Sunday, July 24, 2011

GUTGAA: Week 4 Novel Critique/Contest!

Hey guys and gals!

You've asked your questions, set your creative juices on fire and tweaked your queries. What else is left to gear up for an agent, but delving into the heart of the matter?

The final week has finally arrived and we're going out with a bang! Come join us for the First 200 Word Novel Critique and Contest.

Here are the rules:

1)Post the first 200 words (please finish the sentence even if it is past 200 words) of your novel or picture book on your blog. (Any genre can join in the initial crit hop but only young adult, middle grade and picture book can be a part of the final contest. This is because agent Kathleen Rushall, who is also one of the judges of this contest is only looking for those types of books. So sorry everyone else.)

2)Once you post, sign up with the link of your post on the linky below.

3)Hop around other participants blogs and give them helpful advice on their first 200 words.

4)If you have a completed young adult, middle grade or picture book manuscript by Tuesday 3PM ET please email me the first 200 words at for a shot at the contest. (This can be pasted into the body of the email. It doesn't have to be an attachment.
NOTE: When I say completed this is strictly a guideline. It is up to you whether or not you really do this. Just remember that Kathleen is an agent and if she loves your work she may very well ask for more from you.
5)The format for entries should look like this:
Your name
Title of book

First 200 words....
6)Eight judges will choose 10 finalists by Wednesday 7/27/11

7)Agent Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency will first pick her winner, then writer with an agent, Monica B.W. will pick hers.

8)The winners will be chosen by Friday 7/29/11.


Kathleen's winner will win a query and first 30 page critique from her, 
Monica's winner will win a first 10 page critique from her.

To get your excitement bubbling, here is part 1 of an interview I did with Kathleen a few weeks back (I will post a brand new part 2 Wednesday), and HERE is the interview I did with Monica.

So let's get this party started...and ended shall we?!


Michelle Fayard said...

Hi, Deana,

Just in case the link didn't work (I didn't see anything pop up like it did last week ...) I'll list the same information below. :)

Link title: Blogfest first 200 words contest
E-mail address: mefayard(at)yahoo(dot)come

Thank you very much!


Unknown said...

Can you define "completed"? If I'm still editing, but plan to have it ready for querying in a few weeks, does that count?

Unknown said...

Oh--also, since every contest is different: do you want us to stop at the period BEFORE the 200 word mark or the period AFTER the 200 word mark? :)

Deana said...

Awesome questions Robin! As for the completed question, that will be up to you. If you have your manuscript to a point that you would feel comfortable should Kathleen ask you for a partial or a full from this contest, that is fine with me.
It is really up to the individual what you all are comfortable with. I just want to emphasize to everyone that if Kathleen is interested she can ask for more. If she does and you don't have more to give...that would stink. As for you Robin, you are sooo close. Go for it!

As for the 200, I would say go to the end of a sentence even if it is past 200 words.

Thanks for those questions Robin, I will put that info in the post for others as well:)

Alleged Author said...

Mine is up! Going to take it down laaaate Tuesday though. :P

RAD - Dot Painter said...

I just re-wrote my first page based on an agent critique at a workshop I went to last weekend. Gosh, I hope I'm getting it right. Thanks for the event!

amber said...

Just signed up -- super excited :) I'm going to have so much fun reading through all the blogs!

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

Just signed up look forward to reading others!

Leslie S. Rose said...

I continue to be in awe of your stamina and investment in this blogfest. Well done, Deana. You deserve a week on the couch with chocolate after this.

lindy said...

So many great submits! Sorry, Deana, but I'm going to be sitting on your site all day today!

alexia said...

Deana, you rock for putting this whole thing on!! First four-week blogfest I've ever done. I love it! It really builds the sense of community. Awesome job!

Deana said...

Thanks everyone! You have all been so great and I hope we don't lose contact after the blogfest:)

Unknown said...

Arg! I've only gotten to about half of you, but I'm swimming under a haze of muscle relaxers. I apologize if I didn't get to you, my wonderful, talented, and skilled fellow blogfesters.

Can't promise, but if you email me or send a Tweet my way, I'll try desperately to get to you tomorrow morning.

Kristen@CountryFitFamily said...

Hi There. I am a new GFC & Twitter follower. I found your blog through Time 4 Mommy bloggin moms. I am going to pass on this post to a friend of mine that has written a young adults book.

Hope you'll check me out at


Deana said...

I think everyone understands the stupor you must be in Lora:)

I too have been in a stupor--a packing stupor--and haven't been able to comment on this round, though I have read everyones. So awesome you guys! We've got some talent here for sure. Good luck to you all!

amy kennedy said...

This has been so helpful Deana. I was going to chance it and send in my first 200 for the contest, now I'm reconsidering. I have it outlined and started, but certainly nowhere near done. Hmmm.

No matter what, this has been some month!

Deana said...

Thanks so much Amy!

You do whatever feels right to you:)

Fresh Garden said...

Wonderful! Fantastic!

Donea Lee said...

Great interview, Kathleen! Thanks for your insight and helpful tips.

And, thanks, Deana - for hosting a fabulous blogfest! I just know this is going to help so many of us and maybe even 1 person - A LOT!

Congrats to the winners and best of luck to you! I've read through all the winning entries - so helpful to see how you attack the beginning of your novels. Plus, I got to read some really wonderful writing. :)


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