QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blog Contest Featuring Literary Agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe

Submissions are now open!

Contest: Can you sum up your book in one sentence?

Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary will be judging your one line hook. That’s one sentence people. One period. Don’t compound yourselves to death. We’ve blogged about this (hooks, loglines, pitches, high-concept hooks) several times. Click on these links to read some examples.

Ms. Volpe is currently looking for a wide range of fiction from young adult, fantasy, science fiction, romance, thrillers, women’s fiction, middle grade, historical and commercial fiction as well as non-fiction in a few areas. Before submitting, please check out her profile on QueryTracker to make sure she represents your genre.

Please follow the guidelines below. If you don't, your entry will be deleted and we don't want this to happen to anyone!

The Finer Deets:

1. Your one line hook should be emailed to me, Elana Johnson. My email address is elanajohnson (at) querytracker (dot) net. Note the spelling of my name. The first vowel is an E. The second is not. Please don’t bombard me with repeat emails. I'm on Spring Break (finally!) today and will be sitting in front of the computer, anxiously awaiting your submission.

2. Please put "One Line Hook Submission" in the subject of your email.

3. With your submission, please include your real name and genre. Only completed manuscripts should be entered.

Like this:
Real Name:

One line hook:

Things That Are Good to Know:

1. I will send you a quick “Got it.” email when I copy your entry for Ms. Volpe. Again, don’t send a repeat email. If you spell my name right, I'm going to get it.

2. The submission window will be open for 24 hours (until 9 AM Eastern time on Tuesday, April 14. ETA: the contest is now in the judging stage. Please don't send any more entries.). As of now, there is no limit to the number of entries, but watch the blog for updates.

3. Any entries longer than one sentence will be deleted without being sent to Ms. Volpe. Again, don’t compound yourselves to death.

4. You may only submit once, even if you have multiple projects. Go with your best one.

5. This is not an open critique. Your entry will not be published here on the blog for others to see. Only Ms. Volpe will be reading the entries and choosing the ones she likes (which then may be posted on the blog when the winners are announced. But no one will be shredding them).

6. The winners will be announced next Monday, April 20. Here's what Ms. Volpe has offered:
Grand Prize: Full submission of your manuscript
1st Place: 50-page submission
2nd Place: 30-page submission
3rd Place: 10-page submission

So what would we enter if we could?

Mary Lindsey: SOUL PURPOSE is a 68,000-word YA paranormal romance about a sixteen year-old reincarnated ghost hunter with past-life amnesia who is being pursued by a demon who wants her dead and a hot guy who just wants her.

Michelle McLean: Minuette Sinclair is a proper young Victorian lady who falls for the man of her parents' worst nightmares and becomes entangled in the search for a priceless necklace with a bloody past.

Elana Johnson: In a world where Thinkers control the population and Rules are not meant to be broken, fifteen-year-old Violet—who refuses to be brainwashed—does a hell of a job shattering them to pieces in her search for answers about her “dead” sister and not-so-missing father.

Carolyn Kaufman (Archetype):
A man wants to eradicate magic from the world until he falls in love with a sorceress...and discovers he can use magic himself.

H.L. Dyer:
Maybe if Beatrice knew someone faked her death as a child, she wouldn't be so desperate to remember the first decade of her life.

Suzette Saxton: Hallie knows the sounds coming from behind her bedroom wall aren’t cockroaches, but if she knew what was really back there, she might rethink her quest to uncover the truth in SECRET SISTERS, a contemporary coming of age MG mystery with a twist.


Elana Johnson writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Besides a serious addiction to the Internet, she can never get enough reality TV, Dove dark or reasons to laugh. Click here to visit her blog.


Stina said...

Hello! I want to read all the QT Blogger's books. They sound great!

Elana Johnson said...

Aw, thanks Stina! Did you enter?

lisa and laura said...

Ooh, these are so fun! Can't wait to read the winners!

Are QT bloggers exempt from entering? If so, that stinks! You guys have some great loglines.

Corinne said...

This is such a neat contest. I'm very excited and all set and ready to send an e-mail your way, but I just wanted clarification on one thing: did the rules change? The one where you announced this contest said: "[...] please limit your entries to two per author. Only one pitch per completed project, please." That seems to contradict this post.

Just want to know! :)

Danyelle L. said...

Thanks you guys--for your time, talents, and for the opportunity!

Elana Johnson said...

Cory, that was my fault. You can submit two.

Also, I'm rapidly falling behind. I've sent confirmations to about 50 people and I've got about three times that many more to go, so be patient with me! Don't resend! It just bumps you to the end of the line. You should get a reply from me when I process your entry.

Thanks everyone! :)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

How exciting! I'll send something over, I supposed. :D

feywriter said...

This one sentence hook is a devil... and yours all sound so good!

Amanda Bonilla said...

Great Contest!! Better than winning the lottery. Good luck to everyone who entered!

feywriter said...

Ooh, question. Do we include the title, or do we have to work it into the one sentence if we want it included?

Elana Johnson said...

Feywriter, you don't need to include the title in the one sentence. You'll notice that four of us didn't... :)

And I'm still way, way, way behind. And we're getting really close to the cap, so I'll keep you updated. I've responded to everyone who submitted before 8:13 AM. Thanks for your patience!

Charlie Rice said...

My book was finished three months ago, but now it's unfinished! Next time...

Thanks to Ms. Volpe for the contest.

Suzette Saxton said...

We have several contests in the works, Charlie, so I'm sure you'll have a chance to enter. :)

We didn't think it would be ethical for the blog authors to enter our own contest. Believe me, we're having tons of fun hosting it. We love giving our readers opportunities like this one!

Stina said...

I don't envy Joanna at all. I couldn't even select one grand prize winner from the 5 QT blogger sentences, never mind from 150 + entries. Maybe we should be sending some Dove's chocolates (yum!) to Joanna as well. She's going to need them. :0)

Elana Johnson said...

Joanna's limit was 300, and we've reached it. Thanks everyone for participating! I'm still sending out confirmations. I appreciate your patience.

Unknown said...

question, how do we know your not just going to steal our ideas, what proof can you provide that you are going to be given them to her instead of using them yourself?

lisa and laura said...

kal49h - Clearly you don't know Elana! She would never steal anyone's idea! And even if it was some other less scrupulous writer taking entries, even if they did write a book based on your 1 sentance logline it would probably turn into a completely different book. As many, many agents have told us, a good idea is the easy part, writing a good story is a whole different ball game.

You're in good hands!

Mary Lindsey / Marissa Clarke said...

Hi Kal49h. If you have reservations about this, it might be best for your peace of mind not to enter. I used to worry too, when I entered contests, but now I realize it is a giant step from an idea to a book. I even have the jacket flap synopsis and first three chapters of a book up on my website with no concern someone will steal it. They might like the premise and create an original book of their own in a similar vein, but it would be nothing like my book.

If you are concerned, feel free to query this agent directly according to her guidelines on her website. This is not the only way to reach her. She just thought it might be a fun contest. We did too.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Mary, I just have to say, your one-line hook made me laugh out loud. Love the play on words! I read it three times just for pure enjoyment. :)

Georgia said...

What was the timeline for this contest? I entered at 9:30pm mountain time last night and I'm not sure it will make it. Absolutely great opportunity! Thank you for hosting this.

Suzette Saxton said...

No worries, GA peach. We were open to entries until this morning, so your entry made it through just fine. ;)

the nike nabokov said...

Please say this is still open, I only became aware of it this morning....

SZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SZ said...

Rats ! I see now I have missed it ! Hope you will do this again soon.