Thursday, November 12, 2009

Miss Snark's First Victim Secret Agent Contest

Chances are if you're an aspiring writer you know all about Miss Snark's First Victim's Blog and her infamous Secret Agent Contest. The idea is that Authoress, the mysterious woman who started the blog and was presumably Miss Snark's actual first victim, finds an agent who's willing to judge whether or not they're hooked by the first 250 words of an aspiring author's finished manuscript. All of the writers who participate are asked to critique other entries, so at the end of the day you end up with comments from an agent and a bunch of other writers.

Sounds amazing right?

OK, fine, it sounds terrifying. It is terrifying. Laura and I first heard about this contest a year ago and the very thought of putting up our first 250 words for public consumption made us want to crawl into a corner and maneuver ourselves into the fetal position. But once we'd finished our first draft of The Haunting of Pembelry Brown, we knew it was time.

We entered. We got our butts kicked by the Secret Agent and then we revised the hell out of our manuscript.

Bottom line: The Secret Agent Contest was instrumental in helping us achieve our goals and you can read our public and rather sappy thank you note to Authoress here.

So, writer friends, follow MSFV's blog and enter the next Secret Agent contest. You won't be sorry.

Oh, and don't forget, our Karmic Kindle giveaway ends at midnight (EST) tonight! Be sure to come back tomorrow to find out if you're the lucky winner!

24 comments:

ElanaJ said...

I saw it! Congrats again, guys. And uh, come listen to my blog today... :)

Tamika: said...

This is my first year seriously writing, and when I heard of the contest i admit I cringed.

Thanks for sharing how instrumental it was for you. I pray I'll be ready the next time around.

See you tomorrow!

sraasch said...

Yay Miss Snark's First Victim!! She has amazing blog, doesn't she?

Tere Kirkland said...

Her Secret Agent contests are a great way to get criticism from other writers as well as the agent.

I can't wait for the next one I can enter. I may even have a new polished draft by then.

Patti said...

Her sight is a great forum to get feedback. I entered once and thought my ending to my chapter was awesome, but comments proved otherwise and when I calmed down enough I realized they were right.

Christina Lee said...

YEP!!! You guys encouraged me to do it and the same happened to me six months ago- butt kicked and I revised like mad!! Someday it's bound to pay off for me!! She ahs a great site!

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
I have never heard of Miss Snark or the contest before. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. And thank you for the link too!
All the best,
RKCharron
xoxo

Loretta Nyhan said...

I was too chicken to enter MSFV's SA contest! I did participate in one of her "drop the needle" exercises. Gave me a completely new perspective on the scene I was writing. She really provides a valuable service and her site is an excellent example of the strong, supportive online communities available for writers.

Heidi Willis said...

I've seen your comments on others submissions and I think you gave really good feedback, too.

Even if one doesn't have a completed WIP to enter, it's great to go through and read the entries because you get such a better feeling for why a beginning does or doesn't work.

~Jamie said...

Com-freaking-pletely agree. The butt kicking I got in the secret agent contest http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/2009/07/35-secret-agent.html Also helped me to make my book so much better :) SO I am totally with you there!

(army)Wife said...

I'll have to head over there and check that out. My husband finally convinced me to take a short story I wrote in college and expand it. Thanks for the info!

Katie said...

LOVE LOVE LOVED this contest! Thanks for telling me about it. It really helped me too!!!!!

Carolyn V. said...

Honestly, that just terrifies me. I guess I'll have to check it out. =)

Mariah Irvin said...

I'm not quite ready for this yet, but I've been preparing! Thanks for reminding me!

Abby Annis said...

I did that contest a couple of months ago. Great experience. Definitely helps thicken your skin. :) Plus, I think my ms is stronger for it. I'm looking forward to the next time I can enter.

Bethany Wiggins said...

That contest helped me with my first 250 words sooooo much. Talk about an eye-opener! I cut and revised. A lot. My whole book, in fact. And it paid off.

Shannon Messenger said...

Not sure if I'm brave enough for that. I have a pretty thick skin, but that sounds intense even for me. Thanks for the tip though. Maybe after I'm a little happier with the draft first. :)

Tabitha Bird said...

I'm not ready yet, but when I have this WIP editied I will post... maybe..okay.. I will...might... we'll see. :)

Hardygirl said...

Love the secret agent!

And, I want that Kindle!!!

sf

Stephanie Jenkins said...

Great post, guys! MSNV is an awesome contest. I entered several months ago and got great advice on my opening.

Annette Lyon said...

Way cool. (I'm still hoping to win the Kindle.)

Solvang Sherrie said...

I subscribe to MSFV so I saw the post yesterday. It was so cool to read about you guys on there! I've always been to terrified to enter, although I did a first line thing one time and got good comments.

Steph Bowe said...

I signed with my agent through the September contest! It's great.

JennyMac said...

another great idea. Thanks for sharing it.