camp, 11-year-old Bailey and her brother spend August on an island with a grandmother they barely know. With the help of a driftwood mermaid, mysterious ice-cream vendor, and new best friend, Bailey learns how everyday miracles can change lives.

Logline Critique Round Three #29

GENRE: MG Science Fiction

Eleven-year-old Mike wants to become NASA’s youngest astronaut. When he learns the Pan-galactic emperor plans to close Earth to space travel unless human allergies to alien worlds are recorded, he volunteers to eat candies from an intergalactic test dispenser – which give him temporary superpowers. But only his inner superhero can save him from a four-armed, snout-faced alien determined that Mike fails.

Logline Critique Round Three #28

TITLE: Only a Harbor
GENRE: Adult Fiction

To avoid dealing with upheaval in their own lives, three college grads sign up for a year of volunteer service. But when living and working together in inner city Baltimore exposes their wounds and failures, they find they can’t hope to save the world unless they save each other first.

Logline Critique Round Three #27

TITLE: First Tuesday
GENRE: Thriller

When out-of-work lawyer John Garner reaches for a piece of scratch paper, he unwittingly picks up proof of a nation under siege. He’s one ordinary man, with just four days to crack the code, four days to uncover the scheme, four days to expose the unraveling of our future. And for those four days, his hardest task will be to stay alive.

Logline Critique Round Three #26

TITLE: The Last Case
GENRE: Romantic suspense

A policewoman is framed in a department corruption scandal. Trying to exonerate herself, she catches the attention of two gorgeous men. One ignores the law, the other breaks it. She has to decide which one is worth the risk.

Logline Critique Round Three #25

TITLE: Spinning the Golden Light Bulb
GENRE: MG Speculative Fiction

When 11 year-old Kia Krumpet competes in the National Finals for a spot at Piedmont Inventors Prep School, she and her NY teammates build an object that may deliver dead people to their perfect resting place. But when another team destroys thier project, Kia must outsmart them with a better invention, or she'll never get to build Pants Pockets That Bake Muffins at PIPS or her 67 other inventions either.

Logline Critique Round Three #24

TITLE: Little Do You Know
GENRE: YA Thriller

When her boyfriend fell to his death two years ago, Ellie thought she’d never be happy again, until she found comfort in his best friend, Travis. Now she’s back on Santa Cruz Island, for her school’s annual science trip, determined not to let guilt prevent her from pursuing a relationship with Travis, but when Ellie stumbles upon an underground lab and finds her boyfriend alive everything changes.

Logline Critique Round Three #23

TITLE: Ester, Called Maria
GENRE: MG Historical Fiction

For Ester Cordova, being a secret Jew is a bit like a game until 1536 when she turns thirteen the same year the Inquisition arrives in Portugal. As she learns from her grandparents about the past and growing danger to her family, and her dual identities collide, she must do the unimaginable to save her family and herself.

Logline Critique Round Three #22

TITLE: The Sapphire Legacy
GENRE: Historical Romance

To escape her post as governess, former heiress Mae Blackthorne must trust Ethan Locke, a pirate who claims her long-lost family vault contains a sapphire that can give eternal life. But the true owners of the gem are far more dangerous than Mae and Locke feared, and soon Mae could lose much more than her second chance at luxury.

Logline Critique Round Three #21

GENRE: Contemporary MG

When a mischievous thirteen-year-old accidentally sends a classmate to the hospital with his latest prank, his parents surprise him with the threat of boarding school. He runs away to his Dad’s piano-delivering punk rocker cousins, but gets grounded on their delivery trip with the elusive task of proving himself less selfish.

Logline Critique Round Three #20

TITLE: Where All the Missing Pieces Go
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Tricked into painting the stars, magic-less Jane had her voice, vision, and memories stolen by Etoile Nymphs. Now she must hunt them down before they return to the sky forever with all her missing pieces.

Logline Critique Round Three #19

TITLE: Next Of Kin

On the eve of Emily’s eighteenth birthday, her mother tries to bind Emily's powers and gets carted off by—surprise—Emily’s demon father, and the local coven attempt a ritual sacrafice with Emily as their virginal offering. Emily needs to part ways with her damned virginity before it gets her killed; oh, and figure out a way to save her mom without losing her own soul to daddy-dearest.

Logline Critique Round Three #18

TITLE: The Mineral Kingdom
GENRE: YA - Low Fantasy

Six teenagers wake up in a world that's not their own. To get home they must survive harsh desert conditions, face violent sand beasts, and - perhaps the most difficult of all - put aside their prejudices so they can work together. But they need to do it quickly, because something about this place is changing them, and it's not necessarily for the better.

Logline Critique Round Three #17

TITLE: Containment
GENRE: Adult/Dystopian

When a decorated veteran finds the brother he had thought was dead on display for tourists in the ruling family's park among the zombified "survivors" of a mysterious illness, he risks everything to fight the repressive regime for control over his brother's future.

Logline Critique Round Three #16

GENRE: Science Fiction

After giving up a promising career to keep a pledge to a dead friend, ex-Star Service pilot Rand MacGregor has a chance to rejoin the Service. To achieve that dream, he must use his extraordinary mental powers to capture a shape-shifter who is willing to risk intra-galactic war by killing thousands to destroy one adversary.

Logline Critique Round Three #15

TITLE: The Crystal Domain
GENRE: Tween fantasy fiction

A deaf girl receives magical hearing aids. With them she can hear into another realm where voices fight over an ancient crystal necklace—the one her mom just found. Will using the aids solve the mystery or threaten their existence? Think Narnia meets Frozen with a gem and spiritual twist.

