Query Critique Contest!

It's time!  I'm thrilled to welcome agent Brooks Sherman (@byobrooks) of FinePrint Literary Management, who I can tell you is super smart, interesting, and--as per his twitter bio--really does look like Paul Rudd in real life.  Brooks will be judging the entries and critiquing the winner's query letter, but we're going to make you work for it a little because it's more fun like that.

Brooks is specifically looking for dark fantasy (think The Monstrumologist series or The Book of Lost Things), horror, sci-fi, contemporary fantasy in realistic settings, and he'd love a good MG that reminds him of The Goonies.  Your MS doesn't have to be any of the above to enter for the query critique, but it might catch his eye if it is.

The contest goes thusly:

1.  Write a 100 word short story from the POV of your antagonist/villain.  It can be his/her/its perspective on an event that actually occurs in your story, but that's not required.  Before, after, or an unseen event are fine, too.

2.  Post it, along with age group/genre, in the comments of the entry post which I will put up at 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 7th.  Contest closes at 3 p.m. EST on Friday, February 10th or when we get enough valid entries, whichever comes first.

3.  The first fifteen valid entries will be judged, just to keep Brooks's workload reasonable.  If you aren't one of the first 15 but really wanted to be, post your disappointment in the comments.  If there's enough of you, I'll try to scare up another agent and run this again.

4.  Entries must be 100 words, no more, no less.  I'll be counting.

5.  Please enter only if you have a completed manuscript ready to query.  This contest is for the query letter only, but we shouldn't rule out the possibility that Brooks will fall in love with something and want pages.

6.  Following this blog or tweeting about the contest isn't necessary to enter, but either or both would be loved.

7.  Judging will be complete on or around Monday, February 13th.  I'll post the winner and explain how to get in touch with your letter.  Brooks will then critique it so it can be whipped into agent-ready shape.

Questions?  Ask below.


Laurie Muench said...

Ooh, sounds like fun. Going to go step into the shoes of my darling antagonist for awhile.

Emma Trevayne said...

Excellent! Can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

kiradecker said...

So close, but alas, not quite complete. Please tell me you'll run this again!

Harley May said...

This sounds like a great idea and excellent writing exercise. I'm not ready to query my current ms, but will tweet the project.

Emma Trevayne said...

@kiradecker: If there's demand, I'll certainly see what I can do. :)

@Harley May: Thank you!

courtneysloanwrites said...

Just finished my 100 word entry. Very neat exercise. Can't wait for tomorrow. Thank you.

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...

This proved such a fun exercise, I did it (for my own benefit) for other characters in my ms, as well. Whether or not I make it in, thank you for the opportunity and the prompt to stretch my writer muscles! AND a big congrats on CODA and your partnership with Ms. Barnes--she's wonderful!

Emma Trevayne said...

@courtneysloanwrites Brooks and I thought it would be fun and a little different. Glad you're participating!

@Curious Crow I'm so glad you found it useful independent of the contest. :D I hope I'll get to see the result over the next few days.

And thank you very much! CODA being published is SO exciting, and I wouldn't trade Mer for all the shoes in Fluevog. (She knows what a compliment that is.)

Kathleen said...

Dr. Hunt
The thrill of finding one is an adrenaline high, my heart races, my palms sweat and I can’t seem to take a deep breath. It’s been months since I’ve experienced a capture so, yes I’m going.
We stake out the house in our black car with tinted windows. I know they know we are out here. The curtains part, I glimpse part of a face. It doesn’t matter. We’ll get him in the end. We always do. The zombie can hide but it’s pointless. We have the means, the money. And the power. And we always win. Always.

Kathleen S. Allen
gaelicfairie(at)gmail (dot) com
YA horror/humorous/zombie

Alaskan Ninja said...

Great contest, good fun! Sorry I made a mess of your comments section over there. First I forgot to list my genre, then I realized you said EXACTLY 100 words.

At any rate, Thanks for the amazing opportunity; I'm reading all the entries while I wait for the results!

Kirsten Squires said...

Thanks for the opportunity! I feel kind of dumb that I had to delete two of my comments on the official entry post :) Word and Scrivener were giving me two different word counts, so I finally just had to count it by hand!

Emma Trevayne said...

@Alaskan Ninja: Don't worry about the comments section! Thanks for joining in the fun. :D

@Kirsten Squires: Don't feel dumb, Word and Scrivener do tend to argue about that. I'll be counting the entries by hand, too.

Davis Johnson said...

I concur with all the statements above. This was really fun. And I am glad you expanded from 15! I got on a plane from London to New York at 1:30 UK time so missed the opening window! :)

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