13th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest (Young Adult and Sci-Fi)

UPDATE: In September 2016, Victoria moved from Gelman Schneider to Irene Goodman Literary. We have updated her submission guidelines and categories below. 

This contest is now closed. Winners were chosen in Feb. 2013
and listed in a new blog post here. Thanks for entering!


Welcome to the 13th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing either a science fiction novel (adults or teens) or any kind of young adult novel, this 13th contest is for you! (The contest is live through January 31, 2013.)




After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.


E-mail entries to dearluckyagent13@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.


The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of your sci-fi novel or young adult novel. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any social media. Please provide a social media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your offical e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is http://tinyurl.com/a8msdw2. An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino somewhere in your mention(s) if using Twitter. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks.


Want to pitch this contest’s agent judge (Victoria Marini) in person?
Then check out the gigantic agent pitch slam as part of the 2013
Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC, April 5-7, 2013! The event
will have anywhere from 60-80 agents taking pitches.



Science fiction novels of any kind, as well as young adult novels of any kind.


  1. This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from Jan. 17, 2013 through the end of Jan. 31, 2013, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
  2. To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
  3. You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.
  4. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.
  5. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)


Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!


Victoria Marini is a literary agent with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. Victoria is looking for commercial and literary Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction as well as upmarket commercial or literary Adult fiction. She represents contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, and horror, and select narrative non-fiction. Victoria would not be the best fit for prescriptive non-fiction, new age/religious/spirituality, popular science, new adult, or regency romances.

Here are some books that she has represented:

The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets by Kathleen Alcott (Adult General/Other)
Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (YA)
OCD Love Story by Corey Haydu (YA; July 2013)
forthcoming: Loop by Karen Akins (YA sci-fi)



Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:


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23 thoughts on “13th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest (Young Adult and Sci-Fi)

  1. TattKttn

    Could you please define “book-length” for me? I understand the general standard for a novel is no less than 40,000 words, just wondering if you have a different standard that you go by.

    1. Originality

      I am also curious about this. If the intention is to complete the full novel, but the manuscript is incomplete? How ‘incomplete’ can it be? Etc.

  2. rightcard

    I have a few questions on this. I already have a book but I have not had it copyrighted though it is published through an online publisher; can I use that book or no?

    I also have two books (one that is a continuation of the book already onine) but neither are finished, does this have to be a finished book?

    Thank you

  3. rickdemi

    I found out about this contest through a friend. I don’t have a completed YA manuscript, so I won’t be entering this time. However, I would like to hear about future contest. How often are they held, and is there a mailing list?

    Rick DeMille

    1. Chuck Sambuchino Post author

      No mailing list. The contest is recurring, and held when an agent has the time to judge one. Also, the genre/category changes with each one. This time’s YA and sci-fi. Next time it could be something else.

  4. bare

    I wish I’d found out about these fantastic contests a long time ago! An excellent opportunity. Just curious – how many entries to you receive on average for these Dear Lucky Agent contests?

  5. Originality

    Question – if I am submitting more than once, in each submission email can I use the same two social media screenshots? (Or must it be two per submission? There are only so many places I can post). Thanks!


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