Logline Critique Round Three #14

TITLE: Tracker220
GENRE: YA sci fi/thriller

When everyone has a tracking chip that interfaces with their brain, one glitch threatens the network. Sixteen-year-old Kaya Weiss’s chip is that glitch.

Logline Critique Round Three #13

TITLE: The Haunted Serpent
GENRE: MG Mystery

12-year-old misfit Spaulding Meriwether sets out to win the approval of his paranormal investigator parents by proving there’s a supernatural explanation for strange events around his hometown. But when he uncovers a conspiracy involving a ruthless entrepreneur who would kill to protect his occult business secrets, Spaulding knows it’s time to stop playing kid detective -- except the game’s already afoot, whether he wants to play or not.

Logline Critique Round Three #12

TITLE: Adrift
GENRE: Mystery

Scientist-turned-divemaster Mer Cavallo doesn’t believe in ghosts. But she's justifiably spooked when the leader of a paranormal dive team disappears on one of her dives, and law enforcement suspects she had a hand in it. Clearing her name means resurrecting ghosts from her past and outwitting an enemy she can’t see.

Logline Critique Round Three #11

TITLE: In the Dead of Night
GENRE: YA Paranormal Thriller

A nyctophobic mage investigates a grisly series of murders at a boarding school for the supernatural.

Logline Critique Round Three #10

TITLE: The Last Bitter Word
GENRE: NA Contemporary Romance

Mara, a Christian bookstore owner who has never been to church, funded her business with money that she found hidden under the floorboards the day her mother overdosed and died. Hoping to capitalize on the world's all-time bestseller and convinced that hiding behind the Bible will shield her from whoever is looking for the cash, Mara opens Word. Now, caught between two heroes, Mara must face her lies and the man hunting her down.

Logline Critique Round Three #9

TITLE: The Firefly Field
GENRE: MG Light Fantasy Adventure

Discovering what it means to be different, leads Herby, a firefly, to a bigger purpose that intertwines with ten-year-old boys, Josh and Tucker's, saving their town's fields from Josh's dad, the developer.

If Herby's plan doesn't win the hearts of the townspeople, and if Josh and Tucker don't convince the town council, a monster Mall-Mart will destroy their cherished firefly field - Herby's home.

Logline Critique Round Three #8

TITLE: Sea Star
GENRE: MG Fiction

A man disappears in his private plane off the coast of North Carolina and his headstrong twelve-year-old daughter refuses to accept his death. It takes an unexpected bond of friendship with an old sea captain, her belief in mermaids, and a haunting experience while lost overboard at sea for her to come to terms with her loss.

Logline Critique Round Three #7

TITLE: Puddler's Hall
GENRE: MG Mystery Adventure

Peridot Smith wants a home. After too many bad foster experiences she hits the streets. But the streets are no refuge. While being stalked by a menacing stranger, Peri discovers Puddler's Hall, where subtle magic feels like a glimmer of home. But when mysterious messages begin arriving on a broken cell phone, Peri starts to question the truth behind her parents' death and to wonder if the Hall's magic is helping her -- or not.

Logline Critique Round Three #6

TITLE: Pursuit of Craze
GENRE: Romantic Thriller

To save her rock star boyfriend, Allie must destroy the seven deadly sinners threatening his life. Sex, drugs, shocks and poles-- she’ll do whatever it takes, and she'll do it all without chipping her new manicure.

Logline Critique Round Three #5

TITLE: Prime Vector
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

Prime Vector is a young adult science fiction novel, set in futuristic Mars. Catita, a sixteen-year old immortal, finds her way onto the Queen’s black list – her former peers are hunting her. When the life she once loved is gone, she’s left with two uncertain choices – escape Mars to save herself or stay and fight back.

Logline Critique Round Three #4

TITLE: Person of Mass Destruction
GENRE: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

It's Romeo and Juliet, if Romeo were a manipulative, aristocratic Mage, Juliet a cyborg soldier, and one of them survives.

Logline Critique Round Three #3

TITLE: Glistronaut
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

Alex Mata’s going insane. He’s 17, he’s hearing voices and he’s seeing things just like his schizo Uncle Chuy. But there are things far stranger and more serious than insanity afoot . Alex is being recruited by The Gentry -- an alien race attempting to prevent a pernicious and deadly force from destroying the galaxy -- and Alex’s developing schizophrenia is the exact tool they’re looking for.

Logline Critique Round Three #2

TITLE: Frame of Reference
GENRE: Adult Suspense/Intrigue

Librarian Quinn craves excitement and gets more than she bargained for when a research assignment goes pear-shaped and she’s unintentionally pulled into a handsome library patron’s world of intrigue. Driven by duty, Quinn pushes aside concern for her safety as the two race to uncover and secure vital information hidden in an art collection before it can fall into the wrong hands and threaten millions of lives.

Logline Critique Round Three #1

GENRE: NA Contemporary

Nineteen year-old Luke Harrison has been in love with his friend Aly since the day they met. She’s funny, sweet, beautiful, loves the Beatles, and has a long history of abusive relationships. Luke wants to spend the rest of his life with her; but first he has to convince Aly to give trust one more chance.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Winners for Logline Critique Round Three

Winning numbers have been drawn for Logline Critique Round Three and the owners have all been emailed their entry numbers.

If you didn't get an email, I'm sorry; that means your ticket number wasn't selected.  (But check your spam box, just in case!)

