A Tale of Feedback, Growth,
and Loving Thy Fellow Writer
Start polishing those queries and the first 250 of your manuscript, guys. I am incredibly excited to announce my very first query contest!
You must follow my blog. It isn’t necessary to follow me on Twitter, but I would love it if you did (that way you can keep up with the contest). We will be tweeting under #AFQC.
I will begin accepting queries and your first 250 words at 12:00 am CST April 1st, 2014 and will continue accepting queries until 12:00 am April 2nd, 2014 (one full day). When sending your entries please include your name, word count, and the title of your novel in the subject line (THE NOVEL—Jane Doe, 70,000 words). Novels do not have to be complete to enter. Format for your entry should be as follows:
Send your queries exactly as you would send them to an agent, omitting personal information, of course.
There will only be ten spots (however, if this contest generates a lot of attention, I will increase the number). The ten entrants will be chosen at random and then posted Friday, April 4th for voting. Voting will continue through Sunday, April 6th. The winner will be announced that following Tuesday, April 8th.
Each entrant must judge the nine other entries. And, of course, non-entrants are allowed and encouraged to vote as well. I want to see these guys get as much helpful feedback as possible.
The voting will be on a 1 to 10/10 scale taking several factors into mind. Please follow this format:
Query is 250-300 Words: X/10
Plot is Easily Understandable (MC, Goal, and Obstacle): X/10
Amount of Characters Listed: X/10
Showing vs. Telling (Doesn’t Read Like a Synopsis): X/10
Stakes Clearly Listed: X/10
First Line: X/10
Character Development: X/10
Setting/World Building: X/10
I encourage you to make comments on the query and first 250 to clarify any high or low scores. Hopefully these voting guidelines will allow the authors to get some centralized and helpful feedback. Results will be tallied and the entrant with the highest average will be the winner.
I will conduct an interview with the contest winner regarding what works, what doesn’t work, and a myriad of other writerly things! I will also be giving a free critique/edit of the winner’s first three chapters.
I will not tolerate any sort of malice toward other entrants or voters via any forum. Writing is by nature a subjective business. Everyone’s opinion is just that: an opinion. Use this contest to learn, grow, and better yourself as a writer.
More details will come as April 1st looms closer. Keep your eyes peeled for updates, guys. I want to see some awesome queries and help some people garner requests!
The Query Faerie