Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some Notes on Baker's Dozen Submissions

Whew! We survived the Round One onslaught. COMPLETELY bracing ourselves for Round Two tomorrow!

Reading slush with a (talented, sharp-eyed, dry-witted, experienced) friend is proving to be angst-free and...dare I say it?! I honestly couldn't do this without Jodi Meadows. Please send her organic chocolate and high-end ferret treats.

Things you need to know:
  • All entries will receive an email from me (not the bot), whether your submission was rejected or accepted. Please bear with me, and remember that I promised you'd hear within a week (and not a day).
  • If yours is one of the winning entries, you will also receive a post number.
  • Jodi and I have decided to raise the total entries in the MG/YA round to 100 (up from 80). That means 50 entries accepted in each window. We will still be choosing only 25 for the auction.
  • While we have certainly focused on loglines for the past few weeks, Jodi and I are finding that, in the end, strong writing trumps all. Also, a strong logline doesn't always lead to a strong opening page. So in slogging through, we're finding we need to strike a balance and decide if there's an ultimate, overall "hook" in each entry. Challenging! But yeah, fun.
  • I've always admired agents who keep up with their slush piles. Admiration has morphed to awe. Just saying.
As always, questions below! But go easy on me. This thing is...well, huge!


gideon 86 said...

Hi Authoress,

I just wanted to give you a "Thumbs" up! What you and Jodi are doing is something that could make several author's dreams come true. Since you are not entering in the Baker's Dozen, I wish for you what will ultimately happen for someone else .... that is one of my Christmas wishes and it will certainly be on my letter to Santa CLause.

I am so excited and I can not wait until tomorrow's submission. I just hope I get to be one of the lucky 100. I think it's great that you are increasing it to 100. It gives twenty more hopefuls a chance to have their work read.

Thank you so much and give a special "thanks" to Jodi for me.


Erin said...

I mirror Michael's comments and hope the good-deed kharma train comes 'round for you - BIG TIME! *grin*

PS - Michael, good luck!

Jessica said...

I really appreciate you expanding the number of initial entries to accept.

You know, though, the bad part about running such excellent contests is that no one is going to let you stop! :)

Empty Refrigerator said...

I agree with the above comments - it's truly incredible what you are doing. A huge thank you to you, and to Jodi as well.

A. Grey said...

Thank you Authoress, for putting so much effort into this project! And thank you to everyone helping!

Sharla said...

You're the bomb, girl!! Just like what they've said above...I can't say enough about this thing you do. You help fellow writers every day...and change some careers in the process sometimes!

Excited to watch this auction unfold...good luck to all the participants...this is going to be so cool!

Anonymous said...

Amazing stuff. Thank you for raising the amount of entries available! Dare I ask how many people got bot rejected the second round?

And also, just a general question, will we be able to comment on the Baker's Dozen submissions as per usual, or will it be an 'agents only' thing for the first twenty-four hours? (Not that I know how you'd police that).

roxy said...

This is so great, Authoress! You and Jodi deserve far more than organic chocolate. I don't know what's better than that, but we need to find it and send it to you. You're bother deeply appreciated.

rhea said...

Anon, the entries will be up on 12/4 and the auction on 12/7. According to the Baker's Dozen info posted, we can all crit.

Authoress, glad you and Jodi Meadows are enjoying the slush/challenge. Thank you both.

Good luck tomorrow all.

Authoress said...

Thank you, rhea. <3

matril said...

Thank you, Authoress and Jodi, for exceeding even your usual levels of awesomeness! Glad you enjoyed the slush-reading - I'd hate to think it was nothing but drudgery. :)

Jen J. Danna said...

I just wanted to add my thanks as well. You run a wonderful blog and are very generous with your time, especially for this contest as it takes a lot of time and effort to run the contest and then to narrow the field (thanks go to Jodi here as well!). What a wonderful opportunity for those that are lucky enough to get in and then to be picked from the slush pile. As you said, there will be feedback for all, even if they don't end up sending pages, so it is a wonderful opportunity in every way.

Good luck with tomorrow's YA rush. Considering how yesterday went, it should be a landslide!

Durango Writer said...

Got my entry accepted in Round 1 on Tuesday and tried to explain Authoress' web site to husband. He said: "What's in it for her? She's helping all those writers but not herself."
Wisely put. THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO. You've racked up some publishing karma that you rightly deserve.

The Screaming Guppy said...

It's been said already in a bunch of comments, but you guys are awesome. Thanks for all you do! :)

ChristaCarol said...

Wanted to throw in my thanks as well, because it's a kind thing to do, expressing gratitude and all. Good luck to all entrants, and I'm crossing my fingers I'll be home one of the times tomorrow to enter. I may spend all night crying if not. Stupid chaotic life!

Locksley said...

Dear Authoress,

This is not a sour grapes letter, you are doing an awesome job.

I was hoping you might in one of your general letters give some tips on 1 issue. I clicked send using a reliable clock (based on EDT) at exactly on the second for both sessions of tuesday's baker's dozen, and the secret agent contest offered this month and didn't get in!

Is it true that sending from hotmail isn't as good as sending from gmail and do you know what kind of delays in transmission are involved (take mine for an example if you like)? And what clock does your auto-bot use? As an ex-engineer, I'm baffled. i.e. I thought sending from the west to east coast would create a delay of a max of 200 milli-seconds (1/5th a second)and I compensated for that with a quick snap on the mouse.

Don't worry about me. I will try again in Jan etc and think your site is the best place any author can go.

