''Dear Lucky Agent'' Contest: Memoir and Narrative Nonfiction

Note from Chuck: It’s Feb. 1, 2010, which means this contest
is now closed. Thank you for entering. Winners
should be announced within 7 days or so.
Meanwhile, our next contest should start
within a week or two, as well.  It’s for writers
of kids books!


“Dear Lucky Agent” Contest:

Memoir and Narrative Nonfiction

Welcome to the first “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This will be
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 book-length memoir or narrative nonfiction, this first contest is for you!


You can leave your entry in the Comments section of this post, or just e-mail it. Send e-mailed entries to januaryagentcontest@gmail.com. (If using e-mail, paste everything. No attachments.)


The first 200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of memoir, femoir or narrative nonfiction (also called creative nonfiction). You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Though not mandatory, feel free to submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, I ask that you do one of two things: 1) Mention and link to this contest twice through any social media – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, forums, message boards, comments on other blog sites; or 2) just mention this contest once and also add Guide to Literary Agents Blog (www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blogto your blogroll. Please provide link(s) so I can verify eligibility.


      1. This contest will be live for approximately twelve days – from Jan. 19 through the end of Sunday, Jan. 31, EST. Winners notified by e-mail within seven days of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
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.
This contest is solely for completed book-length works of memoir (life stories), femoir, narrative nonfiction or creative nonfiction. Stories, naturally, must be true – not simply fiction based on truth.
You can submit as many times as you wish
The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media.
6. There are more rules (most of them dealing with legal stuff) that you can find in the comments section of this post. 
7. By commenting on this post or e-mailing your story, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as the terms added by me at the beginning of the “Comments” section of this blog post.


First place: 1) A critique of 25 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) Two free books from Writer’s Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the books your want).

Runner-ups – second and third place: 1) A critique of 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) One free book from Writer’s Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the book your want).


Katharine Sands
is an agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She
is the agent provocateur for Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye. Books she’s repped include:


SAT Word Slam, by Jodi Fodor

Hands Off My Belly: The Pregnant Woman’s Survival Guide to Myths, Mothers and Moods, by Shawn Tassone and Kathryn Landherr

The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Child, by Dawn Davenport

Taxpertise: The Complete Book of Dirty Little Secrets and Tax Deductions for Small Businesses the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know, by Bonnie Lee


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0 thoughts on “''Dear Lucky Agent'' Contest: Memoir and Narrative Nonfiction

  1. Allison Ellis

    Widow in a Speedo
    A memoir
    A young woman’s race to find love after loss
    By Allison Ellis

    Contest mentions: http://twitter.com/Allison_Ellis

    A better husband would greet his wife at the ferry landing I think, as I attempt to push a stroller laden with a 25 pound baby with one hand and lift an oversized car seat, purse and heavy tote bag with the other. It’s a long walk down the pier. In the distance, past idling Subarus waiting their turn to load, seagulls perched on pilings and the gentle slish slosh of Puget Sound waves lapping underneath my feet, I see him next to our car in the tiny Park and Ride lot. Just standing there.

    “Do you need a hand?” An attractive, long legged man gives a sideways glance as he walks beside me. It’s a look that I will soon come to recognize, accept and anticipate. The look says: where on earth is your husband? Why are you attempting to do this alone?
    “Oh, thank you,” I smile through clenched teeth, trying to appear genuine. “But no, I’ve got it.”
    “Are you sure? You’ve got quite a load.”
    “Yeah, I’m sure,” I say. “It’s all—“ I yank up on the side of the car seat and firmly place it on my hip. “It’s all balanced,” I lie. “See?”

  2. Shirley H. Showalter

    Social Media Links:



    Synopsis: As a Mennonite farmer’s daughter in the 1950’s, I grew up with my nose pressed against the window of the world. A product of opposites, I challenged the limits prescribed for me and broke free–without losing the path home.

