Friday, August 21, 2009

Win a scholarship to the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar in NYC!

Yeah, this is gonna be the best contest ever!

The good folks at Backspace (an incredible online writers community THAT YOU SHOULD JOIN IMMEDIATELY! GO! NOW!) have donated two (TWO! COUNT 'EM! TWO!) scholarships to their upcoming Backspace Agent-Author Seminar for a fabulous Swivet contest.

The Backspace Agent-Author Seminar - held on November 5th & 6th - is two full days of workshops, panels and small-group breakouts with more than twenty of my coolest agent colleagues (people like Holly Root, Michelle Brower, Janet Reid, Stephany Evans, Scott Hoffman, Jeff Kleinman, Jason Ashlock, Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe and Diana Fox, to name just a few). It's a chance to have your query read and critiqued and to have agents see the first two pages of your novel. The conference itself is held at the Radisson-Martinique in Midtown Manhattan, walking distance from Penn Station and virtually every subway line in NYC. (If you were to pay for the seminar yourself, by the way, it would be $500! I told you this was the best contest ever!)

So how do you enter? Pay attention:

First, two caveats:
  • First: You MUST have a finished novel that is ready to query. No exceptions.
  • Second: The scholarship covers admission to the conference only, not travel or hotel expenses. If you're coming from outside the New York-area, bear this in mind.
  • Third. The contest is open only to fiction (any genre, adult, YA or middle grade) and narrative non-fiction manuscripts.
  • Fourth: Your humble judges? Myself and my inimitable and completely awesome colleague Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of the Nancy Coffey Agency.
  • Fifth: That was way more than two caveats.
The Rules:
  • One entry per person, please.
  • Print out your query letter plus the first two pages of your finished novel, the same two pages that you want to have critiqued at the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar. The query letter should be single spaced; the two pages of your manuscript should be standard manuscript format: 12-point type and double-spaced. (Remember, only the first two pages, even if it ends mid-sentence.)
  • Mail your entries (yes, on paper, with a stamp - no email entries for this contest!) to my attention at FinePrint Literary Management, 240 W. 35th Street, Suite 500, New York, NY, 10001.
  • Your envelope should have the word BACKSPACE marked prominently on the front so that I know it's a contest submission.
  • Although you are welcome to submit projects that you'd like us to consider for representation, do understand that your contest entries won't get a response. Only the two winners will be hearing back from us.
  • Don't include an SASE; it'll be a waste of a stamp. (See above.)
  • Don't call or email to follow up on your entry. Trust in the U.S. Post Office. They've been doing right by your mail for 150 years.
  • If you do call or email to follow up, your entry will be disqualified and a voudou priestess somewhere in the wilds of the Louisiana bayou will ensure that you get a nasty rash in an unspeakable place for at least a year.
  • Entries must be postmarked by Friday, September 4th. Entries received with a postmark later than September 4th will be disqualified.
  • The two winners will be announced on Thursday, September 17th.
Thanks so much to the wonderful and supportive faculty at Backspace for making these scholarships possible. I'm sure the winners will put them to good use!

To read more about the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar, click here. And to read a full list of the agents who will be attending, click here.

Good luck, everyone!


Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Fantastic. If I may plug the Backsapce seminar? I attended in the Fall of 2006. I met several agents, of course. But one caught my attention, Eric, Myers, and he wasn't the one I'd thought would razzle dazzle me. Last week Eric and I sat with my publisher and editor as I signed a contract for my non-fiction book. Backspace encouraged me to view agents in terms of "fit" and not just marquis value or who else they represent. Good luck to everyone who enters. I can't thank Karen and Chris of Backspace enough.


Amanda said...

This is an awesome contest, Colleen. Thank you so much!

What criteria are you using for choosing the winners?

clindsay said...

Amanda -

Just plain good writing. The two winners whose writing and query we like the best. Pretty simple.


suzie said...

fabulous, fabulous! Looks like we're going to be getting a lot of interesting mail in the office soon :)

Lily said...

Oh, I wish my ms was finished. I'd love to attend, but it's out of my budget. Hopefully, there will be future contests for those of us that are mid-stream.

Lisa Iriarte said...

Am I still eligible if you are already considering a full manuscript from me?

Tara said...

Great contest. Do you need to join Backspace to enter?

daybydaywriter said...

Sounds awesome. I'll send mine in.

Thanks so much!

clindsay said...

Tara -

No, you do not have to belong to Backspace to enter the contest, or to attend the conference if you win.

Good luck!


clindsay said...

Lisa -

Yes, you're still eligible - this contest has nothing to do with FinePrint; it's a way for Joanna and I to help promote a really great online writing community.

Good luck!


Lisa Iriarte said...

Great, thanks! And thanks for the opportunity. I love conferences.

Rebecca said...

Clear something up for me--the registration fee posted at Backspace for the conference is $500.
I'm not expected to join in order to enter the contest, am I?


clindsay said...

Rebecca -

Joining Backspace costs $30.

Registering for the conference is $500.

You don't have to be a Backspace member to enter the contest.

Just remember that the prize does NOT include hotel and airfare to NYC, only the conference attendance.

Jael said...

Like Kim, I have nothing but the highest praise for the Backspace events, so this is a HUGE opportunity. Meeting all these agents face-to-face is really wonderful and I don't know of another conference that does as well with it. Attendance is no guarantee that you'll find representation (though I did), but whatever stage you're at, it pushes you forward -- if you need query help, if your pages aren't quite there, if you're ALMOST ready -- and that's pretty incredible. Plus: other authors. GREAT networking. Do it.

Deborah Blake said...

I have two finished manuscripts. Can I send queries and pages for both? And if so, do I need to use two envelopes?

Kip said...

OK -- it is now Sept. 17 -- so where/who are the winners?