1/19 Pitch Events, ABNA, Twitter fun and More

 

Jess Schira commented last week that I ought to include the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. I so agree! (I had hoped to create a separate post just on the event, but as I was out with a nasty virus most of the week the post didn’t get written.) But it’s not too late! Here’s the link for the main page on what they’re looking for as well as links to FAQ and other information. The entry window is STILL open as of right now (last day to enter is 1/27 or when they’ve received 10, 000 entries which ever is first), so get over there and enter!

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest has arrived. You won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to win a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing. Now in its sixth year, this international contest promises to be the best yet. Here’s what’s new:

One Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract with an advance of $50,000, and four First Prize winners will each receive a publishing contract with an advance of $15,000. Visit the Prizes page for the full list of prizes and details.

We’ve expanded the categories to include five popular genres: General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror and Young Adult Fiction. And we’re accepting entries from more countries than ever before. For complete eligibility details, view the official contest rules, or read details on how to enter.

January 25, Brenda Drake will be coordinating a twitter pitch event (#pitmad!). Brenda has some of the best contests with some very nice (and helpful!) agents and editors. I expect this will be no different. Be sure to follow her blog and find out all the details as they become available. Her sneak peek from her blog :

TWITTER PITCH PARTY! For those of you who didn’t make it into Pitch Wars and just for everyone, there will be a twitter pitch party on the hashtag #PitMad on January 25 from 8AM to 8PM. We’ll announce more details as the event nears. So get your twitter pitches ready and make sure to include the hashtag in your 140 character count.

The Blind Speed Dating Event, over at Cupid’s Literary Connection is still going on! There is a $10 entry fee, which in large part goes to a charity donation. Given the size of this contest ( 6 weeks & 60 entrants a week – and that’s just to start!) the time commitment is huge on Cupid‘s part. I have to say, this is one of my favorite contests too (although I do wish there were more adult category writers in the bouncers, but it is what it is). Wait, what? You want more info? Here ya go (I’m posting a little longer blurb than usual, but then this is a jumbo sized contest):

The contest consists of two parts: The preliminary round (Bouncer round) and the agent round (Honorary Cupid round). I am accepting a total of 360 entries into the Bouncer round. The Bouncers are all published or soon to be published authors and agent interns. As implied, they’re the Bouncers, and you must receive a “You’re in!” from one of them in the comments of your first-round entry to make it into the agent round. (They can, but are not required to comment more than this.)

So, 360 entries is a lot to read. That’s why I have 15 Bouncers lined up. I will accept 60 entries per submission window, so there will be 6 entry windows. Each window gets its own week on the blog (1/14-2/21). Each submission window is assigned 3 Bouncers. They will each read 20 entries and choose their 3 favorites to proceed. (So 9chosen a week, 54 total.) You will not know which of the 3 Bouncers will judge your entry as they will be using undercover Bouncer names. It is up to the Bouncer if they want to reveal their identity after the contest is over.

But that’s not all, she’s also arranging some one-on-one online meeting times with editors. Now these appointments aren’t free, but they are a heck of a lot cheaper than most conferences (you can bid on them but she’s put a top limit on the dollar amount for each conference). The first set of slots has already gone up for bids and closed, however she says there’ll be others so keep your eyes peeled if this appeals to you!
A new contest (well new-to-me!) site: Writers Digest Guide to Literary Agent’s Blog. Really! They’re having a Dear Lucky Agent contest right now. Here’s what they’re looking for. If this interests you, head over to the site for all the details:
Welcome to the 13th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing either a science fiction novel (adults or teens) or any kind of young adult novel, this 13th contest is for you! (The contest is live through January 31, 2013.)
I’ve leads on several contests in February, one of which it’s worth while to note now as there’ll be a bunch of prep needed by you AND your critique partner. Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire will be coordinating, with her critique partners, #PAPFest. *** They’ve added a list of agents, be sure to check it out!
In our model, writers will pitch their critique partner’s project, and our team will decide whose pitching abilities are so strong that we’re interested in seeingtheir own project. And of course, if the premise of the partner’s project is so enticing that we can’t help ourselves, we’re free to request material from them as well.
That sounds like a lot of fun and really hard! I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
Plus Operation Awesome has a mystery agent on the first of every month – so be sure to stop by their blog and check out who it is on February 1.
If you know of any contests I’ve missed, be sure to comment below and I’ll add them. Don’t forget to check out my page with popular contest hosting sites, as well as subscribe to my paper.li feed, which has links to industry and agent news.  And don’t forget to join/check out  CPSeek, it is a GREAT resource! They have a listing up there for a very fun one which’ll run from Feb-March, I’ll be listing soon, but if you want early info, join the site.
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1/12 Ready to start up again with Pitch Events? Here we go!

