Friday, September 22, 2017

Announcing Nightmare on Query Street 2017

We're back with twenty agents and even more mentors!

It's Nightmare Time!

Don’t have a scary manuscript, DON'T WORRY. Just read on.

A brand new year, and unimaginable horrors to come.

This contest, as it runs in the Halloween time, is all about FEAR.

The Details:

The submission window opens at 4:00 pm (EST) on Friday, October 13th. Don't send too soon or your entry will be deleted. There will be email confirmation. Please don't resend an entry unless you check with us. Sometimes the confirmation process gets overwhelmed. The window will close when we receive 250 entries or in two hours, whichever is first.

Michelle and Mike and Laura will make thirteen picks each, and those picks will go up on our blogs from October 30th through the 31st. Before the agent round, there will be a mentor round to whip your entries into shape. We've already got amazing mentors lined up, so know that your entries will be polished for the agents.

We are accepting all age categories and genres, excluding picture books and erotica. But be sure to check our list of agents when it goes live to see if they represent your book's genre, or if you've queried them already. We ask that if you find that you've already queried a majority of participating agents for your potential submission, please refrain from participating in the contest.

If you plan on participating in the contest, you have to be following all our blogs (Michelle, Mike, Laura). If you can't get the blog follow to work, just follow on twitter. You'll want to be on twitter for the party anyway.


It's pretty simple, actually.

But there's a catch.

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

Your protagonist and antagonist bump into each other at a Halloween Party, only to discover their costumes are similarly themed. What/who are they dressed as?

The Format:

Send all your submission to nightmareonquerystreet (at) yahoo (dot) com. Only one submission per email address AND 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.

Subject Line: NoQS: TITLE, Age Category + Genre
(example: NoQS: GRUDGING, Adult Epic Fantasy)


Name: Michelle Hauck
Twitter Handle: @Michelle4Laughs (optional)
Title: GRUDGING (yes, caps!)
Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy (Age category and genre. You may list ownvoices here.)
Word Count: XX,XXX

My MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed as:

Remember, keep this around 100 words.


Here is my fantastic query! DO NOT INCLUDE BIO OR COMPS PARAGRAPH. Try to stay in the 250-300 word range. Please put spaces between paragraphs and don't indent.

This is not a pitch! THIS IS YOUR FULL QUERY. You may include greeting and closing but you don't have to.  

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 255 words. Do not abuse and send 256. Keep it fair for all. Use Open Office/Word to determine your official word count.

Entries will be disqualified at our discretion for rule violation.

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

We're Tweeting under the hashtag #NoQS. As before, we'll have a twitter party once submission starts. Mentor and agent posts will follow before October 13th.

Good luck! And sweet nightmares!


  1. I am so excited! I hope I'm ready! �� Good luck to everyone! ��

  2. Eeekkkss...Good Luck Ghouls!!! 🎃

  3. Hi may I ask if getting into PW or AMM w the same manuscript excludes one from entering NoQS? Ty

    1. You'd be excluded from entering a manuscript from PW 2017. PW 2016 would be okay. We aren't sure what AMM is.

  4. Would participating in #pitprom exclude on from entering NoQS? It seems a bit borderline based on your rules. There was an agent round, but it's a new contest so they only got one agent and a couple small publishers. Thanks!

    1. Being a finalist in the agent/publisher round of Pitprom would mean you are excluded from NoQS. Sorry about that.

  5. Hi, AMM is similar to PW, but no agent round. You work with a mentor with edits and they mentor you, answer pub questions, etc. Would that be a disqual? thx so much for your time!

    1. As long as it's just other writers as mentors and no agents you could enter NoQS.

  6. Thanks for this! The blog follow wasn't working for me, so I made sure that I was following everyone on Twitter. Good luck, all!! <3 <3 <3

    1. Hi Vivien. Is there one place where I can find everyone on this thread's twitter handle? Following is a great idea & I'd like to do it too.

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  8. How f'ing brilliant is this??? I LOVE IT! Yes, I'll be throwing my work out there, but I will also be consuming loads of other's work. I mean loads. Bring. It. On.

  9. I've revised my MS and looking forward to this contest!

  10. Sorry, but should it be "My MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed as..."? Otherwise it conflicts with these instructions: "Along with your query and 250, you must write a SHORT paragraph (no more than 100 words) about your main character. This is the question you must answer: Your protagonist and antagonist bump into each other at a Halloween Party, only to discover their costumes are similarly themed. What/who are they dressed as?"

    Just wanting to be sure that it's the antagonist and MC, and not the protagonist and MC (who are the same in my novel) that you want us to write the blurb about. Thank you!

    1. Yep. Just a typo. It should say MC and MA (antagonist) are dressed as:

  11. Thank you. I was hoping that was the case but I wanted to be sure.