Our (myself and two co-hosts Michael Anthony and Laura Heffernan) largest and most complex contest of the year, Query Kombat is a bracket style competition where 64 query letters and first pages are matched against each other until only one is left. There are six rounds of competition that last the entire month of June and our expert judges leave notes and determine the winners. Agents request from the entries between the 1st and 2nd round, but there's a catch. No agent requests are revealed until an entry is knocked out of the competition. Entries are known by their fun nicknames. Surviving entries are allowed to revise twice over the six rounds.
Submission: May 2017
Posts from 2016:
Find all the dates in this post.
Submission Instructions here.
Enter for my free pass here.
Nightmare on Query Street:
Our Halloween themed contest. We pick around 40 entries and pair the writers with expert mentors. The shined and polished query letter and first 250 words go before agents for requests. Contestants must answer a Halloween-themed question in their submission.
Submission: October 2017
Posts from 2016:
Submission instructions and rules here.
Mentors announced here.
Some fantastic agents listed here.
Sun versus Snow:
A winter-themed contest, that happens in January or February. There are two teams of opposite weather blasting off against each other for the most agent requests. Thirty-two entries (query letter + 250 words) are picked and paired with a mentor. Shined and polished entries go before the agents. Contestants must answer a weather related question in their submission.
Submission: January 23rd, 2017.
Mentors for 2017
Free Pass for 2017
Picture Book Party:
A special contest exclusively for writers of picture books or chapter books. With the help of an expert in picture books, I choose about twenty entries of query letter and first 50 words to be put on the blog for the agents. Sorry no mentors involved in this contest.
Submission: March 2017
See the announcement/submission post here.
List of agents here.
Submission info and twitter party here.
A Facebook group for all fans of science fiction and fantasy where we talk about what we are reading, books, movies, and all things SFF. Open to new members. Come ask to join here.
A special contest to welcome newer agents to publishing. This happens whenever I can get a large enough group of New Agents--usually in July. New agents are a great resource as they are more actively building their client list. Five expert mentors form their own team of Mystery/Thriller, SFF, Contemporary, Romance/WF, or Middle Grade and then host their team on their own blogs for agents to request. I also have a small team. Around 32 entries are picked.
Submission: Varies. (Watch my newsletter for updates.)
I also mentor in the adult category for Pitchwars, a contest run by Brenda Drake. For this contest I'm only looking for fantasy submissions, especially high fantasy.
Submission: August, 2017