Thursday, September 27, 2012

Details for the Small Press Pitch Contest and Agents Interview Questions

We’ve come to our final contest in GUTGAA this year! I can’t believe we’ve already been at this for a month. I’m so happy for those of you who’ve already gotten requests from agents! And if you haven’t yet, there is still today and tomorrow:) AND if you end up getting no requests, I can’t reiterate enough how very subjective this all is. If writing is your passion, keep at it! There a ton of agents in this world and my contest only had 12.

Speaking of those 12, I have the final two parts of their interview questions up. If you didn’t get to read part 1 go HERE and do it now. Some really good nuggets of advice there:)

Go HERE for part 2
Go HERE for part 3

Now for the rules of the GUTGAA Small Press Pitch Contest...

First and foremost, you must sign up on the GUTGAA Master List HERE if you want to join in the contest.

New Email Address
If you were around for the Agent Pitch Contest, you know the email for submitting is not my regualar email. You will be sending your query and first 150 words for the small press pitch contest to gutgaa(at)gmail(dot)com. Easy enough, right?

How to Submit Your Agent Pitch Contest Entry
There will be two entry windows: 11:00 AM EST and 4 PM EST. You will send your query and first 150 words of a COMPLETED manuscript to the email address: gutgaa(at)gmail(dot)com. Each window will close after I have 50 entries, making a final total of 100 entries. I will email you with the words "you're in" if you made it. I know you will be excited, but, so I can stay organized, please don't respond to the email. You are only allowed ONE entry and the entry can only have ONE query and ONE first 150 words. If your 150 words ends in the middle of a sentence, you may go to the end of that sentence.

Format for the Small Press Pitch Contest Entry
I’m not going to be a huge stickler on font and size of the font. I know that emails can change that without you wanting it to. BUT I am going to be a stickler on the format of your entry. I hate to do it, but if you do not follow the guidelines, I will have to pass on your entry. Also, once your entry is in, I cannot change anything on it so make sure it is exactly the way you want.

Please send me your entry single spaced, email style (meaning do not indent, please single space, and only one space between paragraphs. This makes the process so much easier for me and the blog hosts.

Email Subject Line must read:
GUTGAA Small Press Pitch Contest: YOUR NAME
(This is SOOOOO important. This is another one I will have to disqualify if it isn’t this way.)

Body of the email:
GENRE - ex: YA sci-fi  (I need it this specific for grouping purposes please)


I need the meat of your query here. Again, no "Dear Agent" or "I choose you because". Also, no word count or credentials (please see example below).  

First 150 Words:

I need the first 150 words of your completed manuscript here (please see example below).

Example entry submission:


YA sci-fi


Kali Addison turns seventeen the day nukes annihilate her dad's time machines. Her birthday presents? A dead family and the truth--time travel has nothing to do with science and everything to do with her.

Since her dad's work has turned to ash, it seems Kali is now a freaking time machine, and those responsible for ridding the world of them know she's even more. Too bad Kali doesn't. Maybe the oh-so-hot guy, who shows up every time she's catapulted into the past can help her figure things out. But knowing the truth would mean facing a life she forgot for a reason.

Now she must decide what's more important: Continuing to live in the dark, or embracing the danger of who she's always been. If she chooses wrong. Time is up. For everyone.

First 150 Words:

I hate time travel.

It's the one absolute thought I have in my head when I crane my neck to take in the massive Clandestine, in all its bland glory. The Commoners appear just as dull as the timeport with their solemn expressions and outfits the color of dirty snow.

Today, I match them.

Preparation for a journey through time doesn't allow for distractions like color or commotion. There are no windows here either. So no way to enjoy the cool spring breeze or hear the birds chirp me a happy birthday song.


I get to be serenaded by the whispers of curious onlookers wondering why I'm travelling with the rest of the public, being jostled about from line to line, until we make it to the time dock I choose.   

I guess I have that on my side. My loser friends, Sage, Greer and Flip, are letting me pick the "when" we travel to as my birthday present.

Monday, the entries that made it in will be divided into groups of 25 and will be posted on host blogs. My blog will be one and the other hosts awesome enough to help me out are:
Tara Tyler
Juliana Brandt
Ink in the Book (Talynn)
Covert 1st Round Judge Names:
The first round of the contest will be making it past the judges that I introduced to you HERE. They will be prowling the entries under secret identities. So if you see the names below on any of the entries, pay close attention.

