Announcing The Writer’s Voice!

The W Voice 2014

“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Kimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs. 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.

This year we get to have “celebrity” coaches and I’m so excited that Heather Webb author of BECOMING JOSEPHINE (Plume/Penguin) & RODIN’S LOVER (Winter 2015) has agreed to join #TeamBrenda! Go check her out on Twitter and her website.teambrenda

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 10-19

We coach our team members, helping them polish their entries

May 19

We post our team members’ entries on our blogs

May 22

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*:

Adult Historical

Adult Fantasy

Adult Science Fiction

Adult Romance

YA fiction (all genres)

MG fiction (all genres)

To determine who gets to participate in the blogfest, we’ll hold a single-entry Rafflecopter lottery on Thursday, May 1. The lottery will remain open for 12 hours, 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 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 19, 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:

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

Emily Gref of Lowenstein Associates

Taylor Haggerty of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

Brianne Johnson of Writers House

Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc.

Holly McGhee and Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties

Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency

Renee Nyen of kt literary

Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency

Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary

Monika Verma of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency

Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Erin Harris of Folio Literary

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 22. 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 a.m. EDT on May 23, 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 Thursday, 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.)

*As you probably noticed, we’re not including any new adult genres. We have to base the genres on the agents’ interests, and most of the agents participating this year aren’t looking for NA at the moment.


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. Hi! I have a questions pertaining to The Writer’s Voice contest coming up on May 1. If one of the agents participating in the contest is reviewing my manuscript at this time, should I enter it in the contest?

    Post a Reply
    • You can still enter. You never know if the others would want to offer. 😉

      Post a Reply
  2. I have a question about the Query we have to post on our blog. Are we suppose to post a full query letter? If so, it obviously can’t be tailored to a specific agent since there are a lot of them, so who should we address it to?

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  3. If more then one coach wants our entry, are they going to give us reasons why we should chose them? Just curious because I only know you Brenda so how will I know much about the other coaches?

    Post a Reply
    • Yes, the coaches will battle for you in the comments of your post. But do make sure to check out the other coaches. They’re a very talented group. 😉

      Post a Reply
  4. So excited to enter the Rafflecopter tomorrow, but where will it be?

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  5. Hi, Brenda Thank you for doing this. Can we enter more the once (or more than one manuscript – not being entirely clear on how we enter the raffle)?

    Post a Reply
    • I’m sorry I might have answered this wrong before, but for The Writer’s Voice you can only enter one.

      Post a Reply
      • Understood. One manuscript. Thanks!

        Post a Reply
  6. Hi, Brenda. I participated in Pitch Madness, and have three fulls out on my manuscript! So excited. If I wanted to enter The Writer’s Voice, would it be okay? Or should I just sit tight and wait to hear from the other agents? Thanks so much!

    Post a Reply
    • I believe we have different agents in this contest, so I would definitely enter.

      Post a Reply
  7. Awesome idea! And if we don’t have a blog?

    Post a Reply
    • I already answered this on Twitter, but I thought I’d answer it here too in case someone else had the same question. You will have to create a temporary blog to participate. You can do one in Blogger since it’s easier, if you like.

      Post a Reply
  8. Great idea for a contest. Sounds fun.

    Post a Reply
  9. I just realized I left something out of my query and it’s already posted to my blog for #TheWVoice – am I allowed to edit?

    Post a Reply


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