    Introduction: A Twinkle in Their Eyes (1944-48)

    He was tall.
    She was short.
    He kept a ledger.
    She kept a diary.
    He loved his ’39 Buick.
    She loved compliments and pretty clothes.
    He loved the feel of good soil and the look of contoured fields.
    She starred in several high school plays.
    He was an undiagnosed dyslexic and struggled in school.
    She loved to read and played first violin in the orchestra and organ in the parlor.
    He focused on the task.
    She dreamed while she worked.
    He leaned on his mother’s love like a shield against his father’s wrath.
    She was treasured by her mother but grew up in a family of boys, craving a sister.
    He arranged numbers in rows.
    She wrote a story that would shape her own life and the lives of all her children to come.
    He joined the church effortlessly when called.
    She struggled, then submitted.
    He was totally tone deaf.
    She trilled a lovely clear soprano.
    He slept in church.
    She heard God’s voice in her own ears.

    They were my parents, Richard and Barbara Ann Hess Hershey, and the combustion of their opposite passions unleashed currents that confused, fascinated, and frightened me–until I learned the secret.

    Message for Katharine Sands:

    You may remember meeting me at the Santa Barbara Writer’s conference in 2007. I was in Marla Miller’s marketing class and asked if you had ever met a Mennonite before. I shook your hand to let you know you now have met one. When Mennonite in a Little Black Dress made such a splash this fall, I wondered if you remembered that brief encounter. My review of that book is here: http://www.100memoirs.com/2009/11/mennonite-in-a-little-black-dress-an-old-mennonite-review/

    I do not have a completed manuscript which I think makes me ineligible to enter the contest. In addition to this introduction, I have four published stories (all of them winners of literary awards) and four or five more in draft form. My aspiration is to write three volumes based roughly on the model of Jill Kerr Conway’s memoirs written and published over twenty years that begin with her childhood on a sheep ranch and end with her ten years as president of Smith College (The Road from Coorain, True North, and A Woman’s Education). My own story starts on a dairy farm and continues to college, then high school teaching, graduate school, college professor, and college president (1996-2004). I am now a foundation executive (since 2004) and blogger (since 2008).

    A small publisher affiliated with our denomination is interested in the book. I’d love to know whether you would encourage me to go that route or to press forward with the search for a New York agent/publisher. Thank you.

  3. Kelley Allen

    Contest link posted on:

    Title: Nikki and Me
    Tagline: In 1982, a lonely 16-year-old girl struggles to help her 14-year-old friend survive a cross-country search for love.

    I stopped searching for signs of love from my parents after what everyone calls ‘the incident’, nearly two years ago. I stopped listening or caring. I like to think my heart turned to granite, but sometimes chips break off so it’s probably closer to shale. Either way, I buried the cold, chipped core of me deep inside and looked forward to the day I could walk out the front door of my parents house and into the rest of my life.

    But they knew.

    They brought me to court, signed custody of me over to New York State and left before seeing me escorted to the first police cruiser I’d ever been in. I became a Person in Need of Supervision. A PINS.

    Now, I sleep where the judge tells me to sleep, eat what the staff tells me to eat and try to follow the rules of the Clifton School for Troubled Girls. I have what they call a bad attitude because I still think my own thoughts, but I’ve decided they can’t have my thoughts. They are mine.

  4. Beth Parent

    This is so cool!! Thanks!

    Eligibility Requirements: http://twitter.com/onwardhoe AND http://www.facebook.com/besufern
    Book Title: My Husband Ride Me
    Chapter Title: Grammargasm

    I know it makes me a big fat dork, and that this is probably the reason why I’m not married, but I freaking love grammar. I love the tiny little things that cause huge differences in meaning, and I love explaining it to my students. I love the challenge of finding new and even mildly interesting ways to make the English language more understandable and rich for a non-native speaker. And I love being able to witness that moment when they finally grasp a new concept, when they realize that they’ve just gotten all the answers right, and especially when they tell me a story that has all the details in place. "I went to the store yesterday, and as I was driving, I hit a construction barrel that had fallen over into the street."

