Friday, October 14, 2011

"An Agent's Inbox" Contest Alert


“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 20 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, October 17, and then I'll post them next Wednesday, October 19. The entrants and anyone else who wishes to review them may comment on them until the following Tuesday, October 25, when I'll announce the winners.

Those winners will be chosen by The Agent, and this month, we’re handling things a little differently. Sharon Bayliss suggested a while back that we try a round in which we know The Agent’s identity right off the bat, so that’s what we’re going to do. I’m pleased to announce that The Agent for this round is none other than Kate Schafer Testerman* of kt literary.

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 ANY OF THE PREVIOUS ROUNDS OF “AN AGENT’S INBOX,” please DO NOT participate in this one UNLESS YOU HAVE A NEW MANUSCRIPT that meets the criteria listed above. I have a pretty good memory, and I will disqualify previous entries. If the entry slots don’t fill up by Tuesday, October 18, I may allow previous participants to enter (but to be honest, I’ll be surprised if we make it that far).

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 20 entries. I won't accept any entries sent before the entry window opens or after the first 20 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 20 winners, or she might only pick one. The Agent might offer full requests, 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 she would a normal batch of queries. Essentially, she’ll 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, October 17, 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 fiction (all subgenres)
MG fiction (all subgenres)

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

*I know this probably goes without saying, but if you’re thinking about entering, you should probably treat this round a little differently because you already know who The Agent is. Feel free to do a little research and include personalization in your queries. Also, if Ms. Testerman has already rejected your query, YOU PROBABLY DON’T WANT TO ENTER UNLESS YOU’VE MADE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO YOUR QUERY AND/OR MANUSCRIPT. I’m not going to say you can’t enter (mostly because I have no way to police it), but you--and she--are going to get a lot more out of this contest if you enter something The Agent hasn’t seen before.


Unknown said...

Very cool. Thanks for doing this.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

No problem, Zooks!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Some day, I'll be ready to enter one of these. You sure are a nice blogging friend to arrange these things for people.

Jessica Love said...


Krista Van Dolzer said...

You will, Kayeleen! You will! And I'm looking forward to that day just as much as you are. (Okay, probably not quite as much...)

Good luck, Jessica!

Write Life said...

Seriously, how do you do it? That's two very special agents in a row!!!!!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Well, Linda, I ask, and they say yes:) (But don't give away my secret. If everyone started hosting "An Agent's Inbox" contests, agents probably wouldn't have time for me anymore...)