Lone Star
Honey Badger
Escape Artist
Mystery Science Theater Geek
Rose Cardinal
The Purple Pixie
Slave to the Muse
Jammy Dodgers
I’m Just Sayin’

I think that’s it! If you want to gab it up on Twitter, the hashtag we’ve been using and will continue to use is: #GUTGAA

See you there!


Ink in the Book said...

I hope my time stamp matches yours, Deana! I'm going by the one on this comment because I *think* it logs the time according to when you receive it here, which should match yours. I think. I hope.

Anyway, I can't believe time has went by so fast! Really, I barely had enough time to make it around to all the comments and entries, plus review the agents, and now the publishers who are participating.

Thank you for all the work you poured into this.

Ink in the Book said...

Ha! Sometimes I think my brain lives in some other person's body.
Just checking my time stamp with this comment, which I forgot to do with the last comment:)

Deana said...

If this time stamps the same time my computer does then your perfect. That is what I'm going by and my computer says 4:55 EST right now:)

Tamara said...

So, if we were in finalists of the Agent Pitch contest can we also enter the Small Press Pitch contest? I didn't get any requests, so I figured it might still be allowed to try the small presses.

Deana said...

It is still allowed. And there is still tomorrow as far as the agent contest:-)

Angela Brown said...

Another round, another chance. Whatever may come, I'm a bit prouder of my query. It's not as wordy or synopsis-like as it was when we first started GUTGAA. Of course, I'd love for something great to come out of this, but I'm wishing the best for all as we writers work to make our dreams come true. And thanks again, Deana, for organizing all of this :-)

Heather M Bryant said...

Super excited once again, and I'm hoping my stupid sleep-brain remembers to press send straight away this time. I go by the world clock I have on my iPhone but I guess that doesn't mean much unless you have an Apple computer. Or you're a stickler for time keeping.

Unknown said...

So, do you think we'll break gmail again? :-)

Tara Tyler said...

so exciting! you are doing so much for us! thanks deana!

Deana said...

Angela- I'm so happy to hear that this has helped:)

Heather- I think that clock would be just as good as any:)

Ellie- I honestly don't know what the response will be for the small press contest. I guess we'll see:)

Tara- Thanks, girlie:) And thank you for all your help!

K. L. Hallam said...

I'm wondering if italics are allowed in formatting for the tagline? Thanks Deana!

Tracy MacDonald said...

Deana, this has all be so hugely helpful! The constructive criticism and positive feedback are priceless! Any chance you found a small press to represent chapter books/early readers?

Kathleea said...

Just got my entry ready. Hope I make it in!

Deana said...

Karen- Yes, they are.

Tracy - Thank you so much! I'm really happy to hear that. Sadly, I haven't even had time to look for a small press that would handle chapter books or early readers. I'm really sorry:(

Anna said...


You probably got my email twice. I first hit send at 11 am according to my computer, but gmail claimed it was sent at 10h59, so I retyped it and re-sent to be within the proper time window. Sorry about that.

Aightball said...

If we miss the first window, can we try for the second window?

Deana said...

Anna- I just sent you an email.

Kel - Yes, please do!

Deana said...

Dierdre - Thank you for the sweet words! I just hope it helps you out:) I'm glad you found us:)

Kathleea said...

I got in, let's hope I get votes. My agent pitch didn't get any votes from judges but a few commented on how they thought it looked interesting. I'm pitching a different book this time. *fingers crossed* Thanks for doing this!

Anna said...

Welll, I'm sorry I spammed you twice again but I never did get any email back so I kept thinking I was disqualified for falling outside the time window. I'll leave you alone now. ^^;

Tamara said...

So, I have a quick question not about the small press pitch--but about the agent pitch.

You had twelve agents on here. I'm assuming by the end of today they'll have read all the posts (they're probably done by now)

So, does this mean I shouldn't query any of the agents from here since they obviously passed on my query? I hope this isn't a dumb question. I didn't know if I should still try on the assumption that maybe not every agent saw every pitch--or if I should just cross all these agents of my potentials list

Carrie Butler said...

This is going to be so much fun! I can't wait. :)

Jess said...

This was really fun! Thanks so much, Deana!

Deana said...

Tamara - If none of the agents requested anything from your query, I would not query them with the same one. If you have another manuscript, or if there are major changes to the one they passed on that is a different story. I hope that answered your question:)

Deirdre - Hi,
all of the "you're in" notices have been sent. I went and checked my emails to see if you made it and didn't see an email from you. Did you send it to
Also, what name did you send it under? I can search again. Thanks:)

Tamara said...

Thanks, Deana! Yup, that answered my question :)

wubawuba said...

So exciting!