Saturday, October 6, 2012

0 1st 5 Pages October Workshop Opens at Noon Today

The workshop is full for this month, but we will accept entries for the November workshop at noon on Saturday, November 3rd. In the meantime, please come back after noon this coming Monday and help us comment on the work. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Random House Kids, we have two amazing multi-book prize packs to give away to a couple of the non-workshop commentors! :)

The October First Five Pages Workshop will be mentored by the lovely and multi-talented P.J. Hoover, author of both YA and MG books. Starting at noon today, 10/6/2012, we will take the first five 1250-word YA or MG entries submitted by email to kidlit --at-- writeedge dot com that match all of the submission requirements below. Please read ALL the requirements before submitting!

Lisa Gail Green and/or I will work alongside P.J. Hoover to tell you what we see in those first five pages with respect to your voice, plot, characters, setting, pacing and writing in general. You will have the opportunity to post your initial entry plus two revisions. Depending on PJ's schedule, she may comment only on your initial entry, on the initial entry and one revision. Lisa and/or I will comment on all subsequent revisions. You'll also get feedback and comments from your peers throughout the month.

Rules and Requirements

The rules are simple. We ask that you follow all of them, every week for the duration of the workshop. Properly formatting your entry may sound like a pain, but it's good practice because agents and editors will expect you to follow submission guidelines too. It's part of showing your professionalism, and writing is a business as well as a creative endeavor. Entries that do not meet all of the criteria below will be disqualified. Read all the rules and be prepared to follow them each week, otherwise it isn't fair to take up space in the workshop. We always have more entries than we can accept in any given month.

1. Manuscripts must be middle grade or young adult.

2. Manuscripts do not need to be completed, but must be your own, original work.

3. Send us the first five pages, with each page approximately 250 words, max 1250 words.

4. Do NOT send any synopsis or summary information.

5. Make sure your entry is properly formatted, in RTF format, and sent IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, single spaced, with a blank line between all paragraphs expect the header information. No attachments.

Before sending it to us, we suggest that you email your entry to yourself so you can see how it will come out.

Your entry MUST look like this:

Name: Your name
Genre: Young Adult XXX or Middle Grade XXX
Title: Your title

The body of the text, max 1250 words, must be SINGLE SPACED. There MUST be an EMPTY LINE BETWEEEN paragraphs. (Hit the 'Enter' button twice.)

If your manuscript is formatted in standard manuscript format, double-spaced with indents at the beginning of each paragraph and no extra space before or after paragraphs, then this will not come through correctly for reading on the web. The easiest way to get the formatting the way that we need it is to copy your snippet, put it into a clean MS Word document, select all the text, change the paragraph spacing to single space, then do a search and replace for ^p and replace it with ^p^p. This will take each paragraph break and turn it into two paragraph breaks. Or, of course, you can go through and hit the enter button again a second time after each individual paragraph.

Create a new email through an email provider other than GMAIL and click on the format text tab at the top of the message. Gmail seems to insert AN EXTRA line for every blank line. It may even insert a blank line between the header information, which should have NO blank lines between paragraphs. To get around the gmail problem, the easiest thing to do is use another email provider if you already have one, or to create a free hotmail account.

In your blank email message, set the message format to “Rich Text,” then paste in the text of your entry.
7. Be prepared to receive honest, constructive feedback EVERY week and to participate through the entire workshop. Not all feedback will be positive. The purpose of the workshop is to help you improve your manuscript, not to tell you that it is wonderful.

8. Provide honest, constructive, and thoughtful feedback to EACH of your fellow workshop participants in a kind and courteous manner by Thursday night EVERY week.

9. Send the revised version of the manuscript back to us--following all the above rules--by 6:00 PM on Sunday nights, properly formatted, every week until the end of the workshop.

That's it. Again, remember that you will need to understand email formatting to submit to agents anyway, so this isn't all a wasted effort.

Send your entries starting at noon (Eastern Time) today to kidlit at writeedge dot com.

That's it. Again, if it sounds like a pain, remember that you will have to understand email formatting to be able to submit to agents when your entry is ready to query.

Accepted entries will be posted here on the blog at noon on Monday, and revisions will be posted at noon on every subsequent Monday.

Happy reading and writing,


ABOUT P.J. Hoover

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton.

After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.

For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS AND SCOUNDRELS and THE ENCHANTED INKPOT.

Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own and will be published by Tor Children's in June 2013.

Her next middle grade novel, Tut, which tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat, will be published by Tor Children's in Winter 2014.

Her published middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.

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