    It’s beautiful, I tell you, but it’s rare. More often, this is the story I get: "I went to the store yesterday, and during I am drive, I hitted a (pause for intermission while student looks up ‘barrel’ in the dictionary) cylinder construction it fell over in a street." Sigh.

  5. Marianne Arini

    Thanks for the opportunity to get feedback on my memoir; I appreciate you taking the time to run this contest.

    Evidence of mentioning free memoir writing contest:

    1. http://www.twitter.com/mariannearini

    2. newsfeed at http://www.facebook.com/mariannearini#/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1222624230

    First 184 words of Confessions of an Ex-Fundamentalist. Logline: The story of one woman’s recovery from Christian fundamentalism.

    I am not supposed to tell you this story. You are an outsider, one of the “unsaved,” and my telling is considered taboo. To do so, is breaking the unspoken code of acceptable behavior and speech. In the Christian fundamentalist community I was raised in, we have preprogrammed thoughts, perspectives, literalist interpretations of the Bible, and political opinions that are thought out by religious leaders and memorized by the “flock” who, consciously or unconsciously, masquerade them as their own.

    For example, we are told not to read books like this one, books that expose Christian fundamentalist propaganda. When one of our fundamentalist leaders gets wind of such a book, he may or may not read it all the way through, but he will pull quotes out of context and spin them to sound “evil.” After sending the word out, it spreads like wild fire from one Christian fundamentalist church to the next. Even innocuous books like the Harry Potter series are spun as dangerous. Once banned, the members of the flock never crack the book to read it for themselves because it is forbidden.

  6. Amanda LaPera

    I posted contest links on facebook and twitter. http://twitter.com/writermrsamanda
    http://www.facebook.com/ (Amanda LP)

    Title: LOSING DAD

    Tagline: An intial battle with cancer causes Joseph (my dad) to descend into psychosis and extreme paranoia, a trip that involves four continents, thirty countries, thirteen wives, and a lost fortune.

    First 196 words:

    Joseph walked through the tall grass and listened to the flowing river. Then, through the darkness, he saw his wife. But where soft brown hues once smiled at him, blood-red eyes now glowed. "Do I run and hide or confront this terror?" The yellow porch light betrayed his position. Glued to the ground and unable to move, Joseph turned his face towards the back door. His jaw dropped open and he silently screamed as steam-funnels spewed forth from her ears. A horrifying rumble erupted from her contorted mouth. Horror-stricken, Joseph stared in disbelief.

    Then, he did what he had to do—what any rational person would do. No other choice.

    As the chilly air blew in from the lake and stung his face, Joseph pulled his gray sweatshirt hood down over his ears and slid his gloved fingers into his coat pockets. Cursing to himself, he stepped out of a puddle of melted snow that had fallen too early to stick. These wet shoes were no good for a Chicago winter, and he instantly thought about finding a way to get a new pair, maybe of fine black leather. If he could get money, that is.

  7. Linda Bittle


    Tracking Elephants in Snow
    Memoirs of a Bad-Ass Tracker Chick
    By Linda Bittle

    The carved leopard head mounted above the door of the rustic shelter seemed to snarl at me as I reached out to push aside the heavy canvas curtain. Going through that doorway would be my biggest mistake or the smartest thing I’d ever done. I was betting heavily on the later. I’d cashed in my retirement fund to be here. I’d turned in my resignation at a job I’d held for over 20 years and moved 2000 miles for the opportunity. Half my friends thought I was crazy. The other half said I was brave. The truth? I was committing an act of desperation.