Peace and love,

Authoress said...

Locksley -- I'm so sorry for your frustration. :(

Honestly? Hotmail is so yesterday. My programmer has run into more problems in dealing with subs from hotmail than with other email clients.

I have no idea what the delay is but I think it's significant (someone commented yesterday about a few minutes, I think?). Whereas if you use gmail, it will transmit almost instantaneously.

If I were you, I would totally open a gmail account, if only for entering contests! I love gmail. :)

Susan S said...

To echo everyone else ... THANK YOU AUTHORESS. You are truly The Bomb (or as my son would say, "the Oreo, because they make everything better").

I also agree with your comments to Locksley - in my experience, Hotmail has an approximately 1-5 minute delay on send-and-receive functions sent through its servers. That means that whereas a Gmail-to-Gmail transaction takes place virtually instantaneously (pun intended), your Hotmail could go out instantly or could have an internal delay at Hotmail's servers. I'm guessing that's what happened to your entries, and I definitely suggest a Gmail account. I have a dedicated one for all my writing-related matters and it's really a nice thing to have. Helps keep everything in one place, too!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I don't envy you and Jodi, Authoress. I had to select 5 loglines out of 10 to go to the next round in a recent contest. It wasn't easy. I loved 8 of them. 25 from 100 entries would give me a migraine.

*rushes off to warm up 'send' finger for tomorrow*

Locksley said...

I have a gmail and it's time I dedicate it to writing. See you in the next appropriate contest and in the critiques.

Thanks so much Authoress (Susan too and the best of luck to you),

Huntress said...

a big 'ditto' to all the above comments.

One request:
I would like to read an excerpt of your MS sometime.

Anonymous said...

Chiming in on the gratitude here-- this is awesome and exciting.

I entered far too late to get in -- Didn't read the "filled in one minute" comment from the first round -- but just going through the process of entering was a good kick in the pants for me. Thank you!


roh morgon said...

Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to have our works read by industry professionals. Your Secret Agent contests are awesome, and you really outdid yourself this time.

The feedback from so many sources will go a long ways to helping guide us down the rocky path of publishing.

Thank you so much for the time and energy you give.

Moira Donohue said...

I just want to echo my thanks (and excitement) as well - what a huge undertaking and what a really great opportunity. You are wonderful for doing this!!!

Steena Holmes said...

I think it's amazing you are increasing the entries - good luck to all the YA participants! The gmail does make a difference (although there's not much you can do when everyone hits send at the same time ... lol)
can't wait to read these entries!
Authoress - you and Jodi deserve some good chocolate! Indulge :)

lvae said...

Locksley, I think I know your problem, and it has nothing to do with gmail/hotmail - you used EDT, but right now New York is on EST. (I got confused when I first saw it on the instructions as well, which is why EDT jumped out at me from your post)

The submission post says EST too.

Locksley said...

Hi Ivae,

Thanks. I just checked EST and EDT and they are the same time and 3 hours advanced over the west coast. I ment to write EST but you know what happens when you don't edit.


Miss Aspirant said...

Thanks Authoress for adding in an additional 20 entrants! More work for you and Jodi, but more chances for us hopefuls. Once again, you both are amazing!

Anonymous said...

I'm in awe of your incredible all around wonderfulness. Do have one quick question, does it matter if the submission is double spaced or not? I'd hate to get rejected by the bot for something like that. Thanks again X a million.

Authoress said...

Single-spaced is actually better. Nothing on the blog is double-spaced (and I would have to reformat if it were). So please single. :)

bigblackcat97 said...

Hey authoress - not trying to complain, but I just attempted to submit for the YA contest at 12:00 on the dot, and the bot DQ'd me b/c it said I didn't have my SCREEN NAME: TITLE : and GENRE: at the top of my entry. But it was..... it just wasn't in all caps. Would the bot have kicked me for that?

I'll try again in the next window, but I need to know if the formatting is what got me kicked so I can try again.


coffeelvnmom said...

Thank you so much for everything you do, Authoress - words truly cannot express my gratitude. I can't imagine the time and effort it takes to keep this blog going all the time - the contests, the critiques, and whatnot. This community is so awesome. Being able to offer and receive critiques, having opportunities to submit work to agents that would most likely otherwise go unseen, well, all of it is a blessing.

Thanks to Jodi, and Holly, and everyone else who takes the time to be involved in this blog as well - you're much appreciated too! =)

I wish you wonderful and positive success in your own writing, Authoress. You deserve it.


Cat said...

There might be invisible characters somewhere in your mail that the bot couldn't interpret (several people before complained about that). You need to save your excerpt including the header in plain text before you copy and paste it into your mail (in Windows, you can use the Editor).

bigblackcat97 said...

Thanks Cat, I'll try that for the next round.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Bigblackcat97--yes, it does have to be in caps.

Authoress, I received a message that all 100 spots are full. Does that mean you aren't doing the 6 pm EST window?

Authoress said...

bigblack -- It has to have the colons, or the bot won't read it as a heading:


Stina -- There are 50 more slots. We upped the count. :)

Alina said...

Care to share how many of us didn't make it in this time? :) Somehow that might make me feel better...

bigblackcat97 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigblackcat97 said...

Thanks for answering, Authoress. I had the colons, I'm guessing it was the plain / rich text that tripped me up. Trying again @ 6.

ChristaCarol said...

Just wanted to add, I love that you have 2 submission times. This works great for busy people or for you know, issues like bigblackcat had. =-D

Good luck to everyone!!!