Around The Web
Book Expo America--the largest publishing event in North America--is in full swing. Fewer people are attending this year, some citing reasons like the economy, some questioning whether BEA is really the best way to reach other industry insiders. Publishers Weekly made a point of noting that graphic novels -- once considered exotic in such a venue -- are becoming more prominent and mainstream at such industry events. Publishers Weekly is providing round-the-clock coverage on BEA, so if you want more info, check out their BEA feed. You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter.
If you're interested in bidding on any of the items in the Brenda Novak auction, hurry over! The auction ends soon!
Rachelle Gardner explains what to do if you ever have to fire your agent!
Lucienne Diver shared the list of authors who will be participating in the YA Paranormal workshop over at Romance Divas: Rachel Caine, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Cassandra Clare, Christopher Golden, Jeff Mariotte, and Alyson Noel.
The Blood Red Pencil has a great post on story arcs and making sure you don't have any holes in yours!
The Washington Post discusses why US Homeland Security's newest advisors are...science fiction writers.
Everyone have a great weekend...we'll see you right here next week!
Today’s contest: World’s Worst Query Letter.
That’s right, all you query-obsessors. The worst you can come up with. (NO agent-bashing. They’re our friends. We love them.)
Some ideas to make your query its worst:
* Inflate those word counts. There's no such thing as too many words, right?
* Tell us how much your mother loved it. Or better yet, your dog. Or gerbil. Or whatever.
* Include how many pet iguanas and Madagascar hissing cockroaches (wink, Mary) you have. Down to the last one—count twice if you need to. Agents need to know that kind of stuff.
* Be sure to leave out pertinent information about the plot. Nobody wants to know what the book is about in the query. Pshaw.
* Use the words, “It’s the next Harry Potter!” at least twice for emphasis.
* Spell my name wrong. Agents (no, I am not an agent, but for the purposes of this contest…) love that. Or better yet, go wild and abandon the greeting all together!
* Start with a rhetorical question. Maybe, “Have you ever wondered what lies between platforms 9 ¾ and 9 7/8?”
* Make me spew Sprite out my nose. Srsly. I want the best worst query letter you’ve got.
Now I’d love to see you ramble on and on and not tell me anything about said novel, but I actually have to read these things, so let’s limit it to one page of your worstness, okay? Okay.
The contest will be open today, May 28th, through Sunday May 31st. You can access the entry form here (a free QueryTracker.net membership is required to enter the contest).
Entries will be judged on originality and humor. Winners will be announced next Thursday, June 4th and will receive the following amazing prizes:
1st prize: A query critique from agent Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (PS. Jim is up for nomination of King of the Carnival! Go vote here!) Read what he's interested in seeing here.
2nd prize: One Year QT Premium Membership
3rd prize: Steve Weber's Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors (I just received this book and it rocks!! Enter. Win. Rule the world.)
And don’t forget! Everyone who enters this contest (and any of our other fantabulous contests) will receive another entry in the Grand Prize Drawing for a chance to win a custom-designed website from Purple Squirrel Web Design.
I can't wait to read you at your worst!
All 100 contestants who entered the contest have had their names put into the drawing for the grand prize of a free writer's website design by Purple Squirrel Design.
Please vote for your favorite sentence by using this form. (You must be logged on to QueryTracker in order to vote. Membership is free.)
Thanks to everyone who pulled out the purple. Winners will be announced Monday, June 1.
2. Her laugh spilled from vermilion lips like a waterfall rushing, heaving, crashing into a deep cataract of stone, into a pool of endless depth, ringing eternally in the night air, stirring the music of the cicadas ebbing and flowing with their throbbing, undulating dirge in the deepening, empty darkness, as she smiled wistfully, her lips curling into a subtle, voluptuous hallow, like a half-moon draped provocatively over a deep-blue sofa amid the glowing, phosphorescent stars, and whispered with a breathy huskiness, "Query Tracker is having a carnival ... how delightful, dahling!"
3. The day the world ended in a blaze, not of glory but of discontent, found me wordsmithing at my keyboard still trying to find the purest, most perfect and absolutely quintessential (but not redundant) words to fully and effectively articulate a lifetime’s worth of moods and feelings about the most hideously interesting thing that had ever happened in my whole entire sad and sorry existence that I amusingly call a life – which, by the way, is not now, never has been or ever will be anything more than a frustrating attempt to stop holding my breath while waiting for the nod - a life which has never conformed with other peoples’ standards and guidelines nor confirmed my own, bringing me back to my original dilemma – how does anyone, with all the do’s and don’ts, and guidelines, and suggestions from experts (who might or might not be published) about style and 12-point fonts, and Times New Roman versus Courier, fashion a kick-ass query letter or pitch line for the QueryTracker Princess without kissing a frog or turning purple?
4. The hellacious darkness of my work chamber, illuminated solely by the flickering soot-capped flame of the reeking oil lamp, mirrored the black hole depth the muse in my mind had descended into as hour after drearisome hour slipped inexorably and unproductively by, the accursed blinking cursor of my word processing machine ticking off the damnable seconds until the deadline of the Query Tracker contest would bear down on me Sisyphus-like in excruciating finality dashing my quixotic dreams of fame and literary eclat.
5. Candice and Raul's passionate love train, super heated, steaming, an unquenchable fire of passion, surged like a tsunami-birthed tidal wave along parallel tracks, inseparable, homologous, their hearts, their tenders containing all of the ingredients, the fuels they would ever require to feed their love's firebox: passion, compassion, commitment, sacrifice, trust, selflessness, and truth; that is, until Candice found QueryTracker whose magnetism lured her from the exotically handsome Raul, begging her time, her unbridled attentions, derailing the love train.
