Hello, Writers and Friends of GSF! I'm taking the reins this week, but don't worry, Christopher, the usual compiler of the Roundup, will be back next week. This week we've got two newish agents, two chances for publication of that finished manuscript, #MSWL entries from a couple of hungry agents, and a reflection on #TenQueries at the end.
We'd love to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think in the comments and if there are certain types of information you would like to see in the Roundup. Also feel free to tweet at us (@freelancingrads) with any ideas or questions. Have a great writing week!
Newish Agents: One wants fiction, the other non
Jaidree Braddix is an associate agent at Sterling Lord Literistic.
Nonfiction: Current Affairs/Politics; Food/Lifestyle; General Non-Fiction; Health/Fitness
"Jaidree is interested in both serious non-fiction and buzz-worthy topics that can make a big media splash. Formerly a publicist at an independent press, Jaidree is always on the lookout for projects with a “newsy” hook."
Madison Smartt Bell is an agent at Ayesha Pande Literary.
Fiction: Crime/Police; General Fiction; Literary Fiction
"He is interested in literary fiction, noir, criminal procedurals, work from the Caribbean basin and other diasporas, and anything genuinely original and fresh."
Madison is accepting submissions via online form, here.
#OwnVoices & Southern voices: two publication contests
Sourcebooks 2018 Spring Diversity Pitchfest—Open from May 8th at 9 a.m. EDT until May 10th 11:59 p.m. EDT (Pitch contest, publication)
What: A pitchfest for completed, polished #OwnVoices manuscripts. Post a three-line pitch as a comment on the SaavyAuthors.com blog for a chance at publication.
Southern Fried Karma's 2018 Novel Contest—Submissions due by May 31st, 2018 ($1500 advance + book publishing contract)
What: Book-length fiction. Winner receives a $1500 advance on a book publishing contract with SFK Press. All finalists will be eligible for contracts as well.
"We focus on cultivating the artistic voices of the new millennium—with a Southern accent. The successful manuscript will go beyond stereotypical depictions and illuminate the multiplicity of the Southern experience: past, present, or future; the good, the bad, and especially the unexpected."
Southern Fried Karma is a relatively new publisher, check out this review from Woven Tale Press published in March 2017.
To Submit: Online submission form and instructions, here.
They are building their lists, people!
Léonicka Valcius, Assistant Agent at Transatlantic Agency
Léonicka is "looking for books with a reliable narrator and no murder!" Source Tweet
Fiction: Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade
"In Adult and Young Adult fiction, I like fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction. I do not represent mysteries or thrillers. For Middle Grade and younger, I love humour, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. I strongly prefer books with at least 1 human character."
Nonfiction: Narrative; Self-help/Lifestyle; Self-help/Business
Peter Knapp, Agent at Park Literary & Media
Peter is a consistent contributor to #tenqueries (more on this below); from the Friday before last he had these takeaways: "1) I'm getting a lot of YA fantasy, but I still like it. 2) though these particular thrillers weren't right for me, I'm interested in character driven adult and YA suspense/thrillers and would be eager to find a big, irresistible one. " Source Tweet
Fiction: General fiction; Suspense/thriller; Juvenile fiction; Young Adult; Middle Grade
"He is seeking middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction with fast-paced plots and complex characters. Find him re-watching Studio Ghibli movies, playing board games with his friends, or right here to submit a middle grade, young adult or adult fiction query—he’s ready to add more authors to his growing client list!"
When hunting around for great #MSWL content for y'all today, I came across #tenqueries, and thought I'd look into it a bit. For those of you who do not know, if you follow this hashtag on Twitter, you will have the pleasure or horror (depending on which side of the fence you are about this) of reading through reasons why agents passed on ten queries from their slush pile. From what I could find, the first #tenqueries tweet was sent out by Eric Ruben, Esq. on September 28, 2012 (if you have any earlier evidence of this, please comment below):
Q1-YA Interesting idea but an info dump on pg. 1. #tenqueries
— Eric Ruben, Esq. (@EricRubenLaw) September 28, 2012
It seems that people either love or hate #tenqueries. In 2014, J.H. Moncrieff characterized this practice as agents publicly trashing writers: "It bothers me when a well-meaning query is publicly torn apart for everyone’s entertainment. Everyone except the author, and every other writer who is thinking, 'My god, is that MY submission they’re talking about?'" There are others, though, who find value in such public displays of critique. On a Reddit thread from three years ago, xaviira said, "I'm not really uncomfortable with the idea of agents publicly dismissing queries. There's nothing in a tweet like 'YA Fantasy, not a new premise, word count way too high for genre. Pass.' that's going to single out an individual author. Plus, since rejection is such a huge part of this industry, especially in the early days, we might as well acknowledge it. Maybe if everyone went into this industry knowing just how much rejection there is, and how subjective a pass can be, we wouldn't beat ourselves up over it so much."
How do you all feel about #tenqueries? The originator (or at least one of the earliest #tenqueries users) just recently left the industry this past week, and at least some will miss him and his posts on query passes:
Sorry to hear this. I’m gonna miss your #tenqueries. Best of luck!
— Victor Bondar (@vmbondar) April 25, 2018