Apr 13, 2013

Query Kombat Tournament

Bloggers SC, Michelle, and I are teaming up to bring you the first ever Query Kombat Tournament.

Query Kombat will host 64 kombatants in a single-elimination, tournament style query-off. There will be a total of six rounds in Query Kombat. First opponents will be grouped by target audience (ie. YA, NA, Adult, and MG). After that, a bracket-style grid will dictate future opponents. If you secure a spot in the tournaments, your query and the first 250 words (to the end of a complete sentence) will be pitted against another query and first 250 words. Judges will read each match-up and vote 'Victory' on the best entry (Remember, this is subjective). The entry with the most ‘victories’ will advance to the next round until only one champion remains. A growing list of agents (as of now we have EIGHT! update: NINE) They will be revealed soon) will browse the semifinal round to make requests on at least one of the final four queries. Details below.

Sound fun? That's 'cause it is. But that's not all we have up our sleeve...

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If you make it into the third round, you will be paired with an agent writer who will act as a trainer to shine up your query and first 250 words. Edits are due back three days after teams are announced.

Before the start of the semifinals (round 5), agents will be invited to the blog to make requests and choose one query they think will become tournament champion. Agent(s) who guess correctly will receive a full or partial (their choice) of the selected manuscript one week before the other agents who requested material. To clarify, agents can make as MANY requests as they want, but can only bet on one query to win. One week after the contest closes, we will be posting the final eight queries and invite agents back to make more requests.

Here are the tournament brackets

The tournament is open only to unagented writers seeking representation. Your manuscript must be complete, polished, and ready to submit. Submissions for MG, YA, NA, and Adult works will be accepted. No picture books or non-fiction.

The submission window will open at 11AM EDT on Monday, May 13th and close at 11AM Friday, May 17th OR WHEN WE RECEIVE 225 ENTRIES. You may submit entries for two manuscripts (in the same email) but we will only consider the second entry on the last day of the submission window. Kontestants will be revealed May 24th and the tournament will kick off on May 28th.

In order to enter the contest you MUST follow formatting guidelines, and submit during the contest window. All entries that follow those guidelines will be considered. In the event that we receive more than the available spots, hosts will be assigned a group of queries and pick the best of their group. We will also select a few alternates. Sixty-four queries will enter into the tournament.

Entries will be sent to QueryKombat (at) yahoo (dot) com

Formatting guidelines:

Font: Times New Roman, 12pt font, single-spaced with spaces between each paragraph.

Subject line of the email: A short, unique nickname for your entry [colon] your genre (audience included). (ex. Magigeddon: YA Fantasy) Do not skip this step or your entry will be deleted.

For the nickname, make it as unique as possible so that there are no duplicates. These will be the names used in the tournament brackets (or an abbreviated version if it's too long) so keep it PG-13 and try to have it relate to your story in some way.

In the body of the email (with examples):
Name: Mike Anthony
Email address: QueryKombat (at) yahoo (dot) com
(name and email are kept private)

(UPDATE) Entry Nickname: Magigeddon
Word count: 81K
Genre: YA Fantasy


Prophesied to abolish magic by one faction of her people and protect it by another, fifteen-year-old Maxine Protega is cast into the middle of a campaign that’s ripping her world and family apart. As it turns out, the prophecy is of the self-fulfilling persuasion and Max finds herself on the fringes of a worldchanging decision: eradicate her race by destroying magic, or risk the slaughter of misguided family members by fighting to protect it.

Only include the meat of your query. No bio, no Dear__, no personalization, and no "My manuscript, QUERY KOMBAT, is a 90K YA Fantasy in the vein of ____" unless you believe the market comparison is truly incredibly important. For example, it is in this query (the winner of the "Become an Agent" contest).

(It doesn't have to be as short as mine, I just wanted to give you a quick example. Queries may be up to 350 words, but 250 is preferred)
First 250 words:

First 250 words. Don't include the chapter title, and please don't stop in the middle of a

Also, no indentations.

Simple, huh? I know, it's strict, but we have a lot to put together in a short amount of time and the formatting will help us IMMENSELY.

All queries submitted are FINAL. We will not edit them in any way, shape, or form. Please read, reread, and rereread your submission before you hit send. Unless you make it into the third round, you will not have another opportunity to edit your query or first 250 words. And if you make it into the third round, your entry cannot be retracted. It would throw the whole tournament out of wack. And you don't want to be responsible for an epidemic do you? Huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Because the immense amount of work ahead of us, the tournament will be hosted on three separate blogs (following each of us would be a great way of saying thank you...just saying): Michelle4Laughs will host round 1 and 4. SCWrite will host round 2 and 5. I will host round 3 and 6. Each blog will have links to all rounds so fear not. You will not get lost. Also, you can follow the hashtag 'QueryKombat for second-by-second details and just about anything else to do with the tournament.

Agents, judges, and trainers will be revealed soon. If you have any questions, post them in the comments below.

So, yeah. That's it! I think this calls for celebration, don't you?

Hit it Pikachu!

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