Here is the complete list, so you may double check:
  • CWQ0U3FS as ENTRY #1

  • 8VFUU9E5 as ENTRY #2

  • J1A3KJPD as ENTRY #3

  • RG2A5NTQ as ENTRY #4

  • HMV14GZC as ENTRY #5

  • MBZO7GU3 as ENTRY #6

  • 2TSFZ91V as ENTRY #7

  • 5RJB7FAH as ENTRY #8

  • 968X8ZB8 as ENTRY #9


  • 7SI2ZXZG as ENTRY #11

  • PXFJNH2N as ENTRY #12

  • RSAVBY6L as ENTRY #13

  • D2L6TGT9 as ENTRY #14

  • 13WFK5Q8 as ENTRY #15

  • ECVOZ9WP as ENTRY #16

  • W994S8II as ENTRY #17

  • VUT48FGK as ENTRY #18

  • OI0J0LBD as ENTRY #19


  • 7Z5QBN6I as ENTRY #21

  • 2CYML4FI as ENTRY #22

  • YRVU7Q3O as ENTRY #23

  • XS6B6NT8 as ENTRY #24

  • MI6DPYTB as ENTRY #25

  • JW7XB6PB as ENTRY #26

  • FZS4F5C5 as ENTRY #27

  • 5AOZR63V as ENTRY #28

  • JPEM8F6G as ENTRY #29

  • AC4JJWT7 as ENTRY #30

  • EZS9IKSL as ENTRY #31


  • BRH6ZK2L as ENTRY #33

  • 7VNFXSHF as ENTRY #34

  • OOTBYV3W as ENTRY #35

  • 0PJG4HA7 as ENTRY #36

  • 31HO46WD as ENTRY #37


  • 9YHB71RL as ENTRY #39

  • TIOOFD5F as ENTRY #40
The alternates are:

  • L12TUOQS as ENTRY #ALT-1

  • PNOK32U9 as ENTRY #ALT-2


NOTE: If your logline was included in Round One or Two, DO NOT ENTER IT AGAIN.  If Holly or I recognize your entry, it will be removed.

REMEMBER:  These logline critique rounds are NOT a part of the auction.  They are simply an optional opportunity to get some feedback as you craft and fine-tune your logline.  You don't have to participate in the logline critique rounds in order to submit to the actual auction.

A logline should be as brief as possible.  The word count for these rounds will be set at 75, but that's still on the high side.  Think SHORT and GRABBY.

If you're not sure what a logline is, STOP WHERE YOU ARE.  Please go HERE and HERE for information on writing loglines.


The submission window will be open from 9 am to 5 pm EDT today (Monday, October 20).  This is a lottery, which means the bot will randomly choose 40 entries at the close of the window.  These entries will post on Tuesday, October 21, for critique.

WEB FORM SUBMISSIONS (preferred/easiest method):

GO HERE.  Please remember to proofread before hitting "submit".


As always, send your submission to authoress.submissions(at)  Format as follows:

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

(type your logline here)

If there's ANYTHING you don't understand, please post your question below!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Fricassee

Happy Friday!

We're getting CLOSE, folks!  So here are all the things:

  • Submissions for our third and final Logline Critique Round will be on Monday, October 20.  The submission window will be open from 9 to 5 EDT, and the entries will post on Tuesday morning.  (This round is for anyone who has NOT been in either of the first 2 rounds.)
  • Submissions for the ADULT CATEGORY of the Baker's Dozen Agent Auction will be on October 28 and 30.  Full submission guidelines will post before then.
  • Submissions for the YA/MG CATEGORY of the Baker's Dozen Agent Auction will be on November 4 and 6.  Full submission guidelines will post before then.
  • This year, the bidding is only going to be open for TWELVE HOURS instead of 24.  So the auction will close at the end of the day (9 pm EDT) instead of the next morning.
  • Our participating editors and authors are showcased HERE.
  • Our participating agents are listed HERE.
  • All other Baker's Dozen info is HERE.

If you still have questions, please ask them below!

Other things:
  1. I am playing with ideas on how to better broadcast what's happening on auction day.  The bids come in VERY fast during the first hour especially, and it's nearly impossible for blog readers to keep up.  I AM OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS.  Twitter would be a useful tool, but again, there will be 60 entries and my inbox will be exploding with bids from the agents.  If you have a brainstorm about how I can effectively communicate the bids so that everyone can watch the action, please let me know!  (If you'd rather email me instead of posting in the comment box, that's fine, too.)
  2. On a personal note:  I'm going to be hitting 20,000 words on my WIP today, which is about a quarter of the completed novel.  Again, I can't iterate enough what a big role you've played in my success at getting over whatever it was I needed to get over this summer.  I'm incredibly excited about this project (YA Fantasy! Yay! And my first-ever retelling.), and so many of you have have a voice in this part of my journey.  It feels incredibly good to be drafting.  (I can't believe I just said that. You all know I hate drafting.  Yet I'M LOVING THIS.)
That's all for now!  Have a glorious weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One More Premiere Critique Available (Before the Crazies Hit!)

Baker's Dozen submissions are the week after next, and that means SLUSH READING PARTIES WITH JODI MEADOWS.  (Have I ever mentioned how much fun we have?)

So this means that NOW is the time for me to take on one final Premiere Critique before the month-of-crazies hits.

Here's what you get:

  • detailed line edit of your first 75 pages
  • editorial letter
  • guaranteed 1-week turnaround
A Premiere Critique costs $260, with half payable up front.  First come, first served.

  • Regular 30-page critique, $95, 1- to 2-month turnaround
  • 3-page critique, $18, 1- to 4-week turnaround
Email me TODAY at authoress.edits(at) to get into the queue, or to ask specific questions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Baker's Dozen Success Author: Danielle Jensen

Meet DANIELLE JENSEN, this week's Success Showcase Author!

I didn’t grow up imagining a future as a writer. Although I have always been an avid reader, after graduation, I decided to go to business school. I spent the next six years working in finance, but it was also during this time that a co-worker suggested writing a novel. After all, how hard could it be?

