Secret Agent!

I found out about a delicious contest on the blog of Miss Snark's First Victim.

The idea is so delightful, I couldn't resist entering. Fifty (raised to sixty for reasons explained on the blog) aspiring authors submit the first 250 words of their completed novels. A agent, about whom we know nothing except what genres he/she represents, reads them. At the end of the contest, the Secret Agent unmasks herself/himseslf and picks "prizes" for the winners like a read of a partial or a full. Pretty sweet.

In addition, everyone crits other entries, so, even if you don't catch the Secret Agent's eye, you still receive helpful feedback on your novel's opening.

I entered.

Wow, though, the competition is intense. There are a lot of entries which I, personally, would love to keep reading.

* * *


I just finished reviewing all sixty entries. Whew -- and wow. There's some really lovely prose and smashing hooks in that bunch. It's intimidating, but also exhilarating. I also received some good feedback on my submission.

With so many excellent submissions, I fear my chances of coming to the Secret Agent's attention are not just slim, but downright anorexic. It's depressing to realize that real slush piles are just like this, except with no cap on the number of submissions. I honestly don't know how agents retain their sanity.

However, I'm glad I entered, and so excited to find out who the Secret Agent is!


Hi there.

I saw your stuff over at Authoress' blog, and noticed you happened to crit me as well - which is actually how I found your blog. I know this might be random, but I'm always looking for more people to bounce ideas off of and do writing exchanges. Would you be interested in a manuscript swap?

Let me know what you think. My email is

Great job on your first 250 words, again. It's so hard to look at a work with just...250 words. So much else happens just around the corner. :)

Ah, and your post about cannibalism and parenthood? Hilarious!
Sara Raasch said…
You read all 60?! I bow in your presence. I only got to Maybe 30?
Tara Maya said…
Yeah, it took me all day. It's neat seeing the crits slowly roll in on the entires.

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