Thursday, April 28, 2011

We Have a Winner on the Special-Query Stamp Contest!!

Hey y’all! Let me say first that I had SOOO much fun with this contest. At times, when I was reading your pages, I thought I was reading a book for free. How awesome is that?

It was hard to choose a winner. And it was sort of like this:
Monica B.W. enters a room full of gorgeous guys. She can’t believe how beautiful they are. But in the end, despite that they are all hot, only one guy winks at her and wins her heart. (Okay, Hubby, if you’re reading this, understand that this is only a metaphor! You know, the guys being the manuscripts?)

So, as I was saying, one of the entries won my heart.  And it was…

*drum roll*

By Ruthanne Reid.

Her pitch: A world that hates you is pretty bad; survival based on slavery is worse; but nothing tops having to choose between the survival of someone else’s species or your own.

Congrats, Ruthanne!
Please email me ( so I can give you further instructions about how to send your stamped query.

BUT. That’s NOT all, my friends! Remember how Monica entered a room full of handsome guys? Well, there were some that were really hot! And she just couldn’t let them walk away empty handed. 

So I emailed the participating agents with a list of the pitches I liked more. And they picked some of these titles because they wanted to read more.  Not everyone got picked.  And some entries got more interest than the others, so I’ll just paste the list of the people who got something out of this contest.  But I’m not posting who got what.  Please email me ( and I'll explain what you got and from which agent (s). I might take a little while to answer because I'm having internet problems, but that does NOT mean I forgot about you!

So an applause to:

Elizabeth Reinhardt
Sarah Enni
Christa Desir
Shallee McArthur
Katy Upperman
Heather McCorkle
Jenn Nguyen

For the people who couldn’t participate because were still polishing their mss: there will be another contest with one agent in a couple of months, so stay tuned!

Thanks to all the participants!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Writing Bloopers

Just for funand so that you can laugh with me a littleI’m sharing some of my writing bloopers with you!
Here they go. ;)

1) Once, I sent a query without the title of my manuscript. (!)

2) The first time I got in a critique group, I didn’t know the members so well.  And there was this girl who had the same name as an agent I’d queried with my last MS.  So, since Gmail suggests addresses, I trusted Gmail and sent the chapter for critiquing to the agent, instead of this group member. *oops*

3) Remember this post in where former agent, Nathan Bransford, said there were so many people who misspelled his last name? And so he taught us to spell it properly (B as in boy, R - A - N, S as in Sam, F as in Frank, O-R-D. BransFORD)? Well, I read it, and then queried him. And I was SOOOO worried about getting his last name right that the query I actually sent to him was addressed to “Dear Ms. Bransford,” instead of “Dear Mr. Bransford.” *headdesk* (At least I spelled his last name right, didn't I?)

How about you? Do you have any writing blooper (s) you’d like to share with us so we can laugh a little?

PS: I’m almost finished reading the finalists' entries. Hang in there, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday--Tuesday tops (not tomorrow, but next week). Oh, and I replied to all the "Please Explain" emails, so if you emailed me and didn't hear back from me, please resend.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And the Special-Query Stamp Contest Finalists Are…

Hi everybody! *waves*
I know I said I'd post tomorrow, but I already have the list... so why delay it one more day? =) 
First of all, THANK YOU ALL for participating! And for sharing your first pages with me!  As I said, I had a blast reading them all, once, twice, thrice, (fourice? Fourfold! Thanks, Jay)!  I’ve gotta admit it was sooooo difficult to choose.  At first, I had like 50 finalistsno kidding.  But then I said, “Hoo boy, that means I’ll have to read 500 pages!” So I kept narrowing them down till I got to the final list below.

So, congratulations to:

Ruthanne Reid
Jo Hart
Chelsey Blair
Kimberly A Miller
Rebecca Paulin
Lori M. Lee
Amy Machelle
Heather McCorkle
Lizzie C. Friend
Brian Kell
Shayda Bakhshi
Elizabeth Reinhardt
Josin L. McQuein
Mary Holm
Katy Upperman
Jenn Nguyen
Caitlin Darrell
Nik Johnson
Sara Riouch
Kimberlee Turley
Shallee McArthur
Sarah Nicolas
Meyn Lorenzo
Sarah Enni
Cassandra Marshall
Christa Desir
Cait Peterson

If your name is up there, please email me your first 10 pages along with your query to  Don’t attach, just paste everything to the body of the email, and don’t forget to include your name, genre, and word count of your ms.  Put “Special-Query Stamp Finalist” + the title of your ms in the subject line. 