Really hard. But I persevered.

A couple years later, I was sending out my first query letters and discovering that while writing a book was challenging, getting it read was even tougher. At that point, I knew I wanted to be a writer, but it was also clear that writing wasn’t going to pay my bills, so I registered to go back to university to get an English degree.

For almost three years, I juggled going to university full-time, waitressing at night, and writing during my free time. I entered the 2012 Baker’s Dozen Contest and was won by my now-agent, Tamar Rydzinski (who I absolutely adore, btw). In 2013, she sold my YA fantasy trilogy to Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot, and my debut novel, STOLEN SONGBIRD, released on April 1 of 2014. The sequel, HIDDEN HUNTRESS, is set to release in the spring of 2015.


Read Danielle's MSFV Success Story HERE.

Read Danielle's blog HERE.

Follow Danielle on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The 2014 Baker's Dozen All-Star AGENT LINE-UP!

We've got the best line-up ever this year!  21 agents -- count 'em! -- are ready to slit each other's throats offer bribes place their bids in what promises to be a frenzy of bidding when the gavel falls.


Whew!  This is quite a list, and I'm thrilled that each of these folks has joined us this year.  Some of them are here for the FIFTH TIME!  And some are joining us for the first time.  It's a great mix!

IMPORTANT:  If one or more of these agents already has your query or some requested material, ENTER THE AUCTION ANYWAY.  The only reasons not to enter are if a) you've promised an exclusive to any agent, on or off this list, and b) you've been offered representation or are already agented.

The submission guidelines will post next week.  In the meantime, if you have any niggling questions that you can't seem to find the answer for in a previous post, please ask it here!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Fricassee

I was encouraged to see all the logline critique this week.  Thank you all for being so involved--so giving.

We've got one more logline critique round coming up on the 21st (submissions are on the 20th), and then BAKER'S DOZEN SUBMISSIONS START THE FOLLOWING WEEK.

How can this be?

Next week I will post our Terrific 21 Agents.  Seriously, this is going to be one heck of an auction.

All good things must come to an end, though, and this is likely our final Baker's Dozen.  (I know, I know.  Your manuscript isn't ready this year, and you were counting on next year.  This doesn't mean I don't love you.  Truly.)  It's just...well, the auction is time-consuming.  Entire-month-of-November-consuming.  And I want to end on a high note, and not keep slogging through until I'm burned out and nobody likes me anymore.  Who needs to read the rantings of a grumpy Authoress, right?

So, yeah.  There are plenty of other opportunities for writers out there--way more than there used to be, back when I started this blog (and later, when I launched the first Baker's Dozen).  And, too, I'm still of the mindset that, in the end, contests are fun and might open a door for you, but CRITIQUE PARTNERS and QUERIES are the the main way to clean up a manuscript and find an agent.

Yes, the queen of Secret Agent Contests stands by the traditional route.  So fear not, my loves.  The tried-and-true still works.

Anyway.  Let's go out with a bang!

And now I'm off to start my Friday (with ballet and contemporary classes!).  I'm 12,000 words into my new WIP (once you pass 10K, it suddenly feels real, yes?), and I'm looking forward to some writing-in-the-beautiful-autumn-weather this weekend.  May you find equal pleasure!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

More Logline Wisdom From Holly Bodger

Just so you know--I don't ask Holly to write these things.  She just...writes them.  And sends them to me.  And then I post them for you.

As ever, her words are chock-full of wisdom.


I saw two common problems with the loglines in this group:

1. Order. Much like with your novel, there are reasons why we need to see the NEED and then the INCITING INCIDENT and then the GOAL and then the OBSTACLES. A lot of these loglines had these elements, but many were out of order. This isn’t a huge problem, however the loglines are stronger when they come in the order that has the greatest effect. Also, remember that these loglines are like an ad for your novel and you (the writer). If an agent/editor sees a weird order in a logline, they might start to wonder if your book is all over the place, too. YOU DON’T WANT THAT! Final note: if you are struggling with the order of elements in your novel, get a copy of Save the Cat. It’s a wonderful tool I still use during revision (I know Authoress loves it, too!)

2. Goal not connected to obstacles. This one is really important: your obstacles have to stand in the way of the main character reaching the goal. So, if your main character’s goal is to win a soccer trophy at a tournament tomorrow, the obstacles must prevent the character from going to the tournament, or playing well, or winning. While it might suck for this character to find out her prom dress is going to be the wrong color, this would not be an obstacle to her goal.

Finally, there was only one question in all 40 loglines so I thank you for giving the poo-flinger a break!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Baker's Dozen Success Author: Karen Akins

Here's Karen Akins's Baker's Dozen Success Story!

I was in the 2011 (good gravy, has it been that long?) Baker's Dozen auction with a twisty, fun time travel story titled LOOP. I signed with Victoria Marini about a month afterwards as a result. Fast forward several weeks of spontaneously-breaking-out-into-dance later. We went out on sub with LOOP after Victoria helped me to revise it and make it extra-sparkly, and it sold to St. Martin's Press!

To be honest, I still look back at the three month stretch of my life and go, "Whah? Did that really happen?"

LOOP is the story of a time traveler who accidentally brings a boy from the past into the 23rd century, only to discover he's already in love with her future self and is keeping his own set of secrets. It was originally pitched as HEIST SOCIETY meets BACK TO THE FUTURE. Curious? It comes out October 21st, and I couldn't be more flipping excited!! Oh, wait. I could. Because the sequel TWIST comes out March 31, 2015!

It's been an amazing ride, and I am so, so, SO thankful to Authoress for all the amazingly hard work she puts into the Baker's Dozen.