6. The fundamental blackness that made up the shining orbs that were his eyes deeply penetrated the illuminated almost phosphorescent computer screen as he pulled at his spiked, gel infused, platinum blond coif and shouted, "Damn you Query tracker, damn you to hell for your good news stories!"
7. With a cup of freshly-brewed coffee clutched in one hand and ready to read the morning's QueryTracker blog entry, the sleepy writer cast a glance out the square, multi-paned window at the lawn beyond and watched a small and energetic red-breasted robin hop on his tiny feet among the freshly-cut stalks of dew-clad grass, the bird's yellow beak furiously seeking any unlucky earthworm that happened to accidentally poke its doomed, brownish-pink and blind head above the earth's moisture-saturated surface in search of fresh morning air after a long and stormy night which nearly drowned the three-inch long legless and slimy creature before it could breach the crust in a desperate, instinctual quest for the necessary oxygen required to hold onto precious life.
8. It began one sultry mid-August afternoon, whose ominous, bruised Manhattan skies and sweltering, stultifying Big Apple pavements drove yours truly into the air-conditioned comfort of Macys Fifth Avenue with no particular destination in mind, consumed, in fact, by idle thoughts of entering the Query-Tracker Purple Prose contest (though it seemed to me that given my dedication to prose clarity and syntactic precision, it was laughably improbable I could be physically or mentally or, for that matter, emotionally, capable of constructing such an entry, let alone do so in a manner calculated to achieve some sort of buffoonish recognition) when, out of the blue, I was seized unaccountably and without warning by the urge to embark upon a casual stroll through the ladies' lingerie department, unaware, sadly, that had I been adequately prepared — though, now, in twenty-twenty retrospective hindsight, through the cruel, pellucid lens of reality as well as the stark prism of senescence, I realize there could have been no such preparatory experience, and furthermore had I not at that very moment found myself sitting on a razorblade of indecision (lingerie? shoes? lingerie? shoes?) — I would have disdained notice of the mammiform apparition that exploded from the fetid bowels of a changing room – in front of which (I was subsequently required to explain to a battery of unsympathetic security personnel whose rude and intrusive conclusion-jumping and absence of good will spoke volumes) I'd happened to drop my car keys, and had as a consequence fallen to my knees in search of them — like a Wagnerian wood nymph whose diaphanous wings had been wickedly bound by mischievous gods and secured by a gilded undergarment that left so little to the imagination it evoked from within my innermost being a carnal ululation so intense and released a gushing flood of unabashed desire so overwhelming that I was sucked headlong into the maws of an enormous black hole of desire, thus occasioning what became, at length, one of the most profound mistakes of my entire life, that is to say, one whose reach and magnitude cannot be overstated, as — with the gravity of heavy water and the unabashed existential momentum of a meteor on an ineluctable trajectory presaging the utter destruction of life on this planet as we know it — I extended a hand palsied by desire and, my voice unable to suppress the husky susurrus emanating from stalactites of passion drip-dripping deep within the echoing caverns of my fevered id, I helplessly intoned, "Madam, my card!"
9. The turgid clouds set aglow by the hungry sunset, like a flashlight beam illuminating cheeks full of air, bobbed in the sky like bouys in a bathtub, while the glossy sun cleaved those wanting cotton-like puffs as a Samuarai sword would soft flesh, for this was the time of day Joe dropped to his knee in front of Mary to profess eternal love (except for the two page prenup that he submitted through QueryTracker, for a book deal was an acceptable alternative in case the proposal went south), and reveal his three-months pay non-conflict diamond as big as all outdoors... "I love... you!" he sneezed.
10. With ever-diminishing hope, I was struggling on in my grueling search, much like some sweat-browed miner laboring in the dark, dank bowels of the earth to uncover a shining, precious nugget portending a golden future, when suddenly, I stumbled upon a rich treasure trove of heart-warming hope and spiritual encouragement in the cunning guise of the quintessential Querytracker, the perfect literary beacon to guide me down a rosy path directly into the welcoming arms of that judicious agent of published felicity, who would not, could not fail to appreciate my fabulous fable concerning a winsome Welsh dragon with a penchant for pyrotechnical pizzazz.
11. When he heard about the empurpled contest on Query Tracker, the coils of dark, multitudinous hair which made up his eyebrows knit together in fury, like a spry grandmother’s knitting needles, clicking incessantly and rapidly, the sun’s rays illuminating them with a silver gleam, like the gleam of a young child’s brand new bicycle bedecked in all its glory with lemon-colored streamers and chiffon paint with stripes of lavender that shimmered like the violet hue of his eyes which were now thoughtful; the wrinkles around his wide, pupil-inhabited orbs seemed pensive as he considered how he might win Query Tracker’s contest and emerge a champion like a magnificent Olympic sports-star—but not like Greg Luganis because he hit his head—instead his own powerful kind of win—the kind to fill a man’s soul with joy to overflowing like a large bowl of Rocky Road ice cream with ostentatious helpings of steaming hot fudge, but not butterscotch because it would contrast with the rich hues of the chocolate which was so sweet as would be his joy when he won—like a bareback rider in the National Rodeo Finals hanging on for dear life to a fraying strap of yellowed rope—he imagined this with fervor, gripping the gleaming pen in his hand as he began to write.
