Friday, September 23, 2011

"An Agent's Inbox" Contest Alert


For those of you who missed June’s and July’s contests, here’s a brief introduction: "An Agent's Inbox" is exactly what it sounds like--next week, I'm turning the blog into an agent's inbox, a public one. We'll get to see 50 queries along with their first pages, and we'll get to hear what a bona fide agent thinks of each one.

The queries and first pages will be yours, of course. I'll accept your entries this Monday, September 26, and then I'll post them next Wednesday, September 28. The entrants and anyone else who wishes to review them may comment on them until the following Tuesday, October 4, when I'll announce the winners. Those winners will be chosen by The Agent, who will remain nameless for now, and he or she will offer whatever prizes he or she wishes.

The Rules

1. To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE, POLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the genres The Agent represents (which are listed at the bottom of this post).

2. IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN EITHER OF THE PREVIOUS ROUNDS OF “AN AGENT’S INBOX,” please DO NOT participate in this one. I have a pretty good memory, and I will disqualify previous entries. If the entry slots don’t fill up by Tuesday, September 27, I will allow previous participants to enter, but you need to wait until you see my Tuesday post to do so.

3. All entries must include A QUERY and THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript. You must paste these items IN THE BODY OF YOUR E-MAIL; otherwise, I'll disqualify it.

4. THE ENTRY WINDOW OPENS AT 10:00 A.M. EDT (OR 7:00 A.M. PDT). Once the entry window opens, I'll accept the first 50 entries. I won't accept any entries sent before the entry window opens or after the first 50 slots fill up.

5. If your entry makes it in, I'll send you a confirmation e-mail with a post number. If your entry doesn't make it in, I'll still send you an e-mail, but it won't have a post number.

6. If your entry makes it in, YOU MUST COMMENT ON AT LEAST 3 OTHER ENTRIES.

The Prizes The Agent will select both the winners and the prizes. The Agent might pick 50 winners, or he or she might only pick one. The Agent might offer full requests, or he or she might only ask to see another page. It all depends on how good the entries are.

Please keep in mind that THIS CONTEST ISN'T FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. I've encouraged The Agent to treat the entries exactly as he or she would a normal batch of queries. Essentially, The Agent will be answering the question, "How much of the entry did you read, and if you didn't read it all, why did you stop?" I think this process will be instructive for all of us, but if you enter, you need to be prepared to hear exactly what The Agent thinks of your query and first page.

So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Monday, September 26, at 10:00 a.m. EDT! At that time, you may send your entries to kvandolzer(at)gmail(dot)com. Looking forward to it!

The Genres

YA (all subgenres, fiction or nonfiction)
MG (all subgenres, fiction or nonfiction)

(If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below...)


Cassie Mae said...

This isn't the last one you'll do right? Because I have a completed MS, but it's not polished, so I don't want to send it out yet.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Nope, Cassie Mae, not the last one I'll do. I already have the October round set up, and I'm working on the November round as we type. Good luck polishing up that manuscript!

Janet Johnson said...

Thanks so much for doing these Krista. What a great opportunity!

Cassie Mae said...

Yay! I really didn't want to be editing in a rush just to get it ready before Monday. :) This really is an awesome opportunity!

Leigh Ann said...

So excited! I was in last month's round and it was EPIC! Have fun everyone...

Krista Van Dolzer said...

You're so welcome, Janet! Thanks for supporting me and the entrants.

Yes, Cassie Mae, no need to rush. (Whenever I rush, I always seem to get my butt handed to me...) There'll be more contests where these came from!

Thanks for dropping by, Leigh Ann! If you have some time next week, I'm sure this month's entrants would love to get your thoughts.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Krista, you are made of awesome! You give so much of yourself to all of us! THANK YOU!

Good luck, everyone!


Melanie Stanford said...

Wish I could do this again! It was such a great thing to participate in.

Tonya Kuper said...

This sounds AWESOME! Thanks for such a great opportunity!

Also, I gave you an award on my blog today. Stop by when you get a chance.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Amy, I just get so much from the online writing community - and from the wonderful writing friends I've made through it - that I feel like I have to give so much back if I want to give more than I take.

Melanie, keep an eye on the blog on Tuesday! If we haven't filled all the entry slots by that morning (and we might not, since there are so many more slots this time), I'll open it up to previous entrants. So definitely check back!

Tonya, you're so welcome! And thank you for the award!

Anonymous said...

This sounds very interesting. I've been looking for some honest and helpful feedback. My family and friends are a little too kind and generous (I wish they were like this at Christmas!) Dana

Esther Vanderlaan said...

A finished manuscript? I may not be able to enter :(

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Dana, as long as your manuscript's finished and ready to query, feel free to enter. We'd love to have you.

Yeah, Esther, the manuscript has to be finished and ready to query. If the agent's interested, he or she isn't going to want to wait to read it. That's one of the tough things about querying - you have to be completely, one-hundred-percent finished with the manuscript before you send those first queries. Otherwise, you won't be putting your best work forward, and that's not going to do you any good in the long run.

Anonymous said...

If your book starts with a foreword, introduction, or prologue, do you start with those first 250 words or the first 250 of the main text? Also, is there a minimum length? I've estimated this particular book (20th century historical fiction) is somewhere in the vicinity of 43,000 words, but it's YA, not MG.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Carrieannebrownian, only you can decide where your story starts. Some agents want to see a foreword/prologue, and some just want to start right off with chapter one. So that's totally your call. And as for minimum length, your manuscript DOES NOT have to be a specific length to enter. It's up to the agent to decide what works for him or her and what doesn't.

Hope that helps, and I apologize for not answering this question sooner!