Friday, August 15, 2014

"An Agent's Inbox" Contest Alert


It’s been a while since we did one of these, so here’s a quick refresher. “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 30 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, August 18, and then I'll post them next Wednesday, August 20. The entrants and anyone else who wishes to review them may comment until the following Monday or Tuesday, August 25 or 26, 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 FEBRUARY’S ROUND 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, August 19, I may allow previous participants to enter, but I’m not going to make that decision right now.

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. EDT (OR 10:00 A.M. PDT). Once the entry window opens, I'll accept the first 20 30 entries. I won't accept any entries sent before the entry window opens or after the first 20 30 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 30 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, August 18, at 1:00 p.m. EDT! At that time, you may send your entries to kvandolzer(at)gmail(dot)com. Looking forward to it!

The Genres

MG fiction (all genres)
YA fiction (all genres)
NA fiction (all genres except erotica)

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!


K. L. Hallam said...

Great, hope to join in the fun. Thanks Krista!

Rosalyn said...

Yay! This sounds fun. I'll bet you have a lot of submissions, what with pitch wars also happening.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for hosting this. Can't wait to participate!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Good luck, Karen!

Well, Rosalyn, since I shamelessly mentioned the contest on the #PitchWars hashtag, you may be right:)

My pleasure, Anon. Good luck!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Also, for those of you who are new around here, I should probably mention that it's first-come, first-served, so you'll want to be ready as soon as the entry window opens.

Yamile said...

This sounds great! Thanks for hosting!

Megan Reyes said...

Just curious--who is the agent? :)

Anonymous said...

Well, this is exciting! I can't wait to join in the fun!

Angie Azur said...

Cool contest! Thanks for doing this for writers. We need all the help we can get!!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

My pleasure, Yamile!

Megan, I let the agents choose whether they want me to reveal their identities upfront or just before I announce their winners, and this month's agent chose the former, so you're going to have to wait a few more days to find out who he or she is:)

Good luck, Anon and Angie (and you're welcome)!

Kendra said...

Hi, Krista!

Thanks for doing this! Quick question on the query - do you want just the meat of it or do you want a "Dear Agent's Inbox" and all the other stuff (bio, etc) as well?

Thanks again!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Kendra, if you check out some of the past rounds --> (Note that you'll have to scroll to the bottom of the page to find the appropriate links) <-- you'll see that some entrants include the whole kit and caboodle and some just stick to the meat of the query plus the vital information (title, word count, category and genre, etc.). I always add a salutation and closing if the entrant didn't include them, but it's up to you to decide how much more of the query you want to include.

Hope that helps!

Monique Gooch said...

Who do we address the query letter to? Or will "Dear Agent," suffice?

Thank you.

Kimbra Kasch said...

I posted this, with a link to you, on my blog. I hope you don't mind :D

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Monique, since you don't know who The Agent is, "Dear Agent" will work.

Of course not, Kim. Thanks for the shout-out!

E.G. Moore said...

This is a wonderful chance for us hopefuls! Thanks for arranging it!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

No problem, E.G.!