I’m still getting the hang of my weekly schedule now that I’m working two part time jobs (one is as a slush pile reader for an up-and-coming publisher, which I love!). I hope to be back on track with weekly contest postings soon.

So are you ready? Some awesome-sauce stuff coming up like, right now!

Musetracks will be having an Editor Shop with Jennifer Miller of Samhain on January 13 – with the window to submit your pitch on January 12 (have I mentioned I’d adore to be published by Samhain?! 🙂 ).  PLUS there’s a LOT of other GREAT stuff going on! REMEMBER TO FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES. Last time over half the entries were disqualified because they weren’t correct. This month’s event looks to be a blast, too! Here’s a tease:
As an added bonus to our Editor Shop, I’ve invited some Samhain authors to the blog to talk, answer questions and give-a-way some books to anyone who comments!
Comment to win on Jan 12th, 2013!
Miss Snark’s First Victim will be having a Secret Agent Contest on January 14, details are up on her blog with submission windows, etc.  Here’s what we know about this month’s agent:

This month’s contest will include the following genres:

Young Adult — all genres
Middle Grade — all genres

Cupid, Cupid, how did I miss you last time?! Good news is the Blind Speed Dating Event, over at Cupid’s Literary Connection is going on over several weeks. There is a $10 entry fee, which in part goes to a charity donation. Given the size of this contest ( 6 weeks & 60 entrants a week – and that’s just to start!) the time commitment is huge on Cupid‘s part. I have to say, this is one of my favorite contests too (although I do wish there were more adult category writers in the bouncers, but it is what it is). Wait, what? You want more info? Here ya go (I’m posting a little longer blurb than usual, but then this is a jumbo sized contest):
The contest consists of two parts: The preliminary round (Bouncer round) and the agent round (Honorary Cupid round). I am accepting a total of 360 entries into the Bouncer round. The Bouncers are all published or soon to be published authors and agent interns. As implied, they’re the Bouncers, and you must receive a “You’re in!” from one of them in the comments of your first-round entry to make it into the agent round. (They can, but are not required to comment more than this.)

So, 360 entries is a lot to read. That’s why I have 15 Bouncers lined up. I will accept 60 entries per submission window, so there will be 6 entry windows. Each window gets its own week on the blog (1/14-2/21). Each submission window is assigned 3 Bouncers. They will each read 20 entries and choose their 3 favorites to proceed. (So 9chosen a week, 54 total.) You will not know which of the 3 Bouncers will judge your entry as they will be using undercover Bouncer names. It is up to the Bouncer if they want to reveal their identity after the contest is over.

In late January,the 25, Brenda Drake will be coordinating a twitter pitch event (#pitmad!). Brenda has some of the best contests with some very nice (and helpful!) agents and editors. I expect this will be no different. Be sure to follow her blog and find out all the details as they become available. Her sneak peek from her blog :

TWITTER PITCH PARTY! For those of you who didn’t make it into Pitch Wars and just for everyone, there will be a twitter pitch party on the hashtag #PitMad on January 25 from 8AM to 8PM. We’ll announce more details as the event nears. So get your twitter pitches ready and make sure to include the hashtag in your 140 character count.

I’ve leads on several contests in February, one of which it’s worth while to note now as there’ll be a bunch of prep needed by you AND your critique partner. Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire will be coordinating, with her critique partners, #PAPFest.
In our model, writers will pitch their critique partner’s project, and our team will decide whose pitching abilities are so strong that we’re interested in seeingtheir own project. And of course, if the premise of the partner’s project is so enticing that we can’t help ourselves, we’re free to request material from them as well.
That sounds like a lot of fun and really hard! I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
Plus Operation Awesome has a mystery agent on the first of every month – so be sure to stop by their blog and check out who it is on February 1.
If you know of any contests I’ve missed, be sure to comment below and I’ll add them. Don’t forget to check out my page with popular contest hosting sites, as well as subscribe to my paper.li feed, which has links to industry and agent news.  And don’t forget to join/check out  CPSeek, it is a GREAT resource!