    The bird calls in the temperate rain forest surrounding me were so unlike the ones I knew from Missouri forests. The trees were different, and dripping with mosses and lichens. I wondered what animals traveled the paths here…what kind of tracks I’d find in the mud around the pond at the bottom of the trail. I wanted to learn about all these things. I only hesitated a moment before ducking into the dark interior of Malalo Ya Chui -The Lair of the Leopard.

  8. robin pratt

    TITLE: Red Ticket
    TAG: Two years after the fall of the Soviet Union most Russians were desperate to get out of their impoverished, violent country. I was desperate to get in.

    “If I jumped from this height, I’d definitely kill myself.” It was the third time in an hour I’d had this thought, and I looked up at the vapid Orlando sky to dispel it as I rubbed my palms on the thighs of my jeans.

    Moving to Moscow by myself had seemed like a fantastic idea when I’d been stuck dusting Gator souvenirs back at the bookstore. But now that it was here, I was scared. Who moves to Moscow in January? I leaned on the railing of the hotel balcony, peering at the reedy man-made pond 15 stories below. The sun glinted off the giant swans on the resort across the way, extruded plastic winking.

    Unable to bear the pastel hotel room, our family had fled to a nearby Shoney’s. Now we stared at each other grimly, inserting French fries into our cottony mouths. I looked around the restaurant at the dusty hanging baskets, the steaming breakfast bar, the sunburned tourists sticking to their booths as they shoveled in biscuits and gravy. I became inexplicably maudlin; sentimental, the way people in books do before setting off on epic journeys. What was I doing? How could I leave this behind?

    Linked to contest + added to blogroll on my blog: http://potemkin.blogspot.com/

  9. Jordan Clary

    Blog posted on Twitter & Facebook & added to blogroll: http://www.allthingsstone.jordanclary.com

    ON MY 50th BIRTHDAY I woke up in a yak pasture in outer Mongolia. Mark, my husband of 18 years, and I had taken the train from Beijing to Ulan Batar, Mongolia’s capital. We wanted to explore the countryside, but because the national festival, Nadaam, had just ended, all the buses were full. So we stood on the side of the road until we caught a ride.
    For the next day and a half we rode, sometimes on roads that only the driver seemed to see, until he finally deposited us in the small village of Khrogo. Tucked into a valley of the Tarvagatian Nuruu Mountain Range in the northern part of the country, Khrogo consisted of a row of wooden structures and a cluster of gers, the round yurts-or tents-made from skins or canvas that most of the people in the countryside lived in. Our last ride, a four person Russian jeep that we shared with twelve Mongolians had dropped us off in the moonless pre-dawn. My feet had fallen asleep, and my legs contorted in ways I never dreamed possible. If it hadn’t been for the homemade vodka I would have been in tears.

  10. Jeanette Paganelli

    I forgt to post a tag line.
    Knock-Up Knocked-Down
    1968 I surrendered my daughter at Our Lady of Perpetucal Sorrow Unwed Mothers Home.
    1999 I found my daughter who had survived rape and abuse of her adoptive father. How she and I connect dispiter her being Bi-polar

  11. Jeanette Paganelli

    Slide! Duck! Shut your mouth rocketed through my brain as I watched his ham hock of a hand swing towards my face in the back seat of the car. I always knew to the millimeter how far to be out of his reach.
    "Don’t hit Jeanete. She’s pregnant," my mother said with the weight of a sledge hammer. "Don’t you dare." Why hadn’t mom use that tone, that weight before? Daddy had hit me since i can remember. He hadn’t hit mom. He hadn’t even hit our dog. He only hit me. Just me.
    I didn’t have a clue what I had said. I’d answered some question that consequently pissed him off. It had been four years since he last hit me. I had just turned tweny. Being a college student I was totally dependent on my parents, I didn’t have any fincancial power to control my life.
    To swing his hand around to slap me, daddy had to straighten his legs. One of those legs was on the gas peddle. That sped up our car. The make sure he got my face, he had to take his eyes off the road. Our car was recklessly swerving into the ditch

  12. Christine

    Live Comment Preview

    What a FANTASTIC idea! I am re-posting for you. My book (about the 10 years I was an exotic dancer in the late 80’s, early 90’s) is not complete, or I would be all over this!

