We are #BecomeAnAgent on Twitter :)
The posts are up! They're up! All 20 of them!!!!!
For those who don't know (and sorry, followers, for blowing up your Blogger dashboard with the entires!) I'm running a contest where writers submit their query letters and in turn, they critique seven other letters. They are only allowed to vote Yes on two of them. They vote as to whether they would request pages or not. So basically, they become an agent :)
And the audience can participate too!!!
Here are the voting guidelines for the entrants (those who are in the contest) and the audience.
For the entrants
- Entrants will have to critique a minimum of seven other queries and can vote Yes on two out of those seven. They must critique at least seven and give a however brief explanation as to why they voted Yes or No.
- Entrants must critique the seven queries which have higher numbers than their post (each post will have a post number). So, if you have post #9, you critique #2 through #8. But, say, if you have #3, you critique numbers 2, 1, then start from the other end, 20, 19, 18, 17, and 16.
- If entrants finish critiquing their seven queries and so amazingly want to critique more, then they have two choices:
- Give a Yes or No for seven other queries. Two Yes's for the batch. (And, if they want to go on, have two Yes's for the other six queries remaining.
- If they don't want to explain their No's, entrants can vote Yes on only three more queries out of the rest with no need to give/explain a No vote.
- Audience members have only three Yes votes for the whole lot. (With no need to give/explain No's.) However, if the awesome audience does decide to give/explain No's, then just follow the same rules for the entrants.
- The only difference between the audience and the entrant voting procedures is that entrants are required to give a minimum of seven critiques, and explain Yes or No for each one. Audience can give three (or even less) Yes's to whichever queries they want.
There is no need for an elaborate explanation for each vote! You can say, "Yes, loved the premise." or "No, didn't like the character. Make us connect more emotionally to them?" Pretend you are agents and are sifting through your slush pile. Will you give an in depth critique for all of them? But do mention the reasons you voted Yes or No! And explain them enough so the writer can use the feedback to improve. If you want to give an in depth critique, please, do so. That'd be awesome :D
Since there is a maximum amount of Yes's, you can say in explanation of a No: "I would have given this a Yes, but I liked query #89 better. Sorry!" But keep these types of No's to a minimum. This query is about feedback and helping writers make better queries. This type of critique won't help them improve.
And don't vote No just because you don't like the genre. The writer will only query agents interested in their genre (hopefully). So read each query pretending that you like that genre.
The only types of unacceptable No's will be:
- Genre-based No's. (See above paragraph for explanation.)
- Cruel, spiteful No's.
- No's with little-to-no explanation. Be specific! (But no need to do a whole line-by-line critique).
- Yes's obviously based on friendship ("Oh, she's my friend, so I have to give her a yes.") If you are friends with the writer and you truly love their query, then go ahead and vote Yes :D This is on the honor system. We're all adults here, and I trust you guys.
- Yes's with little-to-no explanation.
P.S. I'm going to be out until Sunday night. I'll have a post scheduled for Friday just to check in to see how everything is going, but I won't be able to truly regulate the contest starting Wednesday until Sunday. So behave! And I'll post the winner (one with the most Yes's) on Monday :)
Have fun guys! And be nice! There are some formatting weird things in some posts that I couldn't fix, so I hope you'll forgive me for them :(