New Year, New Contests – Starting 1/1/13 w/ #MysteryAgent

I had planned to go through and announce how many contests I had highlighted over the past year for this post, but time (and family commitments) pulled me away, so I’ll be tallying things up some other significant time.

As for January Contests, the new year is starting with some single agent contests and moving to a wonderful twitter pitch contest at the end of the month. The very first one STARTS tomorrow!  Ready, set, go!…

Operation Awesome  is having their monthly Mystery Agent on TUESDAY, JANUARY 1! Here’s some deets (as always be sure to go to the site for ALL the details!):

Hello, all!!! You may or may not know that tomorrow is our January Mystery Agent Contest. For that reason, I’m here to provide a few details about what our Mystery Agent is and isn’t looking for.
So. Here’s what our Mystery Agent wants:
Adult & YA fiction
-soft science fiction
-fantasy
-horror
-all subgenres of the aforementioned 3 genres
-gritty, dark narratives
-contemporary YA 
(lighthearted, funny, and moving with a raw, authentic teen voice)
-stories with strong characters, smart-mouthed dialogue, and strong plots that balance romance and action
Musetracks will be having an Editor Shop with Jennifer Miller of Samhain on January 12 (have I mentioned I’d adore to be published by Samhain?! 🙂 ).  PLUS there’s a LOT of other GREAT stuff going on! Here’s a sample:
As an added bonus to our Editor Shop, I’ve invited some Samhain authors to the blog to talk, answer questions and give-a-way some books to anyone who comments!
Comment to win on Jan 12th, 2013!
Miss Snark’s First Victim will be having a Secret Agent Contest on January 14, details will be posted on her blog on January 7.  All little snippet from her blog (be sure to check there for full details on what the agent is looking for and details on submissions):
Submissions for our first Secret Agent contest of the year will be on the 14th.  Guidelines will post on the 7th.  Because of the Baker’s Dozen hullabaloo, we haven’t had a Secret Agent contest since October!  So I think this will be especially fun.
In late January,the 25, Brenda Drake will be coordinating a twitter pitch event (#pitmad!). Brenda has some of the best contests with some very nice (and helpful!) agents and editors. I expect this will be no different. Be sure to follow her blog and find out all the details as they become available. Her sneak peek (posted on  CPSeek, a GREAT resource!) :
We will hold a twitter pitch party following the agent round and alternate showcases for Pitch Wars on January 25 from 8AM EST to 8PM EST. The pitch is 140 characters and you must fit in the hashtag #PitMad. So get those pitches ready!
I’ve leads on several contests in February, one of which it’s worth while to note now as there’ll be a bunch of prep needed by you AND your critique partner. Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire will be coordinating, with her critique partners, #PAPFest.
In our model, writers will pitch their critique partner’s project, and our team will decide whose pitching abilities are so strong that we’re interested in seeingtheir own project. And of course, if the premise of the partner’s project is so enticing that we can’t help ourselves, we’re free to request material from them as well.
That sounds like a lot of fun and really hard! I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
If you know of any contests I’ve missed, be sure to comment below and I’ll add them. Don’t forget to check out my page with popular contest hosting sites, as well as subscribe to my paper.li feed, which has links to industry and agent news.  Fingers crossed for everyone who enters a contest in the new year!

Catching the Eye of an Agent/Pub: Other Events if you missed #PITMAD #CAGI #GUTGAA

Three well attended and popular pitch events are running full swing right now: Pitch Madness over at Brenda Drake’s Blog (its sister event PITMAD – a twitter pitch event – ran on September 13), Cupid’s Literary Connection‘s Come And Get It (CAGI) and Deana Barnhart‘s Gearing Up to Get An Agent (GUTGAA).

But they are now all ‘closed’ and in the agent phase. So the question is: what next if you missed the getting in or were unaware these were going on.

First remember, as C Scully wrote recently: You don’t need a contest to query an agent.  If you weren’t able to enter one of these events, or your 140 character twitpitch didn’t get picked up, but you saw an agent who you’d love to work with go to their website and, after making sure they rep what you write,  follow their guidelines and submit directly.

However, participating in blog contests have a lot of benefits.

