The Writer’s Voice . . . the details!

“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.), Monica B.W. of Love YA, and me. We’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four of us will serve as coaches and select projects for our teams based on their queries and first pages.

Here’s the timeline:

May 1
May 2
Everybody enters the Rafflecopter lottery
The lottery winners sign up on the widget
May 2-10
We select our team members from “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest
May 10-20
We coach our team members, helping them polish their entries
May 20
We post our team members’ entries on our blogs
May 23-24
Agents vote for their favorites


To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE, POLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the following genres*:

YA fiction (all subgenres)
MG fiction (all subgenres)

To determine who gets to participate in the blogfest, we’ll hold a single-entry Rafflecopter lottery on Wednesday, May 1. Last year, we were overwhelmed by the response, and in many instances, whoever had the fastest fingers–or the fastest Internet connections–made it in. This way, everyone will get an equal chance to participate.

The lottery will remain open for 12 hours on May 1, from 9:00 a.m. EDT to 9:00 p.m. EDT, at which point the Rafflecopter will select 150 random winners. Those winners will then sign up for the blogfest on one of Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets the next day, May 2. Once you sign up on the widget, you’ll post YOUR QUERY and THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript on your blog.

In summary, you must follow these three steps to enter:

1. Enter the Rafflecopter lottery on May 1 during the submission window listed above.

2. Sign up on the widget on May 2 if you win the lottery.
3. Post your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript on your blog.


We’re building our teams via “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest, so YOU MUST HAVE A BLOG TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST. We don’t care if you’ve had it for five years or five minutes; we just want to be able to fight over you in public:)

We coaches will review the entries and leave a comment on your post that says something like, “I want you!” If more than one of us wants you on her team, you’ll have to pick which coach you want to work with.


We’ll select our 8 team members (plus 1 alternate) by May 10, then spend the next week and a half helping them put a final polish on their entries. You won’t have to take all of our suggestions, of course; we just want to help you make your entry the best that it can be before the agents get a look at it.


On May 20, we’ll post our team members’ queries and first pages on our blogs so that the agents can review them. Here are the awesome agents who’ll be voting on your entries:

Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 23 and 24. Each vote will count as a partial or full request depending on how many votes the entry receives. If an entry receives 1 or 2 votes, those votes will count as partial requests. If an entry receives 3 or more votes, those votes will count as full requests.

Voting will stay open until 9:00 p.m. EDT on May 24, at which point we’ll determine which coach’s team received the most votes. That coach will win bragging rights for time immemorial, and everyone who received requests will be able to submit their materials to all the agents who voted for them. These votes represent serious interest in your project, so PLEASE DON’T ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION BEFORE GIVING “THE WRITER’S VOICE” AGENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COMPETING OFFER.

So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Wednesday, May 1, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EDT. We can’t wait to read your entries! (And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.)

*We’re very sorry not to include any adult genres this year. We have to base the genres on the agents’ interests, and this year, all the agents who said yes happen to be agents who represent primarily YA and MG projects. There is a chance that a few more agents will sign up between now and May 1, and if a significant portion of those agents consider adult projects, we’ll certainly add some adult genres. But for now, we’ll stick with this.  

Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. Ironically, I created my blog a year ago for this contest, and blogging turned out to be kind of fun.

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  2. This looks like great fun, but I’m wondering, if we’re still waiting to hear back from Pitch Madness agents, perhaps we should bow out of this?

    There are definitely some great agents here I’d like to query though! 😀

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    • That’s totally your call, MBee, but I don’t think you have to bow out. I don’t think there’s a lot of overlap between the Pitch Madness and Writer’s Voice agents this year, so you shouldn’t have to worry about agent fatigue. That said, if you’d rather wait to hear back from the Pitch Madness agents before you go out with another round of queries/entries, more power to you!

      (Sorry for jumping in here, Brenda, but I know you’re crazy busy with revisions at the moment!)

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    • Thank you, Krista. I went offline the 19th -22nd to get that deadline under control. 🙂

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    • Thanks ladies! I’m going to go ahead and join in because it seems like such fun!

      I appreciate the response and for (again!) putting together such a great opportunity for us!

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  3. Looking forward to seeing some great results from this contest! I’ll make sure to spread the word.

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    • Tie a string around your finger and don’t forget! It’s such a great opportunity!

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  4. Aww, I’m sad that there’s no adult genres currently, and crossing my fingers that there will be before the deadline.

    Hope it goes well for everyone else!

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  5. I’ve got it all worked out. One question though – when you enter the Rafflecopter lottery do you just enter your name or do you enter your query and first page as well? Thanks to all you hard-working authors for this.

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  6. This sounds like so much fun! Quick question: Should I create a blogspot/wordpress site for this or can I use my tumblr?

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    • Keely, so far as I know (okay, so far as I can tell from what my tech-savvy son tells me), Rafflecopter is a random-selector sort of thing. Basically, we’re entering a paperless lottery.

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    • Click on the Home icon. The rafflecopter is in the top post (not this one) If you don’t see it, you may have an issue with java or whatever not working

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  7. I feel like an idiot, but that’s nothing new: Are the coaches going to select 8 team members *each*, as in 8 per coach? Or are there going to be 8 team members *total* (plus, yes, one alternate)?

    Thanks again for throwing this party!

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  8. It’s been really fun reading everyone’s submissions. I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous. There’s some fantastic stories and voices out there. You know, it’d be kind of fun to set up critique groups through here, too. It’s probably complicated, but there are a lot of great writers here with lots different strengths. I’ve got a local critique group, but none of them write YA. I’d love to have a few online friends who know the genre.

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  9. I concur, Wendy! I’m having a lot of fun reading the other entries, and it would be cool to set up critique groups. Thank you, Ms. Drake, for helping to put together this amazing opportunity! I’m so happy I’ve had a chance to be a part of it!

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