I’ll *try* to announce the winner in the next 2 weeks, so please send your pages today or tomorrow so I can start reading ASAP.  I’ll wait until Tuesday at midnight to receive the first 10 pages + queries.

For all of you who didn’t make it, I’m so sorry.  You know I’m all for helping you guys land agents, and that’s the reason I did this contest in the first place.  But, can you imagine what agents would say if I tell them, “Hey, I have 80 winners in my contest”???  

BUT…  since I read all the entries so many times, I know exactly why I didn’t pick some of them. So, if you’re interested in knowing why, AND IF YOU HAVE A THICK SKIN, I’d love it if you asked me what happened.  Send me an email to:  and put “Please Explain” in the subject line. In the email, paste your one-sentence pitch and your first page (EXACTLY as you posted it in the contest) so I know what entry we’re talking about.  Note that I’ll probably start answering these explanatory emails AFTER the contest ends. So have patience with me, okay?

Oh and one more thing. Just so you know, I didn’t eliminate anyone because of typos or word count (I'd said 240-250 words). However, if I was on the fence with an entry, typos and word count helped me decide.  (There was more than one entry with 300+ words. And more than one entry with typos, too.)

I guess that's it.

I hope y’all had fun! And I look forward to hearing from all of you! =)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Win a Special-Query Stamp!! The Contest STARTS NOW!!

 THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks for participating! =D

So it's past midnight, and it's already Monday! The Special-Query Stamp contest begins NOW!

But what the hell is a Special-Query Stamp, you might be wondering.  Well, it’s a virtual stamp I will give the winner that will tell the agent that his/her query + 10 pages are special.  There are 5 agents who represent YA novels who will accept this stamp after the contest.  And the stamp has a different meaning for each agent.

Now, let’s meet the agents who are already waiting to hear from the winner and see what the stamp means for them. Shall we?

Currently Ms. Fisher is closed to queries.  But if you get the stamp, it means you don’t have to wait until she’s opened to queries again!  You can query her as soon as the contest is over.  And not only that, she will give you a PERSONAL response!

Agent Weronika Janczuk of D4EO Literary Agency!
For her, the stamp means that you can send a query along with a PARTIAL with a promise of concrete, personal feedback!! (How freaking awesome is that?)

For her, the stamp means that she will write a personal response when queried by the winner of this contest! 

Agent Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency! 
She isn't open to unsolicited queries, so this stamp will give you the opportunity to query her with your first 10 pages!


Agent Krista Goering of the Krista Goering Literary Agency LLC!
She will read the query plus 10 pages and will either (1) ask to read the full manuscript, or (2) send a personal note passing.  

How to participate:

Comment on this post.  Include your name, the title of your YA ms, the genre, the word-count, and your email.  Then write a once-sentence pitch followed by the first page of your ms (240-250 words).  Next week, I’ll select some finalists, and I will ask them to email me the first 10 pages of their manuscript + the query.  After that, I’ll select one winner, and mark their query with my SPECIAL STAMP!


(Yeah, I kinda hate rules, too, but I figured I needed them :P)
1) Your manuscript must be 100% READY.
2) Your manuscript must be YA.  It doesn’t matter if it’s YA paranormal, contemporary, etc, though.
3) I’ll accept only ONE entry per person.
4) The contest ends tomorrow (Tuesday) at midnight EST— BUT I’ll keep it open if I have less than 50 participants.  (I guaranteed the literary agents I would select a winner among 50+ YA entries.) I will close the contest if I get more than 100 entries, though.

And that’s about it… oh, and for updates you can follow this blog and follow me on Twitter (@Monica_BW).  Plus, let’s be honest, I’d LOVE it if you follow me! (Nothing would happen if you don’t, I’m just sayin’ =D)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Contest Announcement!

First of all, I LOVE you, guys!!!

I mean, it's been less than 3 months since I jumped into the blogosphere and I already have 100+ followers... SO. *wipes happy tears from cheeks* I just want to reach out and give you a BIG hug, y'all! 

Second of all, next week, my blog turns 3 months old. That's why I'm throwing a contest on Monday!! =D

Hints: The contest is called "Win a Special-Query Stamp" and there will be some agents involved.  Since my blog is focused on the YA lit. lovers, it will only be for writers who are querying for YA mss.

So see you soon, and have a great week!