Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"The Writer's Voice" Details

“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and me. We’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four of us will serve as coaches and select projects for our teams based on their queries and first pages.

Here’s the timeline:

May 3
Everyone submits their entries
May 3-10
We select our team members from “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest
May 10-17
We coach our team members, helping them polish their entries
May 17
We post our team members’ entries on our blogs
May 21
Agents vote for their favorites


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 following genres:

Adult Fantasy
Adult Science Fiction
Adult Romance
YA fiction (all subgenres)
MG fiction (all subgenres)

We’ll accept entries in two time slots. The first submission window will open at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, May 3, and will close once we receive 75 entries. The second submission window will open at 9:00 p.m. EDT on the same day and will close once we receive another 75 entries.

We’ll accept submissions via one of Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets, which we’ll post on all four of our blogs on May 3. Once you sign up for the blogfest, you’ll post YOUR QUERY and THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript on your blog. Then you’ll send your query, first 250 words, and A LINK TO YOUR BLOG POST in the body of an e-mail to TheWritersVoiceContest(at)gmail(dot)com, with your blogfest number, title, and genre in the subject line.

In summary, you must follow these three steps to enter:

1. Sign up for the blogfest during one of the submission windows listed above.
2. Post your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript on your blog.
3. Send your query, first 250 words, and a link to your blog post to TheWritersVoiceContest(at)gmail(dot)com, with your blogfest number, title, and genre in the subject line.


We’re building our teams via “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest, so YOU MUST HAVE A BLOG TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST. We don’t care if you’ve had it for five years or five minutes; we just want to be able to fight over you in public:)

We coaches will review the entries by e-mail, but when we find one we want, we’ll leave a comment on your post that says something like, “I want you!” If more than one of us wants you on her team, you’ll have to pick which coach you want to work with.


We’ll select our 10 team members by May 10, then spend the next week helping them put a final polish on their entries. You won’t have to take all of our suggestions, of course; we just want to help you make your entry the best that it can be before the agents get a look at it.


On May 17, we’ll post our team members’ queries and first pages on our blogs so that the agents can review them. Here are the 8 awesome agents who’ll be voting on your entries:

Louise Fury of L. Perkins Agency
Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency
Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency
Taylor Martindale of Full Circle Literary
Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger, Inc.
Roseanne Wells of Marianne Strong Literary Agency

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 21. Each vote will count as a partial or full request depending on how many votes the entry receives. If an entry receives 1 or 2 votes, those votes will count as partial requests. If an entry receives 3 or more votes, those votes will count as full requests.

Voting will stay open for twenty-four hours, at which point we’ll determine which coach’s team received the most votes. That coach will win bragging rights for time immemorial, and everyone who received requests will be able to submit their materials to all the agents who voted for them.

So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Thursday, May 3, at either 9:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m. EDT. We can’t wait to read your entries! (And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.)


Brandi M. Lynch said...

Such a great opportunity, and fun! Scary, but fun!

J. Kaitlin Adams said...

This sounds awesome!! Thanks for putting together yet another amazing contest.

Escape Artist said...

You're so sneaky! I remember you said to keep our eyes out, but you sure didn't leak you were teaming up for a big one! Sounds like a loads of fun! I love 'The Voice.'

Ben Spendlove said...

Wait...so we're hanging our precious prose out to blow in the dusty wind of criticism so you can get bragging rights?

I'm in!

(And don't tell anyone, but other agents at three of those agencies have already rejected my ms, so this is a chance to slip in another way.)

Elizabeth Briggs said...


Krista Van Dolzer said...

Brandi, it's a scary but fun thing for us coaches, too:) On the one hand, we have to get through 150 entries in less than a week. But on the other, we get to meet a bunch of awesome writers and projects!

You're welcome, Kaitlin! Looking forward to it!

Linda, I just got into the TV show The Voice this season. When Cupid suggested teaming up to host a multi-blog contest sometime, I knew we had to use this format:)

Yay, Ben! Guess I already know one entry I'm going to fight for:)

Thanks, Liz!

Jenn said...

I like The Voice, but The Writer's Voice sounds awesome! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

You rock! What an awesome idea!! :)

Kelly Bryson said...

That is completely awesome! I wish I were a little farther along in my WIP...Do you have a timeturner? You must! There can be no other explanation! Can I borrow it?

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Jenn, I'm excited for it. I think my favorite part's going to be battling for team members!

Thanks, Jemi! Hope to see you here on May 3.

Kelly, I wish! And good luck with BREATHINGS! I'd love to see it in the blogfest.

Melanie Stanford said...

Hey Krista, what's the etiquette if I already have my ms out with agents? Tricia is one of the agents who has my full so I don't know if I should enter this. Whaddya think?

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Melanie, it's up to you, of course, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't enter. If you'd be interested in receiving requests from any of the other agents, I say go for it!

Katie said...

Wow! This is so exciting! Thank you for putting together such a unique contest :)

PS - I'm a Voice junkie too. If you had to pick which judge you are most like, who would it be?

Krista Van Dolzer said...

You're welcome, Katie! We're looking forward to it. And of all the judges on The Voice, I'd hope I'm most like Adam. I appreciate how he delivers his honest opinion in such a friendly, constructive way. His comments are never meant to wound, only help, and I almost always agree with him.

Sara DSpain said...

This is so stinking exciting - counting down the days!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

I'm counting down, too, Sara:) Can't wait!

T.L. Bodine said...

Oh man, I am so in. *scribbles down time*

Kristen Wixted said...

This is a great idea!
I always think something like this would be a great idea when I'm watching reality shows.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

T.L., good luck!

Thanks, Kristen! We're excited. I think The Voice is a great model for a multi-blog, multi-agent contest like this.

*Crystal* said...

Eek! So exciting!!! Can't wait until the 3rd!! Thanks for such an amazing and creative contest!

misstante said...

Wow! Another great contest! Just reaped the benefits of An Agent's InBox, and am reworking my query according to the feedback. Krista Van Dolzer, you are the BEST!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks, Crystal and misstante, for your kind comments. Best of luck on Thursday!

Katie Slivensky said...

Exciting! Going to spread the word about this on twitter. I've never done a contest before, but I may just have to give this one a shot!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks for helping us promote the contest, Katie!

Cortney Pearson said...

Yay, I can't wait!!! :D

Krista Van Dolzer said...

One more day, Cortney. One more day... :)

Stacey Trombley said...

Are there any prerequisites to how we post it on our blog? Should it just be plain, just the query and 250 words. Or should we introduce the contest first. Or can we do whatever we like with it as long is it has the query and 250 words?

And if I post 272 words, since that's the end of a paragraph, is that okay? Or should it be under the 250?

I'm just full of questions =)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Stacey, as long as your query and first 250 are clearly defined, we don't really care how you post it:) We're actually going to be reading all the entries via e-mail, anyway; we just want to be able to fight over you in public.

As for the length of your first page, we would rather you cut it off at the end of the sentence that includes the 250th word instead of at the end of the paragraph. (If you'd rather cut it off a little earlier, just to create a more dramatic finish, that's fine, too.)

Drew Whitney said...

How will we know if we are selected? Does someone leave a comment on our actual blog page? When does the fun begin?

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Yes, Drew, we'll leave a comment on your blog post that says something like, "I want you!" And we may leave those comments anytime between now and May 12. (We gave ourselves another couple of days due to the extra entries.)

Good luck!