Friday, July 31, 2015

ANNOUNCING: The Write Inclusively Query Contest!!!!


After much teasing and hinting, I'm so happy to announce the first ever Write Inclusively contest for unapologetically diverse novels!

SOOOO, what are the details?

First off, the background!!!! This contest came as a result of this post. Please read it.

Who can submit?
  • Anyone who does not have an agent and is seeking one.
  • Anyone who has a manuscript that will be clean and polished and ready to send by the submission date.
  • Anyone who has a manuscript that involves issues concerning any one (or many) of these exclusive systems: racism, homophobia, sexism, cissexism, citizenship, religious discrimination, ableism, xenophobia (which includes books that are not set in Western countries or settings), classism, colorismpolitics of appearance, and language (although, unfortunately, I won't be able to review books that are not written in English :( ). If I missed any, please let me know in the comments.
  • Edit: we've added "family privilege"! It is the privilege that comes with having a nuclear family (cis-male and a cis-female as spouses, unseparated).

Does your manuscript fit the bill?
  • Here's an easy test! If the system of oppression present in your novel can be removed and you don't have to completely scrap the novel, that novel doesn't fit the bill.
  • ALL fiction genres and memoirs are welcome! Even fantasy/sci-fi and historical!

    Don't think your manuscript fits the bill? SUBMIT ANYWAY! Worst: you don't get picked. Best: you do :)

What are the dates? How can I submit?
  • Submissions will be sent to writeinclusively (at) gmail (dot) com. The submission window will be from September 4th, 9 am EST - September 6th, 9 pm EST. You have a whole weekend to submit!
  • The agent round, when I'll publish the entries, will be from September 18 - September 20.
  • Be warned: I might just go around giving revision tips to entries I think are close but not close enough! You do not need to take my suggestions, not in the slightest.

Submission Guidelines

Send in your email just like this, bold where bolded, caps where caps. Replace the stuff in bracket [ ] with your own information.

Subject line of email: WI Submission - [Book Title, Genre]

Word Count: XX,XXX
Genre: [Age Category, Genre] (For example, YA Fantasy. Make sure to include both age and genre!)

System(s) of Oppression: [Pick the 1-2 systems of oppression that your book focuses most on (racism, homophobia, sexism, cissexism, citizenship, religious discrimination, ableismxenophobiaclassismcolorismpolitics of appearance, family privilege, and language).]

Author's Identity: [What is your identity? Pick the 1-2 identities that fall into the systems you picked above. Meaning, if you picked 'racism' and 'sexism', you'll mention your racial identity and your gender (South Asian and male, for example). This might be uncomfortable - that is OKAY. Your name will not be published. I am doing this because since I cannot read every manuscript, and diverse novels written by authors of marginalized identities tend to be 'truer'. Does this mean I will not be picking novels written by non-marginalized identities? Of course not!!! Simply put: there aren't enough writers of marginalized identities out here, and non-marginalized authors have written incredible books centered on exclusive systems. We're counting on those incredible books :D]


[Insert query here. Line breaks, no tabs. Unless very relevant, no bios or comparison titles. I'll decide on an individual basis which ones to keep and which ones to delete :D

Please, unless you 'watered down' your query to pass Publishing's Paper Bag test, do not change or revise your query to make the system of oppression seem more prominent than it is in the novel.]

First 250:

[Insert the first 250 words of your manuscript here. Line breaks instead of paragraph tabs. If you have a prologue, include it. Do not stop in the middle of a sentence - if the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, feel free to finish that sentence and go a few words over :D]


We have eleven amazing agents and one editor on board, and more to come! (If you're an agent or editor seeing this, and want to participate in this contest, shoot me an email at SC_Author (at) yahoo (dot) com!)

GET THOSE MANUSCRIPTS READY!!!!!!!!!!!! Pitch Wars IS near the same time - however, you can submit to Write Inclusively if you don't get picked in Pitch Wars. So no worries :) 

Any questions? Please comment below! And follow me on Twitter to stay updated!

You must be subscribed to the Write Inclusively newsletter in order to participate in the contest. Don't worry! I only email once a month, at most (in the eight months of the campaign so far, I've only sent out one email).


Also, feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below!


  1. Is it okay if I have already self-published the book? (Last month)

    1. Unfortunately, this is only open for never-before published novels. Sorry about that :(

  2. Will the Author's Identity section be viewed by people other than the agents or only you? Will my email be visible to others?
    Thanks for doing this; it's awesome that there's a contest that focuses on diversity in writing.

    1. No problem, so happy you like it :D

      The Author's identity will be published on the blog along with the rest of the entry. Your email, your name, and other personal details will not be published.

  3. Can you submit more than one project? I have two different projects, but both are complete and have a diversity component. Thanks

    1. Yup! Max amount of entries is two entries. Send them in two separate emails, the second in a reply to the first, following the same formatting rules (including the email's subject line).

    2. Thanks so much: Separate in Reply I take to mean a single string with a subject line that reflects that it contains two entries.

  4. My manuscripts don't deal too much with this, but as a person adopted from foster-care, might I add family privilege to your list?

    1. AH!! This is a great idea! Of course, I'll add it in!

  5. By politics of appearance, do you mean discrimination based on appearance of politicians specifically, or of anybody? Thanks.

    1. Hey! Thank you for your question! I should have defined the term.

      Politics of appearance, in this context, refers to how certain appearances are deemed "better" than others. It encompasses fatphobia, classism (how it allows people to buy certain clothes, accessories, etc. to deem themselves "better" than the poor), racism (white skin deemed more beautiful than dark skin; black hair deemed to be "dirty"; Indian saris deemed to be "foreign"), and more. It's important to note that this isn't just a "I'm making fun of her because she has pimples!" It is, in this context, a *system* of oppression reinforced by institutions that grant greater access to wealth, jobs, education, and more to people who fit the "best" appearance.

      Let me know if you have any more questions or if I was unclear!

    2. Would an obese boy being bullied for his appearance fall into this category? He also feels he can't join the swim team because of his size. (Racism also factors heavily into the plot.)

      Thanks for the opportunity!

    3. Yes! Send in it, I'd love to see it :D

  6. This sounds like a great contest--thanks for offering it! I've subbed to four of the agents on your list, so would it be best for me to sit this one out? Thanks again.

    1. I just saw this comment - I'm so so sorry! I would have said go for it. Hopefully you sent in a submission! So sorry again.