Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"The Writer's Voice" Details!

“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Kimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs*. We’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so these ladies will serve as coaches and select projects for their teams based on their queries and first pages.

Here’s the timeline:

May 1
May 2
Everybody enters the Rafflecopter lottery
The lottery winners sign up on the widget
May 2-10
They select their team members from “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest
May 10-19
They coach their team members, helping them polish their entries
May 19
They post their team members’ entries on their blogs
May 22
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 Historical
Adult Fantasy
Adult Science Fiction
Adult Romance (excluding erotica)
YA fiction (all genres)
MG fiction (all genres)

To determine who gets to participate in the blogfest, we’ll hold a single-entry Rafflecopter lottery on Thursday, May 1. The lottery will remain open for 12 hours, from 9:00 a.m. EDT to 9:00 p.m. EDT, at which point the Rafflecopter will select 150 random winners. Those winners will then sign up for the blogfest on one of Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets the next day, May 2. Once you sign up on the widget, you’ll post YOUR QUERY and THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript on your blog.

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

1. Enter the Rafflecopter lottery on May 1 during the submission window listed above.
2. Sign up on the widget on May 2 if you win the lottery.
3. Post your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript on your blog.


The coaches will be building their 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:)

The coaches will review the entries and leave a comment on your post that says something like, “I want you!” If more than one coach wants you on her team, you’ll have to pick which coach you want to work with.


The coaches will select 8 team members by May 10, then spend the next week and a half helping them put a final polish on their entries. You won’t have to take all of their suggestions, of course; they just want to help you make your entry the best that it can be before the agents get a look at it.


On May 19, the coaches will post their team members’ queries and first pages on their blogs so that the agents can review them. Here are the awesome agents who’ll be voting on your entries:

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 22. 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 until 9:00 a.m. EDT on May 23, 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. These votes represent serious interest in your project, so PLEASE DON’T ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION BEFORE GIVING “THE WRITER’S VOICE” AGENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COMPETING OFFER.

So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Thursday, May 1, between 9:00 a.m. and 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.)

*As you probably noticed, I’m not going to be one of the coaches this year. I’ve just got a lot on my plate at the moment and can’t give the contest as much time and attention as it deserves. BUT I have full faith and confidence in Elizabeth Briggs, one of my agent sisters and a good friend. In fact, I have so much faith and confidence that I’ve signed on as Liz’s guest coach. Go Team Liz!

**As you probably also noticed, we’re not including any new adult genres. We have to base the genres on the agents’ interests, and most of the agents participating this year aren’t looking for NA at the moment.


Donea Lee said...

Excited for this!! Thank you for organizing a great event. I think sometimes having the whole query available changes the mind of an agent that might have otherwise passed on just a 35-word pitch. (although - being able to condense your story into 35 words is valuable, too.) *Fingers crossed* rafflecopter loves me on May 1st. :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Donea Lee, I'm terrible at writing pitches, which is why we're using queries:) Good luck on May 1!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Ali asked, "Are we supposed to enter the Rafflecopter more than once?"

Great question! I know a lot of Rafflecopter giveaways allow you multiple entries if you do different things, but ours is only going to give you one entry (and you won't have to do anything to get that entry--you'll just have to leave your name). So just show up on May 1 anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EDT, and you'll be able to throw your name into the hat!

Carrie Padgett said...

I love this idea! Off to polish up my pitch!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Good luck, Carrie!

eldonhughes said...

Miss Krista-

250 words leaves me stopping in the middle of a sentence. May I have 259, pretty please?

Thanks. This is such a lovely, fresh idea.

Butch Wilson

"Eldon Hughes"

Shari Schwarz said...

Thank you for hosting this great contest, Krista!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Eldonhughes, 259 words should be fine. I don't start counting until it looks too long:)

You're welcome, Shari. Thanks for participating!