    Thanks Chuck. This is a wonderful idea.


  13. Dawn Hood

    Title: Pray and Bring Chocolate
    Logline: Be careful what you wish for

    In my 20s and 30s, I made a vow to turn 40 kicking and screaming. It’s not that I had any particular prejudice against people in their 40s but it seemed to me that it was a turn in the road which signified a point of no return. If you hadn’t already ‘made it’, odds were not in your favor. Too far gone to start over, beginning to look seriously at retirement (whatever that is) and the perceived security of Social Security.

    Everyone who knew me knew my personal list of goals. Albeit rather self-indulgent, I jokingly stated my three wishes: to be the bald chick on Star Trek (I thought she was sooooo cool), to get a boob job (I was never what you would call perky), and to have a tattoo (James Dean and my inner rebel are soul mates).

  14. Jason Brooks

    Logline: "Til death do us part" didn’t include the death of our daughter.

    I held the razor to my throat, hesitant. So much heartbreak and pain, the many memories I would rather forget, all could be undone with just one flick of the blade.

    I thought about how my wife would respond. How my daughter would react. In the end I decided I didn’t care.

    I jerked down hard on the razor, watching it slice along my throat.

    My wife Rachel came in the bathroom and froze, her eyes widened in disbelief.

    “You’re shaving your beard?”

    “Yes," I murmured. "It’s time. It’s beyond time.”

    I emerged from the bathroom, a towel around my neck for wiping the excess shaving cream from my face. I paused for a moment at the charcoal sketch above Rachel’s dresser. It was of Rachel and me holding our daughter, Ruthanne, in the hospital.

    My hair was shorter then, and shaving gave me a completely different appearance. Rachel had cut her hair, and bore no resemblance to the woman in the sketch. The drawings brought tears to my eyes. What could have been a beautiful family became instead a tragic story. That family, what they could have been, was now just a figment of my imagination.

  15. Mary Witzl

    I’ve tweeted about this — http://twitter.com/eastfarandnear — and added you to my blogroll: http://witzl.blogspot.com/

    Title: English Broken Here

    Logline: I’ve been teaching English most of my life to support my language-learning habit.

    I teach EFL. I spend my life drilling the rudiments of English syntax, spelling, and grammar. I’m a serial language learner too. I can hold rudimentary conversations in French, order food in Spanish, sing the Turkish national anthem (two whole stanzas), and speak, read and write Japanese. Next year, I’m thinking of taking up Korean. I’m a glutton for punishment.

    Today we tested our students’ reading, writing, listening comprehension and speaking ability. We might as well have skinned them alive and simmered them in boiling oil.

    "Don’t worry," I whispered to a white-faced girl waiting outside the classroom. She gave me a watery smile. "Teacher, very excite," whispered the boy next to her. "Very nervous." He thumped his fist against his chest.

    "I know how you feel," I told him and the girl, but they didn’t hear me.

    My students seem to feel that teachers are born into this world wise and fully-knowledgeable. That they’ve never suffered through sleepless nights shuffling through notes, wearing their eyes out. That they’ve never woken up on examination day with a sick feeling in their guts. Never sat there shivering with a pounding pulse, waiting to take a test, their blood 90-proof caffeine.

  16. Wanda Sue Maxey

    Thursday, January 21, 2010
    Posted a link to the contest on Facebook and Linkedin

    Title: Love and Abuse: On Forty Acres
    Tag line: I was widowed after 32 years. Two years later I married a
    man from the Internet. He turned out to be an abuser.

