Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Writer's Voice!

“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante WagnerElizabeth Briggs, and me. We’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four of us will serve as coaches and select projects for our teams based on their queries and first pages.

Here’s the timeline:

May 1            Everybody enters the Rafflecopter lottery

May 2            The lottery winners sign up on the widget

May 2-10      We select our teams members from "The Writer's Voice" Blogfest

May 10-19    We coach our team members, helping them polish their entries

May 19          We post our team members' entries on our blogs

May 22          Agents vote for their favorites


To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE, POLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the following genres*:

Adult Historical

Adult Fantasy

Adult Science Fiction

Adult Romance

YA fiction (all genres)
MG fiction (all genres)

To determine who gets to participate in the blogfest, we’ll hold a single-entry Rafflecopter lottery on Thursday, May 1. The lottery will remain open for 12 hours, from 9:00 a.m. EDT to 9:00 p.m. EDT, at which point the Rafflecopter will select 150 random winners. Those winners will then sign up for the blogfest on one of Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets the next day, May 2. Once you sign up on the widget, you’ll post YOUR QUERY and THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript on your blog.

In summary, you must follow these three steps to enter:

1. Enter the Rafflecopter lottery on May 1 during the submission window listed above.

2. Sign up on the widget on May 2 if you win the lottery.
3. Post your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript on your blog.


We’re building our teams via “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest, so YOU MUST HAVE A BLOG TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST. We don’t care if you’ve had it for five years or five minutes; we just want to be able to fight over you in public:)

We coaches will review the entries and leave a comment on your post that says something like, “I want you!” If more than one of us wants you on her team, you’ll have to pick which coach you want to work with.


We’ll select our 8 team members by May 10, then spend the next week and a half helping them put a final polish on their entries. You won’t have to take all of our suggestions, of course; we just want to help you make your entry the best that it can be before the agents get a look at it. And if you make my team, you'll also get feedback from the fabulous Dannie Morin! And trust'll want her feedback!


On May 19, we’ll post our team members’ queries and first pages on our blogs so that the agents can review them. Here are the awesome agents who’ll be voting on your entries:

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

Emily Gref of Lowenstein Associates

Taylor Haggerty of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

Erin Harris of Folio Literary
Brianne Johnson of Writers House

Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Holly McGhee and Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties

Victoria Marini at Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc.

Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency

Renee Nyen of kt literary

Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency

Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary

Monika Verma of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency

Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 22. Each vote will count as a partial or full request depending on how many votes the entry receives. If an entry receives 1 or 2 votes, those votes will count as partial requests. If an entry receives 3 or more votes, those votes will count as full requests.

Voting will stay open until 9:00 a.m. EDT on May 23, at which point we’ll determine which coach’s team received the most votes. That coach will win bragging rights for time immemorial, and everyone who received requests will be able to submit their materials to all the agents who voted for them. These votes represent serious interest in your project, so PLEASE DON’T ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION BEFORE GIVING “THE WRITER’S VOICE” AGENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COMPETING OFFER.

So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Thursday, May 1, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EDT. We can’t wait to read your entries! (And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.)

****As you probably noticed, we’re not including any new adult genres. We have to base the genres on the agents’ interests, and most of the agents participating this year aren’t looking for NA at the moment.


  1. Woot! Woot! Excited to get our Coach on! :)

  2. Can we still participate in this contest if we were featured in NestPitch? Thanks!! =)

  3. I'm going to tell a few writerly friends about this! Thanks!

  4. I'm hoping to have my final revisions finished by Thursday, fingers crossed my CPs think it's ready!!

  5. So, if some of these agents have already rejected a manuscript through normal query channels, is it proper to enter it in the contest hoping for something from the others?

    1. Hi! Anyone and everyone can enter, but I think the answer to your question will have to be a judgement call on your part. If say only 2-3 agents have passed on your query, then no big deal. But if 14 of the 15 agents have passed, then this may not be the best opportunity for you. That being said, this contest includes feedback and critique for those selected. It's always possible that if you enter and are selected, your new critiqued pitch may make the agents reconsider. Hope that helps!

  6. Will the link show up or do I search under contests?

    1. Hi Keryn! At 9AM (so in 50 minutes) I'll post on anew blog post with the Rafflecopter link. Good luck!