She rocks.

Buy LOOP at Amazon and IndieBound.

Read Karen's Baker's Dozen Success Story HERE.

Read Karen's blog HERE.

Follow Karen on TWITTER.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Logline Critique Round Two: Critique Guidelines

Guidelines for Critiquing the loglines:
  • If yours is one of the 40 entries posted today, PLEASE LEAVE CRITIQUE FOR A MINIMUM OF 5 OTHER ENTRIES.  
  • Please leave your critique for each entry in the comment box for that entry.
  • Please choose a screen name to sign your comments. The screen name DOES NOT have to be your real name; however, it needs to be an identifiable name.  ("Anonymous" is not a name.)
  • Critiques should be honest but kind, helpful but sensitive.
  • Critiques that attack the writer or are couched in unkind words will be deleted.*

*I can't possibly read every comment.  If you ever see a comment that is truly snarky, please email me.  I count on your help.

Logline Critique Round Two #40

TITLE: Hybrid Reality
GENRE: YA - Science Fiction Romance

A teenage reality jumper plots to destroy the aliens hiding under Earth’s surface when she discovers the mouth-watering-gorgeous boy haunting her dreams is one of them and the aliens created her to be his mate.

Logline Critique Round Two #39

TITLE: Must Remember
GENRE: Sci/Fi Fantasy

To survive, Beta has to remember what her alien kidnappers did to her-fast. or risk everything she loves.

Logline Critique Round Two #38

TITLE: Bait & Swish
GENRE: YA Thriller

A curious fifteen-year-old deckhand sneaks out to the spot marked with an X on his sketchy boss's GPS and unearths buried treasure. Collecting a reward for finding the loot would be sweet. But if he tips off police, the buried treasure could link his big brother to an unsolved murder.

Logline Critique Round Two #37

TITLE: The Roaring Silence
GENRE: Fantasy

Harrison simply wants to mourn his beloved grandfather’s death and live a normal 1920s farm life with his fashion-minded fiancée, Suzie. But when risqué detective socialite Katie Jones shows him his grandfather’s magical Atlantean world, Harrison realizes he must become the guardian his grandfather was—the demons who hunted his grandfather now hunt him, and to have the safe rural life Harrison wants, he must defeat them once and for all.

Logline Critique Round Two #36

TITLE: Mind Witch
GENRE: YA Fantasy

A mind witch must brainwash a king and the boy she wants so her tyrant father can seize the kingdom unopposed. She doesn't want to do it, but she's not keen on saying no. Not when the one time she did, her father burned her half to death.

Logline Critique Round Two #35

TITLE: Falling Up The Stairs
GENRE: Family Saga

In upper New York State, a father deserts his wife and children and joins the Army in World War II, claiming to have no dependents. The alcoholic mother leaves her seven small children in abusive foster homes and orphanages. Each of the children suffer a life of unthinkable cruelty and neglect in "the system," while traveling a rocky road to adulthood. Thirty-five years later, fate and unusual circumstances re-unite them..

Logline Critique Round Two #34

GENRE: YA Fiction

When seventeen-year-old, Kenny Panteria’s, girlfriend is kidnapped in front of him, he’s determined to find her even after he learns it is his abuse the kidnapper wants revealed.

When Kenny learns his girlfriend masterminded her own disappearance to expose her father’s pedophilia, which caused her brother’s suicide, Kenny’s anger spirals and he doles out the only justice he feels fair, to the thief that robbed him of his innocence.

Logline Critique Round Two #33

TITLE: The City of Magi
GENRE: YA Fantasy

In Ancient Persia, 15-year-old Artunis is investigating her father's disappearance and discovers his abduction is part of a plot to kill Cyrus the Great. She joins the king's network of spies to expose the conspiracy and save her dad.

Logline Critique Round Two #32

GENRE: Women's Fiction

Adelaide Burke is a feisty electrician, and part-time car burglar, who cons her way into a job as a high stakes banker only to get caught in the middle of a money laundering scam. To stay out of jail, Adelaide needs evidence and that means dodging the Feds and breaking into a Swiss vault – all while surviving her love life.

Logline Critique Round Two #31

GENRE: MG Historical

Twelve-year-old Bella of Tuscany’s attempt to recover her dead Papa’s Book reveals her identity to his oldest enemy. To keep out of his orphanage, she must return a stolen relic to Constantinople before Mamma is falsely condemned.

Logline Critique Round Two #30

GENRE: YA Coming of Age

If 14 year old city-raised Nina Henderson doesn’t fix her D grade in history, handle her class nemesis, become friends with a wolf, and learn about her heritage, she’ll never find out who her Indian chief father is.

Logline Critique Round Two #29

TITLE: Window Pain
GENRE: Upper MG Mystery

When thirteen-year-old Smith Johnson breaks into his school, the last thing he expects is to interrupt another break-in. When the same people snatch Smith's favorite teacher, he learns the inner-city cops have good reason not to look into it. As suspicion turns to Smith, he has to find his teacher and clear his name before the kidnappers become killers- twice.

Logline Critique Round Two #28

TITLE: Mortal Failings
GENRE: YA Paranormal

The problem isn't that Cami's boyfriend is only half-human, the problem is that he's controlling and terrifyingly unbalanced. When she tries to leave him, his anger triggers nothing less than a full-scale war among the Eternals. Cami will have to take extreme - possibly murderous - measures to reclaim control of her own life.

Logline Critique Round Two #27

TITLE: Fractured Spirit
GENRE: YA Romantic Suspense

Good girl Sierra Montgomery becomes the prime suspect when her stalker disappears. Sixteen-year-old Sierra is determined to stop being a victim but to regain control of her life she may just have to break a few rules.