    "Mom," Lynn yells, "Keep your cell phone and go pack a bag."
    Lanny, my husband, jerked my purse out of my arms and almost knocked me down.
    "You’re not going anywhere," he screamed while getting my keys.
    "Now hang up the phone. Something’s wrong with you, you’re not acting right."
    "Just go around to the back door and get out," Lynn said, but Lanny won’t let me.
    "That’s enough," Lynn said, "I’m calling Trevor."
    "Please don’t." I said, because I didn’t want my son to know about the abuse. She’s calling him anyway.
    "He’s on his way mom," Lynn said, "and he’ll be there in about 20 minutes."
    I spot the headlights as Trevor pulls in and screeches to a stop.
    Lanny wraps his arms tightly around me. He’s hurting me and won’t let go.
    Trevor rushes around the corner. "You let me mom go," he said, "or I’ll put a bullet right between your eyes."
    Lanny’s arms drop immediately.
    I tell Lanny between sobs, "You get some help, then I’ll be back."

  17. Simon Hay

    You’re on my blog roll here http://blog.simonhay.com.au/
    Competition link is on my facebook and twitter.

    Title: The Disciple
    Tag line: Two thousand years ago I was the disciple Judas, today I’m a plumber with a family and a ute, and the past has caught up with me.

    Blood drips onto my upturned face, the drops, falling in slow motion, striking one after the other, like rain taking its time, frame by frame, on a Discovery Channel documentary. The image is only in my mind, but my body reacts to the slithering explosions of blood landing on my skin. I’m unable to open my eyes, and the lids, defiant, strain to identify the insects I’m certain are crawling over me.

    I’m lying on my back, and the hands of the spiritual healer who is working on me vibrate against my sternum. One finger is tapping, as if the healer is sending Morse code: ‘Relax, Simon. Don’t be afraid.’ When I reach for the swirling clouds raining blood above me, she places her hands on top of mine. I don’t remember asking my hands to move, and now, without my consent, they twitch in time with the convulsions that have possessed my legs. The healer moves her hand to one of my thighs, and the convulsions subside. The hand, child-sized and warm, soothes, and the demons living in my legs depart.

    Slowly, anorexic, brittle, and bare-chested, an old lady materialises from the shadows of my psychic vision.

  18. Susan Blumberg-Kason

    I submitted my 200 words by e-mail, but just want to mention that I’ve advertised the contest on SheWrites.com in the Memoir group. I’ve also posted the contest on my Facebook page! Good luck everyone!

  19. Wendy Getchell

    I posted this on face book, with a link to this blog.

    Tag line: After 24 years as a Registered Nurse I could no longer justify being part of a profession with apparent evil intent

    The headlines report murder, theft, abuse, drug dealings and forgery. These are the stories most people read about nurses. Other headlines report breakdowns in negotiations
    between unions and health organizations, with threats of strike action. Still more stories revolve around patients appearing at hospital doors unable to make it inside without help, yet being told to call 911 for assistance. The public are being shown nurses who seem cruel, indifferent, greedy, lazy and power hungry. Nurses are the largest body of health care professionals in North America and in most other countries as well. They are the backbone of every health care system. Such news stories however create a very ugly picture of the profession. I read the on-line comments to these stories, most of which are harsh, but justified. Media rarely presents all sides of the story, just those that seem most news worthy. Controversy makes for great headlines and ratings. Personally, as a retired Registered Nurse, I am disgusted at what I’m reading and don’t believe there could be any proper justification, even if I did listen to the nurse’s side of the story.

  20. M. M. Justus

    Turning Point

    It was time. The last item was in the last box. My little blue truck had acquired its rental trailer that morning. Andy went outside to check the connections, to make sure the brake lights worked, to see that the emergency chain was securely fastened.
    I stepped out onto the porch to take a breather, and he glanced up at me, smiling. All must be well, I thought. Nothing to slow down my leaving. No wonder he’s pleased.
    I felt myself smiling back in spite of myself. It was uncomfortable, yes, but better to plaster what my oldest nephew used to call a simel on my face than to get in another row. I went back inside, stepping over the first round of boxes.
    Putting the rest of my earthly possessions into the trailer was going to be like working a giant jigsaw puzzle. The truck was already full. Andy, who, oddly enough, had been known to actually enjoy this part of the process of moving, gestured at my desk sitting ignominiously on the sidewalk and called out, “I need some help here.”