12. The upcoming, highly-anticipated, second anniversary of QueryTracker had elicited such strange, foreign, off-the-wall, yet kinky responses, in some cases, that, dare I say, the judges of the contest were beside themselves wondering, marveling, sometimes thus far questioning their own sanity, to the point that they were not sure that they were still capable of, or equal to the task of selecting or singling out to just one, out of the many, until at almost the final moments of the contest, a quiet, unassuming girl submitted her entry in the hopes that maybe, for once in her lifetime, someone would see value or worth in something, or anything, for that matter, that she had to offer, for not once in her life had anyone, young or old, spoken a kind word, performed a kind gesture or looked kindly upon her since the day she was born, and her mother had unfortunately, tragically died giving birth to her, causing her father to leave hastily, departing from the city altogether, which left the burden of her upbringing and care upon her wicked, overbearing, abusive grandmother who was feared, hated and reviled by her servants and the townspeople as well, which is why the girl had decided to enter the contest in the first place, hoping against all hopes, that if she were to have one thing go her way, it would once and for all, forever and ever, change the tide of her luck, so that maybe one day she would meet the man of her dreams, fall in love, marry, have the children that she had always longed for, and then she could live happily ever after, finally saying hallelujah and amen.
13. Carla professed to her shrink her feelings of paranoia, of being followed, tracked, even, like a bear in the woods followed by three bloodhounds, one more blood-thirsty than the other, until he discovered that her suspicions were warranted since Carla is listed as an agent on QueryTracker and therefore hundreds, if not thousands, of people were indeed tracking her every move.
14. The antique fountain pen (one whose handle had been carved from a single piece of illegal ivory and inscribed with the serpentine symbol of the tribe that nearly killed its procurer, handed down generation to generation in a near-sacred and solemn ceremony relaying the harrowing tale, one that had caressed countless scrolls and parchments and leather-bound journals while committing secrets and dreams and grocery lists to final, unforgettable form) poised over the pristine paper, precariously, hesitating with a foreboding sense of anthropomorphic insight that any day--any moment--it would be recklessly abandoned, having had finally outlived its utilitarian usefulness; and in a final sweep of calligraphic desperation, it accusingly pens the name of the agent of its awful demise: QueryTracker.net.
15. In a manger scene, ugly and horrible and stinking of an immensely grave animal truth, they sit and stand in an implied embrace, holding their terrible grief in their empty hands and seeing their In Box replete with voiletly purple prose—and even poems, for Zeus’ sake—as Patrick McDonald, a clean-shaven, cleanly spoken hull of a man, queries his boldly brave partner (disguised as a woman dressed in an unpleasant peasant skirt with brown, not black, Birkenstock sandals—the woman, that is, not the skirt—who looks just exactly like Carolyn Kaufman, strangely enough) seemingly endlessly and voraciously angry, and asks rhetorically and again and again, repeatedly, “Whose stinking idea was this, anyway, because real true writers are far too busy writing their fictional novels to waste their all-too precious time on an exceedingly and immensely frivolous and wasteful QueryTracker contest,” and she replies, querulously, “Don’t blame me because I’d really much rather have stayed at home and pigged out on pizza and YouTube shorts, and you damn well know it.”
And it's time for another contest and another chance to win fabulous prizes.
First, the details:
As you all know, last week-- just after our Carnival festivities kicked off-- we were suddenly faced with the longest server outage in QueryTracker history. Now, service interruptions are rare to begin with, so such a long outage during our big Carnival celebration was an unexpected twist, for sure.
For almost 36 hours, 15,000+ innocent members of the writing community were forced to muddle through without access to QueryTracker or the Rallystorm forums. Some folks gathered here on the blog, some tweeted their withdrawal symptoms, but somehow we all survived.
A few folks sent us some entertaining emails about their coping (or lack thereof). Which gave us an idea.
So now's your chance you use that drama and add some of your own.
That's right, for this contest we're asking the QTers to compose a one-paragraph creative essay describing how they survived the downtime.
The contest will be open today, May 26th, through Saturday May 30th. You can access the entry form here (Free QueryTracker.net membership is required to enter the contest).
Entries will be judged on originality and humor. Winners will be announced June 3rd and will receive the following amazing prizes:
1st prize: A query critique from agent Lindsay Davis of Writer's House
2nd prize: One Year QT Premium Membership
3rd prize: Steve Weber's Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors
And everyone who participates will receive another entry in the Grand Prize Drawing for a chance to win a custom-designed website from Purple Squirrel Web Design.
Thank you for the many, many nominations for QT King and Queen. There are a lot of fantastic agents out there! We still need you to VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITES so they can preside over the final week of our carnival, when all the winners will be announced. Details on how to vote are at the end of this post. Here are the twenty agents who received the highest number of nominations, with samplings of why they were nominated:
Joanna Stampfel-Volpe “She has a keen knack for knowing what works and doesn't work. She's in tune with the publishing world and what readers want. Her nurturing way helps guide her clients to success while making good choices for editors and publishers. She is definitely an asset to the publishing world.”
Janet Reid “Janet's blog has helped me learn more about querying and what an agent's life is like than almost any other agent blog out there. I follow a ton, but hers sticks out to me because she's not afraid to be candid, which is what we honestly need. She tells us what she hates in queries, she tells us what kind of writing she can't get enough of, she tells hilarious stories about being accosted by writers at events. It's the Bible of What-Not-To-Do.”