Logline Critique Round Two #26

TITLE: The Exorcist's Assistant
GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy

A woman harassed by a demon discovers its connection to her past life. Enlisting the aid of a doubting exorcist, she fights for her life -- and the life of her wife and daughter.

Logline Critique Round Two #25

TITLE: Sunset

At seventeen, Jackson has to move back to the small town he was forced to leave after accidentally killing a man. As the school year progresses, he realizes he's in love with his childhood sweetheart who happens to be dating his cousin. When he asks for Mom’s advice, she blindsides him with her past. Jackson then has to find out the truth or stop pursuing the girl who’s always held his heart.

Logline Critique Round Two #24

TITLE: The Least Complicated Option
GENRE: Middle Grade

When Calvin Black survives a car wreck with only a mild case of amnesia, all seems to be well in the tiny town of Strawberry Lake. But is it really? Calvin’s best friend Stesha is not so sure, and her doubts only grow as she gets to know Calvin all over again. What really happened in the car crash? And is it worth it to investigate?

Logline Critique Round Two #23

TITLE: Down into Darkness
GENRE: Science Fiction

When linguist Brian Marconi contacts the subterranean Sulcan aliens on Ganymede and finds his predecessor dead, he must keep himself alive in the hostile alien underground long enough to convince Earth not to sacrifice him in an all-out attack on the Sulcans.

Logline Critique Round Two #22

TITLE: The Sword and the Skull
GENRE: Epic Fantasy

Ryn Ruscroft has one chance to rescue the witch he loves and prevent an apocalyptic war – he must wield a sentient sword that accepts no master. But this doomsday weapon’s thirst for victory threatens to leave her dead and Ryn guilty of mass murder.

Logline Critique Round Two #21

TITLE: Deadwood Gamble
GENRE: NA Romantic Adventure

Alice has no plans for spring break until Vance shows up an old book. Now her plans are: Find a lost treasure, stay alive, and keep Vance securely in the friend zone. Not necessarily in that order.

Logline Critique Round Two #20

TITLE: One Free Day
GENRE: Historical Fiction

His injury from the tornado might keep him out of the army, but his job as a guard at the internment camp made him feel like he was avenging his cousin's death at Pearl Habor. The punks at the camp only fueled his animosity towards their race, that is -- until he met Shiori. After meeting her secretly he finds out she's being transferred. Then his only goal is to give her one day of freedom.

Logline Critique Round Two #19

TITLE: The Morning Star
GENRE: Christian Fiction

As the original war consumes every corner of Heaven, the Archangel Michael battles demonic rebels and rumors that God not only condones the conflict, but tasked Lucifer to wage the fight in the first place.

Logline Critique Round Two #18

TITLE: Forever Magic
GENRE: MG Light Fantasy

Eleven-year-old science nerd Elena and her ten-year-old brother Connor discover the boy who is meant to become King Arthur chained in the dungeon of a castle spirited to the present by Merlin’s jealous rival. Knowing their world will be destroyed if history is altered, they travel to the past with Arthur to help him become king, pursued by the evil enchantress intent on stopping them.

Logline Critique Round Two #17

GENRE: MG gothic fantasy/horror

Aggie finds a mangy, human-eyed cat in the Dismal Swamp and brings it home in secret. But when he turns into a mythological monster and threatens to kill her and her new family – the one she didn’t even know she wanted – she’ll have to get rid of him fast, or they’ll all be dead meat.

Logline Critique Round Two #16

GENRE: Upper MG Fantasy

Twelve-year-old Conley Hoss hopes he’ll make friends when his family moves. Instead, his house starts talking to him—and leads him straight to trouble. When he accidentally resurrects a killer dragon in the cellar, Conley has to master dragon warfare before Kansas City burns. His quest drags his family into the guts of the world’s deadliest secret society: The Dragon Agency.

Logline Critique Round Two #15

TITLE: The Change
GENRE: YA Fantasy

When an orphan girl's eyes change from the standard grey to a rare gold, she is transported to a world of wealth and ease. But when she discovers a dormant power that lets her control those around her, it thrusts her into a war where both sides plot to enslave her for her power.

Logline Critique Round Two #14

TITLE: Monstrous and Simple

Lilli wakes up one morning to find herself turning into a giant cockroach, making it impossible to support her lazy family and awkward to attend Senior Prom with Gene. It's hard for monstrous vermin to retrace steps and find a cure, but if she doesn't she'll die this way--giant roaches have a notoriously short life span.

Logline Critique Round Two #13

GENRE: MG Humorous Contemporary

When Marty’s dad loses his teaching job, the extremely squeamish sixth-grader auditions for a cereal commercial to help pay bills, but lands a part as a zombie in the sitcom, “Z Street,” instead.

Logline Critique Round Two #12

TITLE: The Tiger Fang Brigade
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary

The new girl in town is mistakenly recruited by the top-secret crime-fighting team that lives underneath her middle school. To earn a permanent slot in the Tiger Fang Brigade, Jenna Knight must join a struggling mission to stop a gang of vandals.

Logline Critique Round Two #11

TITLE: Forget Me Forever
GENRE: YA Thriller

A girl investigating missing memories of a year in Spain uncovers an international kidnapping conspiracy and learns her sister is the next target.

Logline Critique Round Two #10

GENRE: Historical Fiction

DONOVAN is about an empathic Irish immigrant who kills a bank robber, then falls in love with his sister. But the girl had been beaten and raped by her brother, and he finds himself fighting to save her sanity.

Logline Critique Round Two #9

TITLE: Stagger Inn
GENRE: Women's Fiction

A new bride is suddenly widowed, leaving her as the owner of Stagger Inn, the only bar in a rural town. Repercussions include two suitors who vie for her affections and a murder trial that rivets the countryside.

