Friday, July 4, 2014


Art work thanks to Veronica Bartles

Time for my latest mini-contest! You’ve heard that old expression In with the New. Well this contest is all about the NEW! 238 years ago the United States was a new country. What better way to celebrate July than with something new. (Look for it on twitter under #NewAgent)

New things can be great. It’s fun to try new foods. It’s great to vacation in new spots. I’m all about making new friends.

New agents are another source of new potential, and they are eagerly on the lookout for clients. We want to roll out the red carpet and welcome them. This contest celebrates new agents with a different sort of fireworks. The fireworks of requests!

I’m assembling a collection of new agents, both those from established agencies and those on their own. My team of Pyrotechnics (slush readers) will patrol the entries and choose their two favorites. I’ll make my own picks. Then all will be posted on my blog for the inspection of the agents. (This could be anywhere from 13 entries to 30 depending on the number of agents and Pyrotechnics.)

Please if you’ve made an agent round in another contest, such as Query Kombat or Pitch Wars, refrain from entering and give others a chance. Though if you have a new manuscript, that’s absolutely fine to enter.

This contest will take MG, YA, NA, and Adult of all genres. No non-fiction or picture books.

The submission window will open July 14th at noon and will close at 8 pm Eastern time. There will be email confirmation. Selected picks will be revealed July 21st for the agent round which will last three days.

In order to enter the contest you MUST follow formatting guidelines, and submit during the contest window. All entries that follow those guidelines will be considered.

Entries will be sent to:  NewAgentContestJuly (at) gmail (dot) com

Formatting guidelines:

Font: Times New Roman, 12pt font, single-spaced with spaces between each paragraph. No indents. (If you can’t get Times New Roman in your email, use whatever is closest. Formatting problems will not eliminate you from contention but missing pieces of an entry will.)

Subject line of the Email: Title: Genre (audience included). Do not skip this step or your entry will be deleted. (ex. Pygmy Hazards: MG Humor) You need both an age category and a genre.

In the body of the email (with examples):

Name: Michelle Hauck
Email address:

Title: Pygmy Hazards
Word count: 34,000
Genre: MG Humor


Tom, the classroom hamster, wants to escape from the h-e double hockey sticks otherwise known as school. His old military pet shop days didn't include playing house or being sentenced to a boot camp of never-ending show ‘n tell, math facts rap, and story time. But he’s learned a lot behind the bars of his cage. For example, if you want to keep breathing, never trust a pygmy who has earned the nickname Squeezer. Somehow he has to get away before the pygmies dress him as Strawberry Shortcake again or worse.

When a “subspatoot” fills in, Tom sees his chance to put Operation Escape the Pygmies into action. He makes a run for the border, hamster style. Bad news. The principal says Tom is a distraction to learning and better off flushed. The way out is turned into a battlefield of snapping mousetraps, sticky snares, and poisoned pellets.

Tom seems doomed until the friendless Squeezer lends an over-excited hand. She quickly goes from supervillain to super sidekick. Now, the greatest obstacle to his freedom may be Tom’s soft spot for this lonely pygmy.

(Only include the meat of your query. No bio. No Dear, and no sincerely. Just the good stuff. Queries may be up to 350 words, but 250 is preferred.)

First 250 words:

First 250 words. Don't include the chapter title, they eat up words. And please, don't stop in the middle of a sentence. 255 words are fine. 260 are too much.

Also, no indentations. Indentations are evil. Put line spaces between paragraphs please!

All queries submitted are FINAL. We will not edit them in any way, shape, or form. Please read, reread, and rereread your submission before you hit send. You have time to polish your work. Take advantage of it. Competition will be fierce.

In order to enter the contest, you MUST follow all Pyrotechnics and contest host on twitter. And you must follow host’s blog.

Agents and Pyrotechnics will be revealed soon. (As of now we have 9 agents)


  1. This sounds great! Never seen something for the agents like this. :)

  2. Alas, I will still be on vacation on July 14 (most likely somewhere in Tennessee) I won't get home until late on July 15

  3. Who is Pyrotechnics & what is link to follow them?

  4. I"m intrigued. My novel isn't ready to be read yet, but I'm always interested in new ways of getting read. Can you send me more information about your blog, your Twitter list/account and contest via PM?