Kristin Nelson “Her blog is great! She not only tells us what she's listening on her iPod but has some great examples on how to write specific queries for the plot paragraph. I know I have used her examples and referred them to anyone I can who needs a detailed genre example to look at and study.”
Barbara Poelle “She was very nice. Rejected my proposal but with nice comments and suggested another agent who might be interested (told me to use her name as a referral).” “Barbara Poelle is a hoot. I met her at a conference and she is the funniest person ever. She used to do stand up comedy. Darling.”
Colleen Lindsay “I nominate Colleen Lindsay of FinePrint Literary Management, author of The Swivet. The Swivet is my favorite agent blog because it offers a great mix of agently advice, market news, and nerdly wonder. Before I found Querytracker.net, I used her blog to prepare to market my manuscript.
Jessica Faust “I would like to nominate Jessica Faust, who critiqued my pitch on her blog and, although she declined a second look, gave me the
Lindsay Davis “She’s been nice in the correspondences we’ve had.” “Lindsay Davis gets back to you quick! I’ve been lucky enough to submit my full to her, and though she ultimately rejected me, I still enjoyed working with her.”
Holly Root “She's been really nice in my correspondence with her. She gives good advice on the Waxman blog and in interviews she's given on the web. And, she's got my partial right now.She seems like a class act.”
Mollie Glick “An associate within her firm pointed me to Mollie Glick. She got back to me right away, and was very upbeat about the project I was working on.”
Rachelle Gardner “I'd like to nominate Rachelle Gardner, who is just all around fabulous. She's seems genuinely compassionate, gives terrific advice, and makes herself very approachable.”
Donald Maass “He rejected my query, but took the time to hand-write a letter on his own stationary and put his own stamp on an envelope. That letter not only complemented me on my writing style, but gave positive suggestions on how to improve my project.”
Chris Richman “He stays in close contact with his clients, goofs off on Facebook, is good with helping on revisions, and keeps his clients updated. Seems like a great agent to have. And he's cute!”
Jim McCarthy “I nominate Jim McCarthy if for no other reason he used the word ‘juncture’ in my full rejection.”
Steven Malk “During my manuscript critique, he not only answered all my questions but really took the time to help me as a writer for the long haul.”
Brendan Deneen “Because he judged the contest. It was really awesome to know the top 50. He didn’t have to do that.” “Easy to work with. Nice, even though he looks like a movie star.”
Steven Barbara “The man responds fast. He's great.” “Always approachable, always willing to help a writer out on their journey. And always friendly rejections!”
Nathan Bransford “I love to follow his blog and he seems to be very concerned with giving writers a chance. I got to meet him in person at the last conference I went to, and he was so nice about answering all the writers' questions (even the crazy ones).”
Stephen Fraser “Stephen Fraser is wonderful. He gives personalized notes when he passes on your material.” “Great at conferences! He even set aside his chocolate cake to answer the questions he was bombarded with. And he came down the aisle to the song
Michael Bourret “I’ve met two authors who are represented by Michael Bourret, and he sounds like the kind of agent anyone would dream of having. Rumor has it, he’s one of the nicest, most up-beat guys out there!”
Jonathan Lyons “Because he responds lightning fast, even if it's a no. A fast response is always appreciated in my book.” “I like the submission form! It takes the guesswork out of querying.”
TO VOTE: Click this LINK, which will take you to the voting page over on the QT main site. You will need a free QueryTracker membership. You may vote once for King and once for Queen, so make your choices wisely! Voting will close Friday, May 29th.
What can I do with the membership? QueryTracker.net is the best way to find an agent and track your queries. It makes the querying process simple! It also tracks data from all 15,000 members, painting a clear picture of what to expect from each agent. From the moment you enroll, you can use your QT membership to find the perfect agent to represent your work.
As always, if you have any questions just let me know. You can leave them in the comments of this post or send me an email, address in the sidebar at right.
Our carnival celebrating the second anniversary of QueryTracker.net is well underway! There's only one more day to be entered an extra time for the free custom designed website! Click here for more details.
Purple Prose contest is still open until midnight on Monday, May 25.
Anagram Anarchy went live yesterday and will run until next Wednesday, May 27.
Don't forget to nominate your favorite agent for the high honor of King or Queen! Suzette is taking entries through email. Check the sidebar for her email address.
Every contest entry you submit earns you a chance to win the free custom designed website. But that's not all. Every contest also has it's own set of prizes. And darn good ones, if I do say so myself.
First Place: critique of your query letter by a literary agent! That's right. You read that sentence correctly. Four agents have generously donated their time to read YOUR query should you win one of the individual contests.
So without further ado, I give you:
Jim McCarthy interned for DGLM while studying urban design at New York University. Upon graduating, Jim realized he would much rather continue working with books than make the jump (as he had originally intended) to the field of city planning.
As an avid fiction reader, his interests encompass both literary and commercial, adult and young adult works. He is particularly interested in women's fiction, underrepresented voice, mysteries, romance, paranormal fiction, and anything unusual or unexpected. In addition to fiction he is also interested in narrative nonfiction, humor, memoir, paranormal nonfiction, and anything related to architecture, planning, or real estate.
Check out his QT profile here. Mr. McCarthy will be critting the query letter for the winner of an exciting contest coming up next week so stay tuned!