  • Feedback. You aren’t going to get comments on what works and doesn’t through a traditional query process.
  • Camaraderie. Writing is inherently a lone profession. Hanging out and seeing what other authors are doing and building friendships through these contests helps build a sense of place for you as a writer as well as a sense of community.
  • Bang for the buck. Most contests have multiple agents (& sometimes small presses as well) ‘trolling’ through the queries, giving you more exposure than individual querying does by a long shot.

The good news is, there are lots of opportunities coming down the pike. In fact ALL of the websites I list above and mention below as having contests are excellent places to bookmark and follow since they frequently host these events.

(First, on Monday, September 17 THIS MONTH’S CONTEST IS FULL) Krista Van Dolzer, over at Mother. Write. (Repeat) is having an Agent’s INBOX contest – something she does roughly once a month or so. This one is limited to twenty entries, so let’s hope gmail doesn’t go down for this one (like it did for GUTGAA on Friday).

“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, September 17, and then I’ll post them next Wednesday, September 19. The entrants and anyone else who wishes to review them may comment until the following Monday, September 24, when I’ll announce the winners.

On Monday, September 24, Miss Snark’s First Victim is having the first of MANY rounds and levels of entry for her very popular Baker’s Dozen Contest:

It’s here!  Well, almost.  Welcome, everyone, to the season of the third annual BAKER’S DOZEN AGENT AUCTION!

For the newcomers:  The Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction is MSFV’s biggest event of the year.  60 250-word entries, hand-picked by Jodi Meadows and Authoress, will be placed on the auction block for agents to bid on (with requests for pages, up to a full manuscript request).  It bears the name “Baker’s Dozen” because the original auction in 2010 included 13 agents–a baker’s dozen.  The actual auction is in December, but the fun starts NOW!

Later in the month Deana Barnhart will also be having a small press contest, with entries being accepted on Friday, September 28:

Friday:
Small Press Pitch Contest Call for Entries – There will be one window for entries–at 11AM EST. I will accept a max of 100 entries. To enter the small press pitch contest you will need to paste in the body of an email the query and first 150 words of your completed manuscript and send it to gutgaa(at)gmail(dot)com. Go HERE for details about what I mean by query and first 150 words as well as the format for entries. I will take entries until 11:59 PM EDT or until I get 100 entries. I will post the format directions on this day as well.

Again, these blogs along with Brenda Drake and Cupid’s Literary Connection frequently have pitch events. Follow them, subscribe to their feeds and you can be ‘in the know’ for when the next one comes up. And don’t forget Savvy Author. You can sign up for free, and take advantage of pitch opportunities there as well (they had a huge event for paying members recently too).

Plus, if you look over on my left side bar, you’ll see a link to a paper.li news article feed which pulls contest and publishing opportunities which I run across into one place. Easy to check and subscribe. There’s general publishing news too, but mostly about pitch contests and submission opportunities.

Entering any of these can help you get one step closer to becoming published. Wishing everyone luck! (me too!)

If you’ve never done a query contest Sticking To The Story has a wonderful post on what to expect and how to get ready. Even if you’ve done them before there’s LOTS of helpful information there.

p.s. There are many blogs which host pitch contests for single agents. For instance We Do Write has a monthly one (coming up soon!).

ONE MORE TO ADD:

Missed the window for #PitchMadness#CAGI &#GUTGAA? The Hook, Line & Sinker contest is coming! (In October) Details here on Kat Ellis’ blog.

Hook, Line and Sinker!

*waits for applause and cheering to subside*

That’s right kids, on October 13th the entry window opens at 11AM EDT! Take your entries to the appropriate blog based on category. Dee is hosting Middle Grade at www.writeforapples.com, Summer will be hosting the party for Adult at www.Fizzygrrl.com and I’ll be hosting Young Adult right here:http://katelliswrites.blogspot.com! There’ll be details on what your entry should include COMING SOON.

And here is where it gets real, yo. We have agents coming to play.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Real, live, top drawer agents will be coming by to make requests!

Now, we can’t tell you who just yet, but we will say that you can’t count them all on one hand…

ANOTHER BLOG TO FOLLOW:

YAtopia, who was one of the wonderful hosts for Pitch Madness, also hosts other pitch events. A little birdy (aka Stacey Nash) told me they’re announcing details for a contest called PitchOn later this week (Sept 20).