Tuesday, February 28, 2012

March 2012 Contests & Critique Opportunities - Part I

Yay for March!  I love the way that things turn green again and of course, Spring Break.  Here are some contests to enjoy during this lovely start to spring. BONUS: I've been tagged by Charity Bradford. Scroll down to read my mind-blowing answers.

March Madness Agent Pitch Match - Submissions open 3/2 (2/29 if you were in the pitch workshop). Submit your first 150 words and 35 word pitch. YA & MG only. You might get a chance to participate in the March Madness Agent Pitch Match on 3/12-3/14 where six agents will be making requests.

Lori M. Lee One-Year Blogiversary Celebration and Giveaway - To celebrate her blogiversary, Lori is giving away lots of prizes, including plenty of great critique opportunities.  Closes 2/29.

March Mystery Agent Contest - 3/1. Submit your one line pitch for a chance to win a request.  Open to various genres.

Twitter-Sized Pitch Contest - Ends 3/2 at 4pm est. Critique for twitter pitches by author Tina Moss and agents from Literary Counsel. All genres. You can win critiques and/or requests.

March Secret Agent Contest - Contest will be open from 9am-5pm EST on 3/5 and contestants will be chosen by lottery. Submissions are the first 250 words. Open to various genres. Prizes are requests.

Agent-Judged Contest with Hannah Bowman - 3/6. 9am EST until 80 entries. 140 character pitch.  YA only.

Blog Banner Re-Design & Agent Critique Giveaway - Enter to win a blog banner redesign or partial MS critique from Victoria Marini.  YA, MG, & picture books only.

Liz Norris Pay it Forward Writing Contest - You can win registration in the Backspace Writing Conference in NYC, plus three nights hotel stay, a $300 travel stipend, and lunch with an agent. Not too shabby. You must be an unpublished, unagented American writer.  All genres welcome. Email your query and full MS. 3/1-3/15

Okay, so my answers to these questions are unlikely to blow your mind, but I do hope that you find them mildly interesting .

1. What was your favorite novel you read in 2011?
I haven't fallen in love with a novel this year, and I'm really itching to. I think it's me, not them, but I don't know why. I keep starting books and getting bored. To make it sound more glamorous, I'll say I've been reading like an agent reads their slush pile.  I stop if I'm not falling in love. I wasn't in love with it at the time I read it, but I've been thinking more and more about Tana French's Faithful Place. And I did read that one all the way through.  :)

2. Your favorite all-time book? 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I suppose I should come up with something more sophisticated, but I'd by lying.

3. What book character would you like to party with?
Jay Gatsby

4. Do you ever watch TV to study plot format? If so, which show?
No, I don't watch TV simply as an exercise in plot study, but as a plotter myself, I do always pay attention to the plots. One of my favorite TV plots is Dexter, especially season 1. I was impressed with how they raise the stakes again and again. It just gets worse and worse for him and you really believe he might be caught.

5. Where was the strangest source you ever got a plot idea from?
Dreams. I have two short stories that I wrote almost entirely based on dreams, including the dialog. They are both a little trippy/ magical realism sort of stories, but yes some of my dreams have real plots.  Now my mom always thinks I get my ideas from dreams.  With my latest project, she asks, how did you come up with this? Did you dream it? Yes, mom I dreamed an entire 90,000 word manuscript that came out perfectly plotted and clean. I wish.

6. Funniest character in a novel? Why?
Conrad Avery Sutton III from The Worthy. Never heard of it? It's worth looking into. It's about a frat boy who's killed in a hazing incident and wanders around as a ghost. I found it to be laugh-out-loud funny even though it's about some dark topics.
7. Which actor/actress would you want to play the lead in your novel?
When I fantasize about my books as movies, I always picture unknowns in the lead.  I don't know why, I think I just like to think that there is someone out there who would be perfect.  But to play along, for my MC in Destruction, I'll pick the man who has already nailed lovable bad-guy, Michael C. Hall. It's all in the eyebrows.
You did what?

For David's wife Amanda, I'll pick Elizabeth Mitchell from Lost and V.

8. Most sympathetic fictional villain?
Severus Snape. Or if I get extra points for using the same answer for every question, Dexter Morgan.

9. Do you prefer fantasy, sci-fi, realistic fiction or a blend. Why?
Fantasy set in the real world (urban, contemporary, magical realism). I love imagining magic as part of a plausible reality.

10. What place and time would most inspire you to write an historical fiction?
I do not like historical fiction.  I'm a present and future kind of person.  However, my project The Charge is an alternate history about what would have happened if Texas became a monarchy instead of a state. It was set in present day, but I did enjoy rewriting 19th century American history.

Instead of tagging, if you're reading this now consider yourself tagged. Write your answers to the questions above in comments.


  1. I so needed this after being gone on vaca. Thank you!

  2. As always, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  3. Thanks again for the contests Sharon! And I think my favorite answer of yours is that you would party with Jay Gatsby. I would have to agree big time on this one:)

  4. Hey Sharon! I tagged you in a meme on my blog. Thanks for the contest links by the way. I always look forward to them.

  5. Thanks for the contests links - I wish I had more time right now. I'm with you on Harry Potter - Deathly Hallows 1 & 2 are my favorite go-to movies:) And I love your choices for David and Amanda's characters, especially after having read the first two chapters of Destruction.

  6. Hey Sharon, Thanks so much for listing the contests. That's such a help :) BTW, I've left an award for you on my blog :)

  7. Thanks for including the contest, Sharon. :)

  8. Thanks for helping me spread the word! I got some traffic through your blog! <3

  9. Hi Sharon, just wanted to come back and check out Michael and Elizabeth. I'm really close to finishing Destruction! Also, you are being tagged in the Lucky 7 Meme. Don't worry, this is an easy one. Come to my blog and check it out!