Lindsay Davis moved to Writers House after beginning her publishing career in the Harcourt Children's Marketing Department. She's been lucky to apprentice with Steven Malk in the West Coast office, where she's had the opportunity to work with some of the very best authors and artists in the industry. She's now building her own list and she's actively seeking picture book, middle grade, and young adult manuscripts. She's always been passionate about children's and young adult literature, and, as an agent, she's eager to help bring fresh voices, characters and stories to a new generation of readers.
She is particularly drawn to mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, magical realism, adventure, and books with humor--light or dark or both. Growing up, she loved (and still loves) stories by Roald Dahl, Madeleine L'Engle, Katherine Paterson, E. L. Konigsburg, Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary, and Judith Viorst.Check out her QT profile here. Ms. Davis will be critting the query letter for the winner of an exciting contest coming up next week so stay tuned!
Kae Tienstra founded KT Public Relations and Literary Services in January 1993. The firm specializes in publicity and marketing campaigns for book and magazine publishers, authors, and other businesses. KT Public Relations handles all phases of publicity and marketing for its clients, including creation of press and promotional materials, media relations, media coaching, general publicity, online publicity, special events and public relations consultation.
Before founding KT Public Relations, Kae served as publicity director for Rodale, Inc. and was responsible for securing trade and consumer publicity for 40 to 50 new book titles each year. In addition, she was interim director of corporate communications for three years and was responsible for corporate public relations as well as numerous magazine publicity projects. She is married to Jon Tienstra who is a partner in KT Public Relations. Jon and Kae are the parents of three grown children and live in Fogelsville, PA. Kae is a frequent public speaker delivers seminars and workshops on publicity.
Check out their QT profile here. Mr. Tienstra will be critting the query letter for the winner of the Purple Prose contest. Ms. Tienstra will be critting the query letter for the winner of the Anagram Anarchy contest. Both of these contests are still open, so be sure to enter for a chance to win!
Agent and Publishing News:
Chasya Milgrom at Dystel and Goderich was recently promoted from assistant to agent. Read more here.
Why one agent says no: Holly Root on why she passes on projects (not queries).
Moonrat explains how authors get paid. Check it out!
Nathan Bransford lays out when it's okay to requery. Jessica Faust weighs in too. And on the same day! Maybe something in the water? Hmm...
Caren Johnson talks about writers on the web. Good information for anyone with a blog or website.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is currently accepting stories. Click to find out what they're looking for. Entries are due the end of May for some topics, and the end of June for others.
50 banned books that everyone should read. Just for fun!
And the summer conference season is almost upon us! Who's lucky enough go be going to one? I can't wait to see the great advice on the agent blogs as they attend conferences and share their insight.
Have a great week!
This game is fairly simple and tons of fun :D Below I have 15 anagrams listed for you. Each phrase unscrambles into a querying and writing related term.
Here are a couple examples:
Natural Fads Pills = Partials and Fulls
Egocentric Ferns Win = writing conferences
Just click on the Carnival Tent to go to the online submission form and submit your answers! Submissions will be open until Wednesday May 27th. So get your entries in!
The prizes include a critique of your query by awesome agent Kae Tienstra, a one year premium membership to QueryTracker, and a copy of Steve Weber's Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors.
First place winner will get first choice, Second place winner second choice, and Third place winner will get the remaining prize.
Winners will be announced on Tuesday, June 2nd. Don't forget to send in your nominations for our QueryTracker king and queen. Just email Suzette (her address is in the sidebar on the right). Details for that contest can be found HERE. Good luck and have fun!!!
Solve the Anagram!
1. Teachers nag
2. Stiff vipers age
3. Ill nasal updrafts
4. Serene grunge band
5. Rotund cow
6. Eject forlorn termites
7. In font of citric onion
8. Matron standoffs
9. Innocence grew first
10. Deb is using limousines
11. Rotary hug phobia
12. A Millionaire Slam
13. Replayed Snore Quiz
14. Hello Nook Religion
15. Hmm Remember Quip Tips
Click HERE or click on the Carnival Tent below to enter your answers! Remember, your entry in this game also enters you in the drawing for the grand prize of a FREE CUSTOM DESIGNED WEBSITE, courtesy of Purple Squirrel Web Design.
I have been working with this host provider for nearly 10 years and can tell you that they are normally quite reliable and quick to fix problems when they do arise. So this is an unusual event, but that doesn't make it any more tolerable.
Rest assured they are working as fast as they can to get all the sites back up and running, and hope to have it complete some time this evening. All data on QueryTracker is backed up daily and so there is no need to worry about losing information.
This comes at a very bad time, being in the middle of our carnival and all, but we'll soon be back on track and the fun can continue.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Without further ado, I give you the winners:
10 HONORABLE MENTIONS
Submission of one chapter & a synopsis, if you have one
#10 Retrieving a priceless sword buried in a mysterious sculpture garden is 14 year old Emma Walker's answer to her family's financial problems, but when she pulls it from the earth where it lay buried for decades, the sword sends her back in time where Emma must battle the man who created the magic sword to stay alive and save the future.
#14 After an attempt on his life, Ben Grange and his friends are thrown headlong into a conflict that they don’t entirely understand, leaving them alone to deal with issues of loyalty, friendship and responsibility in this A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE meets THE HILLS young adult epic fantasy.
#20 The day the world ends, a young man's battle against a mythological evil begins.
#22 A widowed farmer's efforts to build a new life and safely raise his daughter are irrevocably destroyed when his daughter is killed and he pleads guilty to a crime he didn’t commit in order to reach the man in prison who murdered her.
#25 When Grace’s ranger father disappears, she uses her wilderness survival skills to uncover a conspiracy that threatens the nature of her beloved mountains and her chance at first love.