  21. Debra Elliott

    Debra Ann Elliott

    Posted on FB & Twitter
    Title: Ashes Ashes I Fell Down
    Logline: After experiencing a forced abortion at the age of sixteen my life took a wild out of control spin and I spend most of my adult life trying to find the real me.

    “Roe v. Wade” changed my life forever. That critical decision made January 22nd 1973,opened up many different pathways for many women from all walks of life; myself included.

    I had never thought about what the decision really meant, at the time I was only twelve, but almost four years later I would experience it first hand.

    The year was 1977. The month and day: November 4th. I was fifteen. That was the year “Roe v. Wade changed my life indelibly. The painful, horrific memories are forever seared in my mind, thoughts, and soul.

    I was sixteen, technically a teenager; but still a child. I made several unforgivable mistakes(in my mind anyway) that led to that fateful day over thirty years ago.

    I wasn’t getting the Christian love that I needed and so desperately wanted. I was vulnerable; letting anyone talk me into anything.

    I turned to drugs and sex for love and attention. I got plenty of both and got pregnant.

    I was petrified and turned to my mother for help. That aspect was a mistake. My mother was an alcoholic and she and her boyfriend mistreated me. She was forced to turn me over to the state.

  22. Eika

    I’m not participating in this round because I don’t write it, but I do have a few questions for you.

    Does posting a link count if it’s to a forum or some other place where you need to make an account to view things?
    The additional rules had all these things about ‘taxes;’ do the two prizes have enough value that we really need to worry about it?

  23. Alexis Grant

    Great idea for a new series and of course I LOVE the genre!

    And once I saw who the agent was — I really enjoyed Sands’ Making the Perfect Pitch — I thought, I’ll have to enter!

    But alas, you caught me with the line about how the manuscript’s gotta be complete. I’ve got one more round of revisions ahead of me. One more month and I’ll be ready!

    Looking forward to reading some entries.

  24. Everett Maroon

    First, for eligibility, I posted on my Facebook and Twitter accounts:
    Second, I put your blog on my blogroll on my blog:
    Title of ms: Bumbling into Body Hair: Tales of a Klutz’s Sex Change
    Logline: When I decided to have a sex change to become a man, I figured it would be difficult and rewarding, but I had no idea, however, that total absurdity would come along for the ride.

    I have had better ideas than this.
    I notice the sharp stench of fresh plastic in my nostrils, and it shocks me enough to take stock of my situation—from my own doing, I’m covered in a roll of cellophane, my fingers bleeding from their one-sided flirtation with the razor strip on the box, all while sweat oozes out of my temples and armpits. On the floor next to my feet is the once-white, disfigured bra I removed ten minutes ago.
    I’m generally thinking this is a mistake. It’s what my friend calls an AFGO—Another Fucking Growth Opportunity. Perhaps people learn better when they’re in pain, anyway. Surely the Sisters of Mercy at my grammar school in New Jersey felt that way, what with their predilection to corporal punishment. I briefly consider attempting to learn quantum physics while my hands continue to throb. But that would entail movement and with my torso basically suffocating, making any progress to a reference book seems overly challenging.
    From the corner of the bedroom, where I’ve made this foray into futility, my two cats watch me in what is either indifference or amusement, but being felines, they give nothing away in their expressions.

  25. Chuck


    COLUMBIA (“ U.S. ”).

