Nov 2, 2014

NoQS Wrap Up

I want to take a moment to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who made Nightmare on Query Street a success. Agents, mentors, Co-hosts, and entrants, you are all AWESOME. We had a grand total of 81 requests from just 39 entries!!!

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Unfortunately, despite my all-star team, we were bested by SC and Michelle. No worries thought. We'll clap for them now, but there's always...

Next year


Hey! What's that....down there...

It's an a blog!

Everyone didn't get requests. That was one of my biggest fears when I was searching for entries. Admittedly, that fear was very real for me. I didn't JUST pick entries that I knew were going to get attention. I also picked entries that I felt DESERVED attention. Do I regret it? HELL NO! And you can quote me on that. I believe in all of my Monsters, and I know each of you will succeed. So, if you didn't get a request (or didn't get as many as you thought you would) just remember, a setback is a setup for a comeback.

Now, to the important stuff. My personal awards for my Monstrous Team.

Heartstrings Award: For Those Who Listen
 Mark, from the moment I read your query, I knew this would be one of those stories that pulled at my heartstrings. I'm a sucker for coming-of-age stories that deal with heavy topics. Your query pulled me right in, and your first 250 sealed the deal. There was never a moment where I doubted whether or not I wanted  you on my team. I hope to see a success story from you in the near future

Most Valuable Query Award: Autonomy

 Standing ovation to Clay, the official Monster MVP. I loved your query, but your first page is really what did it for me. Your voice and pacing is on point. You description is very well balanced, and even without reading your query, I would be very eager to keep reading. I wish you nothing but the best of luck, and I hope you get the pick of the litter when the requests start rolling in.

Personal Favorite Award: Superfail
 You were my last pick. I found you in one of the other host's 'maybe' folder. I'm not going to lie, I was a little afraid. You are the first graphic novel I've ever come across so I had absolutely no way of knowing if the formatting was correct, what was supposed to be included, etc. Even then, I knew this was something special. I really threw caution to the wind when it came to your entry because, dammit it was SO good and clever and funny. I want to read this, so give me a shout when it hits shelves. I don't expect to have to wait too long.

BOO Award: The Othersiders
 When I read Bureau of Otherside Occurrences and realized what the acronym was, I couldn't stop laughing. It's soooo perfect for this contest, and for your story. With my Halloween spirit on overdrive and your entry sounding like the perfect story to satisfy my fix, I needed it on my team. Mere, I wish you the best of luck with all your requests. Keep us in the look with your inevitable success story.

Spin A Phrase Award: The Emerald Eye
 Anne, you can spin a phrase like it's nobody's business. The picture you paint with your voice alone is phenomenal, and quite frankly, I'm stunned at the results of the agent round. I truly believe that we just didn't have the right agent in our arsenal to see your brilliance. I'm sure this isn't your first rodeo where agents are concerned, but don't give up. You have a exceptional story.

Loud Brilliance Award: Grandma Has Murder on her Mind
 I had a Quiet Brilliance award last year, but there nothing quiet about the brilliance of this entry. From your voice to your writing style, to your wit and humor, this cozy mystery has the full package. Alexis, you've got a gem here, and I wish more contest agents could have seen that. That being said, we only had a fraction of them participate. I'm certain others will see the brilliance of your story.

Ghoulish First Page Award: No Shortcuts
 Sheila, your first page was scary good! You perfectly captured the MG voice. I am TELLING were easily the three scariest words to hear as a child. I loved your premise, and as a sucker for time-travel, I'm eager to see what's in store for Sarah.

Humor Award:Mrs. Peterman's Bentley
 I think your main character is hilarious. She's like Mr. Wilson and the Bentley is Dennis the Menace. I'm super curious to know what Dennis the Menace would be like if aliens/alien tech was involved. I'm sure Mrs. Peterman's a riot. Best of luck with this!

Voice Award: The Midnight Flight of the Salem Magi
 Elliot, the voice in your query was the single-handed reason picking your entry for my team was a no brainer. It fits perfectly with your audience, and your opening line pulled me in and refused to let go. The fact that you threw in some history really sealed the deal. After reading your last line, I'm curious to know what comes next!

Never-Give-Up Award: Masquerade
 Michella, part of me always feels terrible when an entry doesn't get a request. When I choose entries for a contest, I don't take trends or agent wishlists into consideration because I believe that you're never really prepared for a phenomenal story, and that's what I think your story is. I wouldn't have picked it otherwise. Don't let these results get you down. There is an agent out there for you, and I'll be looking for your story on shelves every time I make a trip to the library.

Fear Award: The Pirate King and I
 You first page definitely deserves the fear award. Rita, your opening scene builds the suspense and fear felt in the moment flawlessly. As a huge fan of history--and pirates--you had me at your title. The rest was just icing on the cake. I wish you the best of luck with your career as a writer. I hope it's long and full of booty. Aarg! 

Adventure Award: Game On
 Rebecca, wow. You have successfully combined my two favorite pastimes (reading and video games) and mashed them into one exciting read. I'm super eager to see what adventures Jared, Aaron, and Maxine must venture through in order to shut down the game. Step aside Wreck-It Ralph, there's a new team of heroes in town!

Quiet Brilliance Award: Shade and Shadow
 I loved your first page. You voice was spot on and I liked Ari and her mom right out the gate. Even though I knew there were a lot of ghost stories out there, I felt yours was different from the ones I read, and I hoped NoQS agents would see that too. I was wrong, but that doesn't mean I was wrong :o) You've got a great story on your hands and the voice to tell it well. We didn't have the right agents for your genre, but I'm positive the right agent is out there. Don't give up. You've got a team of Monster that believe in you.


To all my Monsters: I wish you the best of luck with all your life and publishing endeavors. I chose each of your because I thought your writing was something special. Don't quit, don't give up, and don't compromise yourself just because others don't see your brilliance. You see it and I see it, but the former is all that matters.

If there's anything I can help you with, shoot me an email via my blog's 'contact me' page. I'll do my best to help.