#26 As a freshman, Alex MacLaren has never had a sword tear open her flesh, seen razor-sharp ice daggers shatter against a magical shield nor stared into the smiling face of pure evil, and she’s certainly never been coronated LordHeir before millions, abducted by her closest friend nor sexually craved another woman, yet all that would change the day she sat next to Kara on a plane bound for Chicago.
#33 An amateur Victorian magician had the key to returning Grace to her home in the 24th century - if only they can find where it got to.
#36 In "Apocalypse School," mousey, tomboyish Reena and football captain Zack tumble into a time-space warp inside their junior high where they discover a long-missing classmate, and the three must stop the bizarre,lost world from expanding before they can find their way home.
#38 Young, handsome portfolio manager with Harvard MBA and narcolepsy blows whistle on secret society of top 50 hedge funds controlling $1.2 trillion who meet at Harvard Club to invest money for the Bildergberg Group by rigging stock markets in Wall Street meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
#45 Jim Colburn has sold the company that he and his darling wife Allie founded twenty years ago, and he is set to live out his life, in the perfect way, with the two thing he loves, his airplane and Allie, until the engine explodes over the forest in Mississippi,when the airplane goes down the night mare begins.
5 RUNNERS UP
Submission of 3 chapters & a synopsis, if you have one
#7 As the victims of a local serial killer begin to haunt 17 year old Rachel Bronson, she must overcome her fears of the supernatural in order to help them, deal with her involvement in a love triangle between two bitter enemies, and also try to escape the grasp of the murderer in this SIXTH SENSE meets GHOST paranormal thriller.
#8 Gangs, blood oaths and loyalty test three teenagers searching for a kidnapped sister in post-apocalyptic London, unaware that as they unravel the mystery of her whereabouts, they are uncovering London's darkest secret.
#40 Seventeen-year-old Tyford Hayes is the resourceful Sixth Sense kid operating in the high-tech grunge of Minority Report—the only one of his kind who can help the dead find peace; the catch is the dead aren't dead, not yet, that is—they are simply marked for it, providing Ty a narrow window of opportunity to intervene on their behalf.
#42 What would happen when you cross Holden Caulfield with James Bond?
#46 Seeing the future is cool, but changing the future is cooler; who wouldn't become a sixteen-year-old super villain?
Submission of whole book & a synopsis, if you have one
#32 She spent six years undercover, in the murky world of black market weapons, to find her husband’s killer and avenge his death – only to come face to face with him on the wrong side of an arms deal.
Please note that the numbers with the pitches correspond to the list of 50 semi-finalists and will help me contact each of you. That's right, no need to comment or email anyone, I WILL CONTACT YOU TO LET YOU KNOW HOW TO SUBMIT TO BRENDAN DENEEN!
I'd like to thank everyone for participating and wish you all a heartfelt congratulations!
Purple prose is a term of literary criticism used to describe passages, or sometimes entire literary works, written in prose so overly extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself. Purple prose is sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It also refers to writing that employs certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader's response.
Some fantastic examples of purple prose can be found in the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which entrants submit first sentences in the spirit of "It was a dark and stormy night" for their imaginary novels. The entries are amusing must-reads. Click here to read last year's winners.
Is there an agent you absolutely love? Now’s your chance to show your appreciation! As part of the QueryTracker Second Anniversary Carnival Celebrations, we are accepting nominations of literary agents to hold the title of QueryTracker Queen and King. (Sort of like Homecoming K&Q; they’ll preside over our celebrations.) SEND YOUR NOMINATIONS TO ME, SUZY, and be sure to tell me why you think they deserve to be royalty. My email address is in the sidebar to the right of this post. You CAN nominate more than one agent.
Over the next few weeks, you can win some awesome prizes including free QT Premium Memberships, a free query critique from Lindsay Davis of Writer’s House, and a grand prize of a free website from Purple Squirrel Web Design , among others. Be sure to check this blog or the Carnival Page on the QueryTracker main site for all the latest info. Our first contest, Purple Prose, opens tomorrow. Details on how to enter will be posted here this afternoon.
Want to improve your chances of winning the website? (It’s a $600 value!) Post a link to our celebrations in your blog! Be sure to include the cool graphics. Check here for instructions.
Later today we’ll reveal the...
So be sure to keep your eye on the blog.
Have a fantastic and fun week!
78th Annual Writers Digest Contest - Deadline is TODAY, May 15th. Click here for details.
The Writer Magazine Short Story Contest – Deadline May 31st. For more info, click here.
Gival Press Contest– the novel length contest deadline is May 30th. Prizes include cash and publication. They have several contests, including some for poetry and short stories, so click here to check them out.
Non Fiction Academic Writing Contest – The University of Utah will be awarding the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize. The deadline for submissions is June 30th. They are looking for a manuscript on anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, ethnobiology, ethnolinguistics, biological anthropology, and paleoecology as it pertains to human behavior. Prizes include cash and publication. Visit their site here.
New Letters Literary Awards Contest – Deadline May 18th. They are holding a contest for Poetry, Short Stories, and Essays. Prizes include cash and publication in New Letters. Click here for the details.
From the Publishers Marketplace Newsletter: A free book is being offered at Simon & Schuster, "to promote the release of DJ McHale's final Pendragon book, THE SOLDIERS OF HALLA (the series is a previous Jonah's Picks selection). The first book in the series is available as a free download from Google Book Search, via a PDF file on the Simon & Schuster website, and on the Kindle. The Sony Reader store also has it for .99 cents.” Click here for the download site.
