Friday, April 24, 2015

Query Kombat 2015





Bloggers SC, Michael, and Michelle are back again to bring you the third annual Query Kombat tournament.

The Basics

Query Kombat will host 64 kombatants in a single-elimination, tournament style query-off. Entries will go head to head (one on one) with one another until only ONE entry remains. There will be a total of six rounds in Query Kombat. 64 entries in round one, 32 in round two, 16 in round three, 8 in round four, 4 in round five, and 2 in round six.

As we said, some things have changed. We’re doing away with tournament brackets this year. Instead, entries will be matched up based on target audience and genre. We'll continue grouping that way until it's no longer possible.

If you secure a spot in the tournament, your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript (to the end of a complete sentence) will be pitted against another query and first 250 words. Judges will read each match-up and vote 'Victory' on the best entry. Remember, this is subjective. Considering last year, votes may come down to personal tastes.

The entry with the most ‘victories’ at the end of the round will advance to the next round until only one champion remains. 

This year the agent round will be held after the first round. That mean 32 entries will make it into the agent round. 32!

Of course, there's a twist!

The agent round will be conducted in secret. And by secret, we mean TOP SECRET. Entrants won't know who requested what—or how much—until that entrant has been eliminated from the contest.
On the plus side, winners of the first round will be able to resubmit their entry prior to the agent round. So, any feedback the judges give can be implemented before the agents see your work.

Who’s invited to submit:

The Query Kombat tournament is open only to unagented writers seeking representation. Your manuscript must be complete, polished, and ready to submit. If your manuscript has already been in the agent round of another contest in the last year, you are not eligible to participate in Query Kombat. Please don’t try to sneak in. The QK team includes about fifty people and a few hundreds of spectators. Someone will notice and inform us. Submissions for Picture Books, MG, YA, NA, and Adult works will be accepted.

The submission window will open on May 22nd at 5:30 PM Eastern time and close in ONE hour. Repeat: YOU HAVE ONE HOUR TO ENTER ONLY. The window closes at 6:30PM.

We will have email confirmation. If you don't receive it within an hour of submitting your entry, contact us via twitter and let us know.  Kontestants will be revealed on May 31th, and the tournament will kick off on June 1st.

ONE ENTRY PER PERSON ONLY. No cheating and using other email addresses.

IMPORTANT: The Query Kombat team reserves the right to disqualify any entrant at any time for any reason. If an entrant is disqualified before the agent round, an alternate will take its place. If an entrant is disqualified after the agent round, the opposing entry will automatically advance to the next round. The only time we will ever disqualify an applicant is if you say or do something to blemish the spirit of query contests. Query Kombat is supposed to be fun… 

 http://mylittlefacewhen.com/media/f/img/mlfw903_1318180342933722.gif
So none of this!

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

In the event that we receive more than the available 64 spots (this is highly expected), Michelle, SC, and I will savagely attack the slush pile in attempts to build the best team. We will pick (and announce) three alternates in case a submission is disqualified.

Entries should be sent to:  QueryKombat (at) gmail (dot) com. The email address has changed from last year. Be mindful of that.

Formatting guidelines:

Font: Times New Roman (or an equivalent), 12pt font, single-spaced with spaces between each paragraph. No (I repeat: NO!) indentations.
 
Subject line of the Email: A short, unique nickname for your entry [colon] your genre (audience included). Do not skip this step or your entry will be deleted. (ex. I Fell in Love with a Ken Doll: Adult Erotica)

For the nickname, make it as unique as possible so that there are no duplicates. These will be the names used in the tournament (or an abbreviated version if it's too long) so keep it PG-13 and try to have it relate to your story in some way.

In the body of the email (with examples):

Name: Michael Anthony
Email address: myboyfriendwasbittenbyashark (at) gmail (dot) com.


Entry Nickname: I Fell in Love with a Ken Doll
Title: Eunuchs and Politics
Word count: 68K
Genre: Adult Erotica

Query: 

Your query letter here. Do not include your contact information. Do Not include your bio or comps. But include all the other paragraphs. 

I FELL IN LOVE WITH A KEN DOLL tells the harrowing story of Barbra B. Doll, a US senator who goes against country, family, and the Illumaniti to be with an amateur surfer with no genitalia. 

First 250 words:

Don't include the chapter title and please, don't stop in the middle of a sentence. DO put spaces between paragraphs.

For PB follow these directions but send only 50 words, including art instruction.

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 several weeks to polish your work. Take advantage of it. Competition will be fierce.

Because the immense amount of work ahead of us, the tournament will be hosted on three separate blogs. In order to enter the contest, you MUST following Michael's and Michelle's blogs, and have signed up for SC's monthly newsletter concerning the 'Write Inclusively' campaign.' All three blogs will host the first round and agent round. The second round will be hosted by Michael and SC. The third round will be hosted by Michelle. The fourth round will be hosted by SC. The fifth round will be hosted by Michael. The final round will be hosted by Michelle. Have no fear, each blog will have links to all rounds so you will not get lost.

Agents and judges will be revealed soon. (As of now we have 15ish 25 agents and 30 judges!)

Questions can be left in the comments and I'll answer them as quickly as possible. As always, Query Kombat announcement call for celebration.


