Right smack in the middle (well, not quite the middle, more like the first third) of NaNoWriMo, something really cool happened that totally distracted me from my NANO word count. At 13,375 words I’m on track, but barely, and every single thing I wrote yesterday was crap. Seriously.
So what happened? Monday, I found out I’m one of twenty-five authors (adult genres) selected for something called the Baker’s Dozen.
The Baker’s Dozen is the brainchild of a super-duper blogger/author known only as “the Authoress.” Part of her allure is the mystery of her identity, but that’s just a hook. People keep returning to her website because she does great things for aspiring authors. In addition to the annual Baker’s Dozen (which began last year), she hosts an almost monthly Secret Agent shindig and throws in other competitions and tidbits along the way to keep her website at the top of the heap.
Here’s the real scoop. Her website is Miss Snark’s First Victim, so named because she was the first to submit her own first page to the infamous “Miss Snark.” That in itself shows she’s gutsy—or maybe nutsy. The Authoress began her site in 2008, which makes sense because Miss Snark shut hers down in 2007. It takes me an inordinate amount of time to simply post on my blog, so with all she does with hers, it has to be a near full-time job. Another reason she has so many minions.
She is so adored, people not selected as finalists left comments thanking her for the opportunity to participate and offering congratulations to those picked. She has classy followers! In addition, she had some snafus with her server, her website host, then her e-mail account–pull your hair out kind of stuff. Not to mention she lost her jodimitts (Note to southern friends: think mittens with ends chopped off) but found them later. Whew! The YA/MG event actually had to be rescheduld. Instead of getting upset (as she feared), participants understood and supported her. Who, after all, hasn’t had computer problems?
Anyway, back to the Baker’s Dozen. She accepted two hundred (adult) entries via two windows of opportunities. On different dates, she took three hundred entries of Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction. An entry consisted of a log line (short description of novel) and the first 250 words, or roughly first page, of the book.
The Authoress notified those selected in the adult category a whole week before her target date. How awesome is that? It keeps getting better and better. From the two hundred submissions, she and a cohort selected twenty-five to move forward in the contest. And I got picked. Happy, happy, happy dance! Thirty-five, yet to be announced, YA/MG winners will join the group.
On Friday, December 2, she’ll post the sixty combined genre entries for the entire world to see (and comment). Every entry will get a critique by a real, live editor and a published author. THEN, on December 6th at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, she’ll start taking bids from sixteen (yes, sixteen) top-of-the-line agents. Seriously. These are agents whose names I recognize. They’ll have twenty-four hours to bid for pages, chapters, whatever, up to the entire manuscript. I sure hope it’s only a coincidence the auction ends on Pearl Harbor Day.
At least three people got agents through this contest last year. The Authoress has either directly, or indirectly, matched around twenty authors and agents (according to a recent interview with the clandestine lady by Peter Adam Salomon).
There’s no guarantee all (or any) of the submissions will get requests. Last year, several did not. But, this is one step closer, and the exposure is fabulous. And to add one more spark to the Authoress’s halo—all of the submissions not chosen will be posted on other websites for feedback.
So, thank you, thank you, thank you, to the stupendous Authoress for this opportunity. Everybody, check it out in December. Now, I’ve got to get my butt back in the chair.