Blog Posts of Interest
The wonderful folks at the Guide to Literary Agents Editor's Blog have a great post on Agents and the Slushpile: 10 Reasons They Stop Reading HERE.
Nathan Bransford discusses why it is necessary to jump through those querying hoops HERE.
Janet Reid writes about whether or not to include quotes or blurbs from readers in your query letters HERE.
And Rachelle Gardner addresses the question of what happens after a successful query has snagged some requests HERE.
STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK!
Next week kicks off our QueryTracker 2nd Anniversary Carnival Celebration with our first two games. Click HERE to visit our Carnival page, and be sure to check in on Tuesday May 19th and Thursday May 21st for details!
1. High school senior and reluctant empath, Vayda Silver can sense a looming catastrophe and has three in the making: the destructive blasts of energy coming from her hands, the unwitting display of her abilities in front of her first real boyfriend, as well as a long-held grudge against her family that threatens to destroy her life and everyone she loves.
2. Gabriela Calí thought summer on the Transsiberian Railway would make her rebellious, not ground zero in the epic battle between man and myth—which begs the question, can your immortal guardian be your prom date?
3. THE UNICORN TAMER, a Greek mythology meets Pokémon young adult fantasy that will appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen's HOOT and Brandon Mull’s FABLEHAVEN, is about 13-year-old Emma Brown who, after the mysterious disappearance of her mom, enters a steampunk version of our dimension where endangered creatures such as blue whales, centaurs, and pegasi are protected from ruthless Hunters by teenagers.
4. In the magical land of Drakos Dnal, a young sorcerer learns he is half-dragon and must battle the evil king to save his family and reclaim their past.
5. David is an unwitting young apprentice wizard who must follow his rouge wizard master to accompany the Prince of the Realm to the frozen kingdom of Asgard in an attempt to retrieve the greatest prize of all, a new seer’s magic.
6. In a LORD OF THE RINGS meets THE WEST WING fantasy, Sarah Tressarian must sacrifice her hopes of a semi-normal teenage life--and much of her family's political capital--to fight powers risen from the murk of legend to trouble her country.
7. As the victims of a local serial killer begin to haunt 17 year old Rachel Bronson, she must overcome her fears of the supernatural in order to help them, deal with her involvement in a love triangle between two bitter enemies, and also try to escape the grasp of the murderer in this SIXTH SENSE meets GHOST paranormal thriller.
8. Gangs, blood oaths and loyalty test three teenagers searching for a kidnapped sister in post-apocalyptic London, unaware that as they unravel the mystery of her whereabouts, they are uncovering London's darkest secret.
9. Ostracized by society and hunted as a monster, an unusual young man and a girl from the streets help their teacher overcome her own terrifying past to outwit a killer as a blizzard isolates a rural campus.
10. Retrieving a priceless sword buried in a mysterious sculpture garden is 14 year old Emma Walker's answer to her family's financial problems, but when she pulls it from the earth where it lay buried for decades, the sword sends her back in time where Emma must battle the man who created the magic sword to stay alive and save the future.
11. When Dan Stevens, and ordinary man, is caught up in an extraordinary circumstance, he must untangle a web of deception at the risk of his own life, to answer the question: is Michelle Sardou the love of his life, his worst enemy -- or someone infinitely more dangerous?
12. Being a teenager is hard; being a teenager who spontaneously combusts is enough to make a girl's skin break out.
13. Now that Emerson has sent her "happy" pills the way of the porcelain pipeline, her visions are back - and so are the dead.
14. After an attempt on his life, Ben Grange and his friends are thrown headlong into a conflict that they don’t entirely understand, leaving them alone to deal with issues of loyalty, friendship and responsibility in this A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE meets THE HILLS young adult epic fantasy.
15. Born a bastard daughter to the King, Princess Amrie Emrys grows into the powers of magic she inherited from her forebears, and begins her quest against the dark pagan goddess that would destroy Arthur’s kingdom and the legacy beyond his rule in this first part of the saga of Amrie’s life, called Seeds of Legend.
16. Emma gets involved in a dangerous game of unexpected consequences where nobody is who they seem, after receiving mysterious messages hidden in the books of an apparently quiet library.
17. A stranger's early morning phone call plunges young and brilliant math professor, Jennifer Jensen, into a world of deception, terror, chaos, and ultimately a profound change in the very fabric of reality.
18. Hearing the thoughts of others can be a useful skill for a fifteen-year-old boy, until his inside information gets him accused of murder, mortally wounded and spikes the interest of a few secret societies that would like to control his every move.
19. Senior Darcy Penbrook is ready to ditch her hometown and head to college until she gets struck by lightning, lives to tell about it, and becomes a walking power switch.
20. The day the world ends, a young man's battle against a mythological evil begins.
21. If you are a fourteen-year-old kid, living with your weird aunts in a massive Victorian mansion which, you discover, just happens to be the Epicenter of Time, how do you lead a group that consists of seven other teens, with stories uncannily similar to yours, a Korean gardener and a hundred-and-five-year old housekeeper on a quest to thwart an immortal villain and your reprobate dad and restore your Universe which is now, literally, in very, very, very small pieces?
22. A widowed farmer's efforts to build a new life and safely raise his daughter are irrevocably destroyed when his daughter is killed and he pleads guilty to a crime he didn’t commit in order to reach the man in prison who murdered her.