    1. ELIGIBILITY: Open to all ages. Employees, officers and directors of F+W Media, Inc. (“Sponsor”) , its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies (collectively, “Sponsor and its agents”) and immediate family members (spouses and siblings, children and parents and their spouses, regardless of where they live) or members of the same households (whether related or not) of such individuals are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

    2. TO ENTER: To participate, you have two options. You can leave your entry in the comments section of this post, or e-mail it to JanuaryAgentContest@gmail.com. You must include your full, real name and e-mail. The contest ends at 11:59, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, EST.

    3. PRIZE/ODDS OF WINNING: First prize (grand prize): A 25-page critique from the agent judge as well as two free books from Writer’s Digest Books (I will give you choices and you pick two you want). The two runners up will receive a 10-page critique from the agent judge and one free book from Writer’s Digest Books (I will give you choices and you pick one you want). Odds of winning will be determined by the number of eligible entries received. No prize transfer or cash redemption permitted. No prize substitution, in whole or in part, except by Sponsor due to prize unavailability, safety or security considerations, or any other reason as solely determined by Sponsor in which case a prize of comparable or greater value will be awarded. Winner will be notified by phone, email, postal mail or express mail at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Return of a prize notification or other documentation as undeliverable will result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected.

    4. GENERAL: Taxes on prize and all expenses related to acceptance and use of prize and not specified are the sole responsibility of winner. By
    participating, entrants agree [a] to these rules and decisions of Sponsor and judges, which shall be final in all respects relating to this Contest; and [b] to release, discharge and hold harmless Sponsor and its agents from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind resulting from their participating in the Sweepstakes or their acceptance, use or misuse of a prize including, without limitation, personal injury, death and property damage; and if a winner, Sponsor and its agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for: [a] electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, computer or other technical malfunctions, failures, or difficulties of any kind, including without limitation, server malfunction or by any human error which may occur in the collection, processing and transmission of data; [b] lost, late, misdirected, illegible or incomplete entries or postage-due mail; [c] any type of graphical or other error in the advertising or printing of the Contest or in the administration of the Sweepstakes; or [d] any condition that may cause the administration, security or proper play of the Contest to be disrupted or corrupted. Entry information becomes property of Sponsor.

    CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE PROMOTION MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Internet entry must be made by the entrant only at the authorized Web site address. Entries may not be made by any other individual or any entity, and/or originate at any other Internet Web site or e-mail address, including but not limited to commercial sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering service sites. Any winner who enters by any of the methods described above will be disqualified and an alternate winner selected. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting an online entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the person in whose name the e-mail account is registered at the time of entry. Potential winner may be required to provide evidence that winner is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the winning entry. Use of any device to automate entry is prohibited. Judge’s decisions are final and binding.

    5. DISPUTE RESOLUTION/CHOICE OF LAW: Except where prohibited, by
    participating each entrant agrees that all issues and questions concerning these official rules shall be governed by Ohio law without giving effect to any principles of conflicts of law of any jurisdiction. Entrant agrees that any action at law or in equity arising out of or relating to this Contest shall be filed only in the state or federal courts located in Hamilton County in the state of Ohio, United States, and entrant hereby consents and submits to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action. Except where prohibited, by participating in this Contest, entrant agrees that: [a] any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and [b] any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with participating in this Contest but in no event attorneys’ fees; and [c] under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain awards for and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.

    6. USE OF ENTRANT INFORMATION: As permitted by law and in accordance with Sponsor’s Privacy Policy , each entrant agrees that the Sponsor may share his/her entry information (including name, e-mail address, etc.) with Sponsor’s promotional partners and other parties and grant Sponsor, its promotional partners and other third parties with whom Sponsor chooses to share your information, permission to contact you about upcoming promotions, special offers or for other reasons via electronic and ordinary mail. If you would prefer not to hear from us or prefer us not to share information about you, please opt out in accordance with our on-line privacy policy, available for viewing at http://writersdigest.com/privacypolicy.asp

    SPONSOR: F+W Media, Inc., 4700 E. Galbraith Road , Cincinnati , OH 45326