Thursday, January 28, 2016

2 Red Light/Green Light Contest Schedule, and Announcing Our Agent Judge!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Here are the details for our upcoming contest, which we announced last week!

First, the SCHEDULE:

On February 4: We will open for submissions! There will be one submission window at Noon Eastern (9:00 am Pacific), which will close once we have the first 30 entries--25 entrants and 5 alternates--so be ready if you want a spot! Another submission window will open at 3:00 pm Eastern (Noon Pacific), and will accept the first 30 entries--again, 25 entrants and 5 alternates--at that time before closing. Please be sure to follow the rules and use the entry form correctly to ensure your spot in the contest.

Here's the link to the submission form:

On February 11: We will post 50 first sentences on the website, so everyone can see who made it! While our agent judge is reading and making his or her selection of the top 25, YOU can give your opinions on the best first sentences in the comments section!

On February 18: The top 25 will be announced! These 25 entries will be posted on the website with their first and second sentences.

On February 25: The top 10 will be announced! You'll see the first pages of each of the top 10 entries, shared on the blog.

On March 3: The top 5 will be announced! You'll see the pitches of the top 5 entrants (the agent will see these too, along with their first chapters to determine the winner).

On March 10: The winner will be announced!

Next, here are the RULES:

1. We will take the first 50 entries submitted via the form we'll be posting on February 4th, as described in the schedule above. 25 will be from the first entry window, and 25 from the second entry window.

2. Any currently unagented person may enter this contest with an unpublished YA or MG manuscript! The manuscript does not have to be complete, but again, it does have to be unpublished.

3. For the purpose of this contest, here's how we'll define a sentence in your manuscript: when a period, exclamation point, or question mark appears, that signifies the end of a sentence. Period. (See what we did there?)

And here's a reminder of the PRIZE:

The winner of this contest will have their choice of a 30-minute phone call with one of the following authors: Martina Boone, author of the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy; Sarah Glenn Marsh, author of the forthcoming Fear the Drowning Deep; or, a 15-minute phone call with our agent judge! During this call, you can discuss your work or book ideas, any questions you have about querying and submission, or anything about writing in general--it's up to you!

Now that all those fun things are out of the way...we're thrilled to introduce you to our agent judge for this contest:


Patricia Nelson joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. She represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively building her list.

In general, Patricia looks for stories that hook her with a unique plot, fantastic writing and complex characters that jump off the page. On the adult side, she is seeking women’s fiction both upmarket and commercial, historical fiction set in the 20th century, and compelling plot-driven literary fiction. She’s also looking for sexy, smart adult contemporary and historical single title romance. For YA and MG, Patricia is open to a wide range of genres, with particular interest in contemporary/realistic, magical realism, mystery, horror, and fantasy. She is interested in seeing diverse stories and
characters, including LGBTQ, in all genres that she represents.

Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the world of publishing, she spent four years as a university-level instructor of literature and writing.

Good luck to all who choose to enter the contest next Thursday, February 4th!


  1. Good luck to everyone who enters. Sounds like a great contest!

  2. I cannot locate the form to enter Red Light, Green Light. Can you tell me where to find it?


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