23. At age eleven her father is teaching Kyame Piddington to read minds; but at sixteen, Kyame learns to kill in order to avenge her father’s brutal murder.
24. With their parents dead and no one else to trust, siblings Alex and Rebecca need to come to terms with their psychic gifts and put an end to a ruthless agency determined to turn them into brainwashed psychic soldiers.
25. When Grace’s ranger father disappears, she uses her wilderness survival skills to uncover a conspiracy that threatens the nature of her beloved mountains and her chance at first love.
26. As a freshman, Alex MacLaren has never had a sword tear open her flesh, seen razor-sharp ice daggers shatter against a magical shield nor stared into the smiling face of pure evil, and she’s certainly never been coronated LordHeir before millions, abducted by her closest friend nor sexually craved another woman, yet all that would change the day she sat next to Kara on a plane bound for Chicago.
27. Ex-boxer, Jake McCormack, is down for the count when he’s forced to defend eleven year old Herby and himself against a murderer in a fight for their lives.
28. Fifteen-year-old Lucy Waters and her best friend Evan feel freakish enough, growing up with their oddball families in the smallest, darkest town in central Maine--but now Lucy's having psychic visions, visions that lead Lucy and Evan deep into a mysterious community of mediums and psychics and on a pilgrimage into both of their pasts!
29. In a world now filled with flesh-eating mutants, seventeen-year-old Melody must fight for her life to rescue her sister while battling against the feelings she has for the man she can't have.
30. College freshman Adora Adams is pretty sure the Devil she knows isn't better than the Devil she doesn't, but when her brother, Lucifer himself, comes asking for help in bringing down a rogue demon intent on taking over Hell, she can't say no, even it means losing her boyfriend, best friend, and perhaps herself along the way.
31. To stop the renegade alien, sent to Earth to kill her, eighteen-year-old Olivia Ryan must join forces with the infuriating boy responsible for her mother’s death.
32. She spent six years undercover, in the murky world of black market weapons, to find her husband’s killer and avenge his death – only to come face to face with him on the wrong side of an arms deal.
33. An amateur Victorian magician had the key to returning Grace to her home in the 24th century - if only they can find where it got to.
34. Lusa, a sixteen-year-old mage struggling against the blood lust of her powers, must be bad instead of good for her world to survive.
35. A geek girl discovers she's a deadly weapon created to protect the group that destroyed her family.
36. In "Apocalypse School," mousey, tomboyish Reena and football captain Zack tumble into a time-space warp inside their junior high where they discover a long-missing classmate, and the three must stop the bizarre,lost world from expanding before they can find their way home.
37. When a child in peril captures his guarded heart, Harry Jones, killer at large, is impelled to risk everything in a quest to find and save her.
38. Young, handsome portfolio manager with Harvard MBA and narcolepsy blows whistle on secret society of top 50 hedge funds controlling $1.2 trillion who meet at Harvard Club to invest money for the Bildergberg Group by rigging stock markets in Wall Street meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
39. Eighteen-year-old Devaki, heir to the Namyan throne, has always run from his problems, but must confront his mistakes when he meets an exact copy of himself, sent by his father to kill him.
40. Seventeen-year-old Tyford Hayes is the resourceful Sixth Sense kid operating in the high-tech grunge of Minority Report—the only one of his kind who can help the dead find peace; the catch is the dead aren't dead, not yet, that is—they are simply marked for it, providing Ty a narrow window of opportunity to intervene on their behalf.
41. THE SIBLINGS SCARINGTON is the heart-warming tale of floaty creatures, frankencats, mad scientists, warlocks, and an adorable set of nine-year old twins whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the universe.
42. What would happen when you cross Holden Caulfield with James Bond?
43. When seventeen year old Mark Wilkerson’s family is killed in a fiery automobile accident, he wants revenge, but as he struggles to return to a normal life, he realizes someone else wants revenge too -- against him.
44. To prolong his life, Ulrich O’Connor, alchemist, has been jumping into younger versions of himself for so long that each of his alter egos has taken on a life of its own, but now that his fountain of youth is running dry, the only thing that can save him is the soul crystal of fifteen-year-old Jane Weston, the Druid girl they all love--a girl they've never met.
45. Jim Colburn has sold the company that he and his darling wife Allie founded twenty years ago, and he is set to live out his life, in the perfect way, with the two thing he loves, his airplane and Allie, until the engine explodes over the forest in Mississippi,when the airplane goes down the night mare begins.
46. Seeing the future is cool, but changing the future is cooler; who wouldn't become a sixteen-year-old super villain?
47. Arthur is thrown into Aranea (a flat, half jungle, half barren planet) to face towering spiders, dragon snakes and immense adversities while bonding with his father for the first time as the Library that sent him there scribes his adventures in a volume to be held on its shelves for all time.
48. In a world where an apocalyptic war dominates and an incurable disease ravages the scattered remnants of the human race, one girl, Fisher, must discover her destiny, a destiny so huge it could change the world forever.
49. What do you do when you can see your future but you don't like what you see?
50. American tourist Ryan Friedricks lets pretty insurance investigator Laurie Carson talk him into impersonating a rich, unscrupulous art collector to take down an art scam – but once Ryan finds himself in the middle of a Russian gang war, targeted by a police death squad, followed, beaten, bugged, and hijacked, he discovers Laurie lied about everything after she said “Hello.”
We wish you all the best of luck! Watch for the winners to be posted on Monday, May 18th.