48 comments:

  1. If my MS was apart of SVS does that mean it can't participate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it was in the agent round then it can't participate. You may enter a different manuscript.

      Delete
  2. Since I was in PitchSlam last fall with a much earlier draft of my book does this disqualify me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will have to check with my cohosts on how far we are going back, but assume it does. You may enter a different ms.

      Delete
  3. Anyone else interested in reading Eunuchs and Politics now? lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. If your manuscript or a query was requested by an agent or editor as the result of a Twitter pitch is it eliminated? Or does the selection need to come from a blog competition to be disqualified?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has to have been posted on a blog for agents to see. Pitching on twitter during #pitmad or other hashtag event is fine and you can still enter QK.

      Delete
  5. I looove this sample query/title/nickname! Ha.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can we enter if we were in a Bakers Dozen Contest or does the exclusion only apply to contests you have hosted. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The exclusion applies to all agent rounds of any contest. I'm not sure how Baker's Dozen works. If your entry was seen by agents, then it applies.

      Delete
  7. Silly question, I know we don't include bio or comps, but should or could we include if it's told in alternating POV? Can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I didn't answer this sooner. You can include that.

      Delete
  8. Is the query limited to a specific number of words?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The query is not limited by word count. But we recommend staying withing 250 to 300 words. Don't be too long or too short.

      Delete
  9. I was chosen as a second alternate in the 2013-2014 Winter Pitch Wars, and when it reached the point where my entry was posted for agents to see, I received no "bites". The entry was later deleted by the person hosting it on her blog. The novel has since been extensively revised. May I still submit?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Two questions:
    1. Judging by past entries, it looks like you want ONLY the synopsis portion of the query? (I've got an intro/hook paragraph that I don't know whether to include.)
    2. My manuscript is both historical fiction and family saga. Should I call it hf because you'll have more of that genre, thus allowing for a better match-up?
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We want all the query but the bio and comps paragraphs.

      What genre to use is your call. It wouldn't keep us from taking a great entry.

      Delete
  11. Hello Michelle. Thanks for all the great contests you are involved in! Does the no indentation portion of the formatting apply to the 250 words of the manuscript? Thank you and I look forward to QueryKombat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. No indents anywhere! Not the query or the 250.

      Delete
    2. I just won one of the 50 entries to be posted in Miss Snark's First Victim, Secret Agent contest. Does this disqualify me to enter?

      Delete
    3. It does. If your entry is posted in Secret Agent this month you can only enter Query Kombat with another manuscript.

      Delete
    4. Should PB writers use the 250 word guideline?
      Art notes: include them? If so, are they part of the overall word count?
      Thanks!

      Delete
    5. For PB send 50 words instead of 250. And art notes are part of that 50.

      Delete
  12. It looks like the rules may have changed since you answered my question a few days ago. I noticed a discussion (new rule) on Twitter that if my entry is posted on Secret Agent that is an exception to being disqualified and I can now enter. Can you confirm that? Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We made an exception for Secret Agent contests as they only have one agent and they are random draw. We are just trying to ensure entries the agents haven't seen yet.

      It's okay to submit to QK if you were picked for Secret Agent, or your agent round was a year ago, or you have a different/new ms than the one from the agent round.

      Delete
  13. Is is OK to enter QK with the same manuscript as WVoice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. We've said it's okay from us to enter both. I think the WVoice hosts say the same.

      Delete
  14. Just to clarify, when you say we have to follow their blogs, do we need to subscribe to them or register somewhere in order to enter? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just click on the 'join this site' button in the left sidebar of my blog. No registration needed.

      Delete
  15. If I have a prologue, will that be the first 250 words? Or the first chapter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whatever a reader would see first. If you decide to cut your prologue, then it would be your first chapter.

      Delete
  16. If I stop at a complete sentence for my PB, it either comes to 32 words or 63 words. Okay to go over the 50 word limit by that much?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 63 is too far over. It's okay to go over by a few words, one or two. That is 13 over.

      Delete
    2. Unless you want to change your sentence. :-)

      Delete
  17. Hey! So the entry sample has left me confused. In the query, are we calling the MS by the title, or the nickname?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just an example. You don't need the title/nickname in the query section, but if you do, use the title.

      Delete
  18. My last sentence ends at 257 words. You said we could go a little over but is that too far?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. We prefer you go over by 2-3 words only. A few. :-)

      Delete
    2. *scurries off to rework a few sentences*

      Delete
  19. I just wanted to confirm that entries are made in the body of the email, not as an attachment, correct?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Two questions:

    (1) On my end, 12-point font looks REALLY tiny. I don't know how it appears on your end. I always use 14-point font for e-mails because it's easier to see. If I use the 12-point font as directed and it looks as tiny on your end as it does mine, will I be disqualified?

    (2) I can't find where to subscribe to this blog. I found the newsletter subscription without problem, but I seem to be overlooking the follow button for this blog. Help, please?

    ReplyDelete
  21. We will not disqualify for font.

    You have to have a google account to follow a blog. That's most likely the problem. It says 'join this site.'

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think I did the right thing...I followed/joined something on the left side just above where all the individual follower/friends images are. :)

    Thanks for hosting - this looks fun!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Darn, didn't see the thing about only being 2-3 words over until now. I just went to the end of the sentence.

    ReplyDelete