Monday, September 9, 2013


The QK Crew is back with an awesome Halloween-themed query contest, Nightmare on Query Street! Don’t have a scary manuscript, DON'T WORRY. This contest is about fear. What is your main character really afraid of?

Live the fear!

The Details:

The submission window opens at 12 noon (EST) on October 19th. The window will close at 8pm or when we receive 100 entries, so please send early. (If there is a great demand of people in different time zones wanting to have two submission windows, we'll talk about it.)

We are accepting all age categories and genres, excluding picture books and exotica. But be sure to check our list of agents when it goes live to see if they represent your book's genre. 

Michelle, Mike, and SC will make ten picks each, and those ten picks will go up on our blogs from October 25th through the 27th, where agents will make requests! 

If you plan on participating in the contest, you have to be following all our blogs (MichelleMike, and SC).

It's pretty simple, actually. But there's a catch.

Along with your query and 250 words, you must write a SHORT paragraph (no more than 100 words) about your main character. This is the question you must answer:

What is your main character most afraid of?

The Format:

Send all your submissions to nightmareonquerystreet (at) yahoo (dot) com. Only one submission per email address or person is allowed.

Here's how it should be formatted (yes, include the bolded and everything!) Please use Times New Roman (or equivalent), 12 pt font, and put spaces between paragraphs. No indents or tabs are needed.  

Title: MY FANTASTIC BOOK (yes, caps!)
Genre: YA dystopian (This means age category and genre. YA is not a genre.)
Word Count: XX,XXX

My Main Character's Greatest Fear:

My MC fears potatoes. (Can be in your MC's POV, but doesn't have to be.)


Here is my fantastic query!

First 250 words:

Here are the first 250 words of my manuscript, and I will not end in the middle of a sentence, even if I hit 259 words :)

And that's it! Send in that email during the submission window and you're ready to go :)  There will be a confirmation email.

This should be FUN. This is a Halloween-themed contest, so please spend time on the MC's Greatest Fear paragraph! If you're writing a funny book, make a funny twist on the question, or say your MC is scared of strawberries or something. If it's a serious/sad book, you should have a field day, because the MC's fear might be so heart-wrenching.

Make us want to know more about your MC, to spend hundreds of pages with them because they are so interesting. This is a new way to pitch, so have fun with it (but don't stress out over it like it's a query).

So go over and follow our blogs (MichelleMike, and SC) and our Twitters (MichelleMike, and SC) (we're Tweeting under the hashtag #NightmareQuery) to stay in touch with all that we're doing. 

WE ARE VERY VERY VERY EXCITED. We can't wait to see your MC's fear.


  1. This is sounds awesome!! I can't wait to try (:

  2. Exciting! Can't wait to see what agents are participating. Thanks for hosting this - sounds like fun!

  3. This is a great fun contest. Would love a second time slot as 12 noon is 2am my time.


      It takes some tweaking to get the formatting right after you copy and paste, but it's a saving grace for those in far flung time zones. You can schedule when the email will be sent. So handy. I've used it for several contests now. :)

    2. I tried this for a contest a few months ago and my emails were rejected. It seemed that the contest site blocked emails from lettermelater. So you might want to check whether this will work or be ready, as I was, for a message that it was unable to go through.

  4. Oh, crap, now I have to think of a way to word my MC's fear...

  5. Excited for this! Can't wait until October 19th! ^_^

  6. Hope I'll be able to participate this time around!

  7. Does the MS need to be completely finished? Edited/revised ready to go? I know it's probably a stupid question, but I'm only 20K words from being finished.

    1. The hosts recommend that your manuscript is finished and polished. In just a few days after submitting to the contest, the agents will be making requests. If you're manuscript isn't ready what will you tell them.

  8. I'm so into this! I'll give it a go!

  9. This is awesome! For the query, is it only the pitch part of the query? Or does it include everything (greeting, pitch, bio)?

  10. This sounds so awesome! For the query, do we include only the pitch part? Or do we include everything (greeting, pitch, bio)? Thanks!

  11. There will be a submission post on Friday, October 18th with all the details that aren't included here.