Monday, May 16, 2016

Query Kombat 2016 Submission

The submission window is NOW CLOSED. 

If you don't receive email confirmation within an hour of submitting your entry, contact us via Twitter and let us know. Kontestants will be revealed on May 27th, and the tournament will kick off on June 1st.

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…

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, Laura, 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.

We're asking for a $5 - $10 donation with each entry so we don't have to start charging everyone a fee. Neither giving a donation nor the amount increases your chances of being picked. 10% of all funds raised will go to Donations may be sent by clicking the Query Kombat icon in the sidebar.

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). Nicknames should be 25 characters or less. Make it as unique as possible so there are no duplicates. These will be the names used in the tournament, so keep it PG-13 and make it relate to your story.

In the body of the email (with examples):

Name: Michelle Hauck
Email address:
Twitter Handle: @Michelle4Laughs (Optional)

Title: Dodge the Sun
Entry Nickname: I Hare You
Word count: 81,000
Genre: YA Fantasy


Dear Best Contest Hosts Ever, (Greeting is optional.)

Seventeen-year-old Little Bit hates the magical anklet fastened on her by so-called friend, Garrett. It keeps her on the farm—keeps her from knowing why cows outnumber humans. Nothing gets out. Not even birds can flee Garrett’s enchanted prison. With no idea of the outside world, Little Bit wants freedom from the chains trapping her and answers about her past. Unfortunately, Garrett is about as forthcoming as the gold around her ankle.

Confused by her feelings of exasperation and affection for Garrett, Little Bit escapes when he’s knocked unconscious. Outside is a world devastated by a supernova, which made the sun lethal and awakened long dormant magic. Traveling by night, she seeks answers about herself, but finds mutated beetles and mega-sized possums. Worse, a nursery-rhyming cannibal skulks in the shadows as Little Bit follows rumors of a human colony in New Chicago.

But she’s learned only half the story—she’s not human. A lonely Garrett transformed her from his pet rabbit into a girl. Now only the renewal of Garrett’s spell keeps her on two legs instead of four. She’ll have to accept Garrett’s chains or lose her humanity forever, unless the sun’s deadly rays awakens magic within her.

Thanks for your consideration. (Closing is optional.)

(No bio or comps.)

First 250:

Words, words, and more words.

Don't include the chapter title and please, don't stop in the middle of a sentence. You may go over 250 by a few words (few means three) to finish a sentence.

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. 

Best of luck in the tournament!


Contests need to be fun. To help keep you from worrying as the hosts read through the emails, we're having a party! These are the daily topics, but feel free to start your own as well.

May 15th Before the big day arrives tweet your category and genre. Ask questions about genre if you’re unsure where your manuscript fits.

May 16th After 8:30AM tweet when you’ve submitted your entry to our QK email. Nerves and jitters can be calmed by sharing with others. All day long tweet out what your entry Nickname is and why you chose it.

May 17th Day 2 of submissions! Judges get fun secret names. Entrants get to create nicknames. Your poor hosts are left out. Create nicknames for Laura, Michael and Michelle! (Keep it clean. We blush easily.) And tweet your favorite comp title.

May 18th Submission Hump Day! Tweet your main character’s name and a special tidbit about them. See what sorts of names are popular and if anyone else shares MC’s names with you.

May 19th Tweet what you find the hardest about writing. Is it keeping out telling? Writing action scenes? What’s hard for you? Anyone have tips for making them easier?

May 20th Last day to submit! Say hi to an entrant you’ve never talked to. Wish them luck in the slush round. If you need to let out some nerves, see if your new friend will lend an ear.

May 21st Tweet something about how you write. Do you use music or prefer silence? Morning or late at night? We celebrate our differences.

May 22nd Tweet us your villain’s name and something evil about them.

May 23rd If you’re looking for some beta readers or CP, now is the time to tweet about it.

May 24th Tweet us your favorite line from your novel. If you read any you like, favorite it. Have any favorite lines from a novel that’s not yours? Tweet those too!

May 25th Tweet your thanks to the agents, editors, and judges of Query Kombat 2016. They’re dedicating a lot of time to help out. The least we can do is take a day to celebrate them!

May 26th The big reveal is tomorrow! Tweet the title of a soothing song that is helping you get through the day before the picks are revealed. Hold hands and sing Kumbaya lyrics like the band of friends you’ve become. (We’ll be running around like crazy gerbils getting everything ready.)


  1. I made a mistake with my initial submission (the 250 word segment went way beyond the extra 3 words permitted) and resubmitted. Didn't get a response for the resubmission. Will the first response suffice or should I submit again?

  2. Just re-submitted my entry, as I had bio info in my first one. Sorry. My mistake.

  3. Are we supposed to follow blogs in order to qualify? Please let me know. Thanks.

  4. This is such an exciting contest!!! Thanks so much for organizing!

    1. The answer is yes. Mine is the "join this site" button.

    2. Oh did not realize that! Just yours? Could you include any other links?

    3. Oh did not realize that! Just yours? Could you include any other links?

    4. Never mind, figured it out!

  5. I've tried on three separate days this week and Paypal has declined my card every time. :-( Location/currency problem? I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with my card and I've tried so many times I can only imagine it's technical.

  6. Is there any other way to pay apart from paypal? I don't have a paypal account.

    1. I don't think so. Not sure what other method we would use. Thanks for asking.

  7. Thanks Michelle et al for making the competition possible. Good luck to every one who got in through the window.