Thursday, March 24, 2016

1 Announcing Our Next Contest: Red Light/Green Light Take 2!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Back by popular demand, we’re hosting another Red Light/Green Light contest starting in April and ending in May!

As before, this contest focuses on developing the strongest possible idea or manuscript--whether it’s at the beginning of the writing process, or the final polish before submission. That's right: while writers who are currently trying to snag an agent are welcome, your manuscript doesn't have to be query-ready to enter this contest!

How the Contest Works: On entry day, contestants will submit the first sentence of their manuscript via the entry form we'll post, and the first 50 entries will be given a spot in the contest--25 from our Eastern Standard Time window, and 25 from our Pacific Time window! Then, an agent judge will choose the top 25 entries from the contestants' first sentences. The top 25 will be narrowed down to 10 based on the first two sentences of their manuscript. Next, the agent will read the top 10 contestants' first pages to narrow the contestants down to 5. Lastly, in the final round, the agent will read a pitch + first chapter from the top 5 contestants to determine the winner.

Contestants and observers alike will be able to see which manuscripts start with a great first sentence and continue to build a strong foundation all the way through their first five pages, and will hopefully be able to learn something new about what makes a strong start to a manuscript!

We’re also pleased to announce that this time, the lucky contest winner will have an even bigger prize package! Here’s what you could win:

*Phone Call With an Agent or Author: The winner of this contest will have their choice of a 30-minute phone call with one of the following: Martina Boone, author of the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy; Sarah Glenn Marsh, author of the forthcoming Fear the Drowning Deep; our agent judge (TBD!). 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!

*Gift Certificate to One Stop for Writers: Generously donated by Angela from One Stop for Writers, this is a free 6-month subscription to their amazing website filled with resources for established and emerging authors alike! Here’s a little more about One Stop:

“What do you get when the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus collaborate with the creator of Scrivener for Windows? A powerhouse online library like no other.

One Stop For Writers is an innovative site filled with unique tools and resources to help you craft stronger, more compelling fiction. Our focus is to help elevate your storytelling while saving you time. With eleven highly enhanced description thesaurus collections, tutorials, worksheets, idea generators, and timeline & structure tools, we have everything you need, so you spend less time researching and more time actually writing. If you like, stop in and browse the shelves. The library is always open (and registration is always free.)”

*You can read more about One Stop for Writers here:

That’s all for now! Remember to check back next Thursday, when we'll post the contest schedule, rules, and the name of our agent judge!

And remember also: First 5 Pages Workshops open the 1st Saturday each month, and the participants get feedback on those vital opening pages of their manuscript from 3 authors and a literary agent. This is a great opportunity to further polish the beginning of your story to make sure you're starting strong. You can check out the workshops here!

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