Friday, November 1, 2013

"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, November 4, and then I'll post them next Wednesday, November 6. The entrants and anyone else who wishes to review them may comment until the following Monday or Tuesday, November 11 or 12, when I'll announce the winners.

Those winners will be chosen by The Agent, and this month, The Agent is John Cusick* of Greenhouse Literary Agency!

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 2013 ROUNDS OF “AN AGENT’S INBOX,” please DO NOT participate in this one UNLESS YOUR 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, November 5, I may allow previous participants to enter, but honestly, I don’t expect them to last that long.

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 1:00 P.M. EST (OR 10:00 A.M. PST). 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 he might only pick one. The Agent might offer full requests, or he 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 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, November 4, at 1:00 p.m. EST! At that time, you may send your entries to kvandolzer(at)gmail(dot)com. Looking forward to it!

The Genres

Picture book fiction (all genres)
MG fiction (all genres)
YA fiction (all genres)

And of course, 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 than you would if you didn’t already know The Agent’s identity. Feel free to do a little research and include personalization in your queries. Also, if Mr. Cusick 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 he--are going to get a lot more out of this contest if you enter something The Agent hasn’t seen before.


Cindy Williams Schrauben said...

Thanks, Krista. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Any specific instructions on what we put in the subject line (in case of filters)?

I assume we leave out some usual query stuff like addresses and phone numbers.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Looking forward to it, Cindy!

No, Tom, you can put whatever you want in the subject line. I get so little spam that I always check my spam folder, especially during these contests. As for the query itself, include the full body of the query, but feel free to leave off your contact information. (I always remove it, anyway, while I'm formatting the entries, but if you take care of it on your end, it'll save me a step!)

Erin said...

For picture books, is it also just the first 250 words?

Unknown said...

Do we use the email on your contact page or is there another one? Thanks for setting this up.

Cindy Williams Schrauben said...

Email is above, Molly:
So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Monday, November 4, at 1:00 p.m. EST! At that time, you may send your entries to kvandolzer(at)gmail(dot)com. Looking forward to it!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Yes, Erin, for picture books, it's also the first 250 words (unless you'd prefer to send less--you're always welcome to do that).

Yes, Molly, it's kvandolzer(at)gmail(dot)com!