Logline Critique Round Two #8

TITLE: The Third Gift
GENRE: middle grade fantasy

In THE THIRD GIFT two young sisters must hunt for treasure and solve three riddles to rescue their marooned parents and reclaim their home from the grasp of an ancient witch. But beating a witch at her own game is hard to do. Luckily, the girls find two unlikely allies: statues that are full of heart and islands with minds of their own.

Logline Critique Round Two #7

TITLE: Trudi on Monkey Island
GENRE: middle grade novel

It's 1968 and the world's changing faster than nine-year-old Trudi can flip a one-handed cartwheel. Hemlines and protests are on the rise-- everything's spinning out of control and makes Trudi never want to grow up! Then her school's dress code bans girls from the monkey bars and budding-gymnast Trudi discovers that she, too, must fight for change.

Logline Critique Round Two #6

TITLE: Crawlspace
GENRE: Middle Grade Adventure

Eleven-year-old Alvin Preston wants to bring his grandfather back to life by finding the world’s greatest treasure. Instead, he finds the world’s biggest butthead.

Logline Critique Round Two #5

TITLE: Orchard Pastry
GENRE: MG Contemporary

Isa Vera is only twelve, but she’s offered a job—to steal the famous recipes from the bakery where her parents work and illegally live. If Isa doesn’t agree, her family will be in danger of being homeless, again.

Logline Critique Round Two #4

TITLE: Slowly the Avenger Comes
GENRE: Science Fiction

Special Investigator Emerson Edwards has made a career of bringing justice and security to the Galilean moons. But when the daughter of a PanSolar executive is found raped and murdered on Ganymede, the hunt for the perpetrator carries him to the very edge of the solar system. His abilities, and sanity, are pushed to the limit as a dark secret is revealed among the icy rocks of the Oort cloud.

Logline Critique Round Two #3

TITLE: Death's Daughter; reluctant hero
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Dodging child protective services, Alex travels to another world in search of her missing father. To complicate matters she has discovered that she has powers of her own, one of fire and one of death… and they are incompatible. To survive in a world of vampires and sorcery she must use her powers - but one causes unbearable pain and the other is slowly turning her into a zombie.

Logline Critique Round Two #2

TITLE: Shifter
GENRE: YA Fantasy

An outcast thief gets caught up in a war when she unknowingly steals the aggressor’s most powerful weapon. Now she must decide whether to protect herself and run, or help save the people who see her as an enemy.

Logline Critique Round Two #1

GENRE: YA science fiction

Like a female version of "The Avengers", five sixteen-year-old girls form a bond while coping with the stress of becoming secret superheroes.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Winners for Logline Critique Round Two

Winning numbers have been drawn for Logline Critique Round Two and the owners have all been emailed their entry numbers.

If you didn't get an email, I'm sorry;  that means your ticket number wasn't selected.  (But please check your spam folder, just in case!)

Here is the complete list, so you may double check:
  • 5NY1MCBP as ENTRY #1

  • SNSJ3A3T as ENTRY #2

  • 6GUNN84K as ENTRY #3

  • FN2MLW86 as ENTRY #4

  • 5V08ZJTE as ENTRY #5

  • WP03X7EG as ENTRY #6

  • A9E5M9B4 as ENTRY #7

  • MKV9LX9Q as ENTRY #8

  • PJ00TLEM as ENTRY #9

  • RTI8O1MK as ENTRY #10

  • C7265XTO as ENTRY #11

  • RPLLQQ3P as ENTRY #12

  • UWXE0PZM as ENTRY #13

  • GR84D3JG as ENTRY #14

  • BJ2H5YZ7 as ENTRY #15

  • 8QRY49TY as ENTRY #16

  • JSG5G63A as ENTRY #17

  • W9Z702FA as ENTRY #18

  • XD1U8OJV as ENTRY #19

  • V3GXHG1W as ENTRY #20

  • T1PCBNV6 as ENTRY #21

  • 3DV2OFF6 as ENTRY #22

  • N1GO80CC as ENTRY #23


  • W2WZ4JE1 as ENTRY #25

  • A5HQ8A4K as ENTRY #26

  • PXR7UUW8 as ENTRY #27

  • J0ESDHTX as ENTRY #28

  • CAX461YS as ENTRY #29

  • P9JQMDUN as ENTRY #30

  • A8W9ELP8 as ENTRY #31

  • 0JY9ANUU as ENTRY #32

  • RXUCZ4I8 as ENTRY #33

  • 5B5OPGUG as ENTRY #34

  • XF9HJ79A as ENTRY #35

  • 1AOHRBV2 as ENTRY #36

  • M5YED4D8 as ENTRY #37

  • MK097BH8 as ENTRY #38

  • 9AHC0BRF as ENTRY #39

  • JQY1MFK8 as ENTRY #40
The alternates are:


  • CGLQL6D9 as ENTRY #ALT-2



If your logline was included in Round One, DO NOT ENTER IT AGAIN.  A lot of people want a chance to get their loglines critiqued; this round (and the third one) are for NEW ENTRANTS.  If Holly or I recognize your entry, it will be removed.

To avoid confusion:  These logline critique rounds are NOT a part of the auction.  They are simply an optional opportunity to get some feedback as you craft and fine-tune your logline.  You don't have to participate in the logline critique rounds in order to submit to the actual auction.

A logline should be as brief as possible.  The word count for these rounds will be set at 75, but that's still on the high side.  Think SHORT and GRABBY.

If you're not sure what a logline is, STOP WHERE YOU ARE.  Please go HERE and HERE for information on writing loglines.


The submission window will be open from 9 am to 5 pm EDT today (Monday, October 6).  This is a lottery, which means the bot will randomly choose 40 entries at the close of the window.  These entries will post on Tuesday, October 7, for critique.

WEB FORM SUBMISSIONS (preferred/easiest method):

GO HERE.  Please remember to proofread before hitting "submit".


As always, send your submission to authoress.submissions(at)  Format as follows:

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

(type your logline here)

If there's ANYTHING you don't understand, please post your question below!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Fricassee

Happy Holy-Goats-It's-The-First-Friday-Of-October-Already!

First, here's some BAKER'S DOZEN ticklers for you, to keep us all on track:

1.  Submissions for our SECOND LOGLINE CRITIQUE ROUND are this Monday, October 6.  The submission window will be open from 9 to 5 EDT.   The 40 winning entries will post on Tuesday morning for critique.

2.  Reminder:  If your logline is accepted into the round, PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO CRITIQUE OTHER ENTRIES.  A minimum of 5 would be nice.  It's the give-and-take thing.

3.  In case you missed it yesterday, here are our PARTICIPATING EDITORS AND AUTHORS for this year's auction.

4.  We are up to 21 participating agents.  Guys!  That's a lot of agents.  Bidding will be fast and furious.  I will be unveiling these agents SOON!

5.  Baker's Dozen schedule info can be found HERE.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment box below.

Secondly, I wanted to let you know that I am officially drafting a new novel.  Yes, officially.  It happened organically--I didn't strive to find a story, or force myself into literary submission.  The seed was planted, I spent time playing with it, thinking about it, birthing characters, and, finally, plotting.  Then, on Sunday, I wrote 600 words.  Just like that.

When Monday came, I started my firm 1000-a-day schedule.  My goal for completion is January 1.  (Yes, this is how I work.  Firm deadlines.  Finishing a draft in 3 months makes it feel much more attainable.  Plus, I work well with a clearly defined goal.  I will have a completed draft by New Year's Day!)

Thank you for walking through my hiatus with me.  Thank you for drying my tears, affirming me, and, occasionally, redirecting me.  Honestly, I had no idea how long my writing break would last.  I didn't promise myself anything--except that I would not return to writing until I was ready.

The readiness came so much sooner than I thought it would.  And I am sure you all played a role in that!

Also?  Wow!  That thrill of I LOVE THESE NEW CHARACTERS, right?  I feel alive again.  I'm sure Mr. A could attest to my aliveness this week.

So there it is.  I'm among the ranks of the living writing again.  AND I LOVE IT!

See you Monday, dear ones.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Introducing Our 2014 Baker's Dozen Editors and Authors!

Once again, we've got another line-up of great folks who will be offering their critique on this year's Baker's Dozen Agent Auction entries.  As I say every year, I can't guarantee that all 60 entries will receive bids from the participating agents (although last year, THIS HAPPENED).  One thing I can guarantee, however, is that each entry will receive critique from one editor and one published author, in addition to all the in-house critique offered by readers.

Here's this year's offering:



Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight's Curse series in 2011 and 2012, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna's 'Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

She self-published a romantic suspense novel, Desert Guardian, in June of 2013. Karen is a veteran judge of numerous writing contests and has presented writing workshops for a number of conference venues including Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's Colorado Gold Writers Conference, Pikes Peak Writers Conference, Bend Christian Writers Conference, The Northwest Independent Writers Association and the Central Oregon Writers Guild. She also teaches online workshops for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

 Karen is represented by Literary Agent Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein with The McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency in New York City. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets and is currently working on two new fantasy series.



Katie Cord is the owner of Evil Girlfriend Media, a small publishing house focusing on science fiction, fantasy, and horror.




Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the author of several critically acclaimed books for children (EVERYDAY ANGEL), teens (THE ARCHIVED), and adults (VICIOUS). Her books have sold film rights, been translated in a dozen languages, earned starred reviews and hit "Best of” lists. When she’s not writing, she’s wandering the streets of Edinburgh in search of tea and ghosts.


Hali Baumstein grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia on a steady diet of fantastical books like Ella Enchanted, A Wrinkle in Time, and pretty much everything by Tamora Pierce. She became an editorial assistant at Bloomsbury Children’s Books two years ago and has since worked on titles such as New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Honor winner Shannon Hale’s Dangerous and Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters, Printz Award winner Nick Lake’s There Will Be Lies, Toby Forward’s Dragonborn series, Peter Jay Black’s Urban Outlaws, and Tom Percival’s Herman’s Letter.

Now an Assistant Editor, she is eager to acquire picture books with funny, clever, irreverent texts or sweet family or friendship stories, and MG and YA novels in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, high-concept contemporary, and any other creative genre blends. But most of all, she’s looking for a strong voice, fully fleshed characters, and great writing! Though she loves books of all stripes, she is, at heart, a hugely nerdy fantasy buff.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Baker's Dozen Success Author: Stephanie Scott

Say hello to Stephanie Scott, a 2012 Baker's Dozen winner!

I'm a Contemporary Young Adult writer represented by Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary. I live with my husband in the Chicago suburbs, and I'm a Midwest girl at heart, having grown up in Michigan. When not writing, I binge-watch Netflix shows and am addicted to a dance fitness class called WERQ. I have a dream to cosplay Hoth Leia at my local Comic Con (I've been standard Princess Leia already). I'm plugged in to Romance Writers of America, and help manage the twitter and Facebook accounts for both Windy City RWA and YARWA, the online YA chapter. I am currently helping mentor writers in Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars.

Read Stephanie's Baker's Dozen Success Story HERE.

Read Stephanie's blog HERE.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter: @StephScottYA