Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update #12--a chance for some audience participation!

The first round of judging is finished.

No, it didn't kill us.  Close, but we found an extra cupcake and an extra flask hidden in a desk drawer and it kept us going through #410 (there have been some disqualifications and withdrawals, so we're down to 410 entries)

It's very clear that we're going to have a VERY hard time picking a winner. Thus, we've decided to torture the finalists in new and hilarious ways for our judging pleasure.  We're going to give them a quiz!  (Can you hear the sound of maniacal shark laughter here?)

Here's your chance to contribute:  what should we ask them?  Nothing too grim, nothing too personal, nothing too weird.  Think about if YOU were to be a finalist; what questions would make you stand out from the crowd?

Post your suggestions in the comments column of this blog post.  You'll see which ones we pick when the finalists are posted (it's a ways off!)

And if you want to guess how many entries made it to the second round, post that number in your answer as well.

Example: 410 entries.  Question: Are you afraid to eat lunch with a shark? (Lunch with The QueryShark herself is part of the contest prize)

Have at it!

128 comments:

Xan said...

I always ask authors I interview, "Which fictional character would you like to take ti dinner and why?" I think you can gain a lot of insight with that one, and it's fun to think about.

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

100 entries. "How many of the gawd-awful mistakes were you guilty of?"

Jamie Wyman said...

205 entries. "Why did you enter this contest?" I know the answer probably seems like an obvious DUH, but I'd be curious to know exactly what motivated people the most.

G. Donald Cribbs said...

Round 1: 410, Round 2: 100. Question: How is writing, revising, and submitting a novel like surviving the experience of being tossed into shark infested waters with hundreds of other equally (if not MORE) talented writers?

Thank you, Janet, for continuing to sink your sharky teeth into our writerly psyche. I never knew shark bites would hurt this good. I feel more prepared to take on the publishing world.

John Lucas Hargis said...

75 entries. "What's the current body-count of your submitted (and rejected) queries?"

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

Who wouldn't want lunch with the Shark!? Will there be cocktails? I imagine that drinks with Janet Reid would be a great time indeed!

Good luck to all of the contestants!

Polly said...

27 entries.
Question suggestion: "Who the heck do you think you are, you finalist you?"

Heather Hawke said...

What are two truths about writing your book, and one lie? (Then we could all play guessing which is which!)

I'll go for 20 finalists.

MittensMorgul said...

27 entries. (I just like that number). "What inspired you to sit down and write a novel?"

When I tell people I write, so many of them tell me they've always wanted to write a novel, too. I always ask them why they haven't written it, then. Most of them don't have an answer for that, or they dither about being too busy, etc.

I'm fascinated by that moment of inspiration when someone goes from, "I've always wanted to do that," to, "I actually committed to it, and wrote a whole novel!" Even better: "I wrote one novel, and couldn't stop! I've got two more now!"

It seems like everyone who actually finishes a novel had some moment when they couldn't NOT write it anymore.

Feaky Snucker said...

125 entries. If you could save the life of one character from any novel, who would you save and why?

Ellen said...

50 entries!
Question: Outline your basic plan for world domination...
ok wait, maybe that's too personal. um...
Alternate Question: Who are your literary idols and why?

Robin Weeks said...

42 finalists. ('Cause 42 is the answer to everything.) "What do you think the author blurb in your book should say?"

Bill Plante said...

Lunch with Query Shark, in my stainless steel cage, the highlight.

Michael Seese said...

I'm guessing 20 finalists. I would ask, "What have you written that you are most proud of, and why?"

Gossamer said...

Q: You are stranded in the mountains, and it's getting hypothermia-level cold up there. Which book's pages do you burn for kindling first:

1) Your favorite Dr. Seuss
2) The only existing copy of your masterpiece

and WHY?

Lydia said...

Intent: as in, what is your intent should you ultimately not wind up to be the winner?

Grim? Possibly. But it would serve to demonstrate if said finalists had the steel, poison tipped cleats required to keep on keeping on in their attempts to gain a foothold in the wild world of publishing.

NicW said...

110. How many times have you given up writing your novel, and why?

Dora Dee said...

15 finalists. Question: Did you have a real-life inspiration for your main antagonist?

There's usually someone in a writer's closet who fits the bill...

A.J. said...

Round 2 will have 46 finalists because great white sharks have 5 rows of 46 teeth each.

Question: What kind of shark is your favorite?

(The only correct answer, of course, is the query shark, but I must admit I'm slightly partial to the cookiecutter shark because its name is cute even if its looks are not!)

M.E. said...

What does your writing say about you?

Krista McLaughlin said...

50 finalists.

Question: In your opinion, what makes a well-written book and does your book qualify?

Sarah said...

25 finalists. How do you handle rejection, and how much rejection do you put a manuscript through before putting it in the trunk?

Jamie Wyman said...

So, Janet, will you be emailing the finalists, posting them here or both? Any clues on how the contest will go from here?

Janet Reid said...

This is only Round One. We're looking at at least three, maybe four rounds.

None of you have guessed the right number yet. Most of you are WAY too low.

The Writer Librarian said...

50 finalists. Question: Can you tell us more about your journey toward becoming a writer?

NotaWarriorPrincess said...

300 quarter finalists is my guess.
My question: What is the most terrifying thing you have ever lived through?

MittensMorgul said...

270, then, since my original guess was way too low. It's still a multiple of 27.

Another question:

Which of the desserts in Update #11's photos would you have selected?

Agents have to know their clients would send the appropriate desserts in gratitude for publishing success!

The Writer Librarian said...

I'd say around 300 (now that I've perused the question more closely). About four rounds = about 100 or so cut per round?

Smooth Oper8r said...

206 finalists (number of bones in the human body upon which a shark may chomp. Of course, such big jaws will have a challenge isolating the triquetrum from the hamate and lunate bones in the wrist...)

Questions:
1) Do you do windows?
2) Boxers or briefs?
3) If you had to cut 15,000 words from your manuscript for publication, what scene(s) would you eliminate?
4) a. Which well-known authors should write your back-jacket blurbs? b. How would you convince them to do so? c. How would you "honestly" blurb your book?
5) Give me the one-sentence plot to the next three serials to follow your first published novel. Are the manuscripts ready yet? Then when, dammit?
6) Are you willing to give up your daytime job to become a professional author? Will you sign and attest to such below?

Jamie Wyman said...

I'll up my 205 to 370 and assume mine is one of the poor hapless manuscripts sitting in the "you're cute, but CHOMP!" pile.

Tara Tyler said...

what? we arent going to be ranked 1-410? ha ha! top 100 then final 50 or so and put us in separate rooms to give us the news...
or face away from us while we read our first chapter and turn around for us to be on your team...
i could go on...
lunch with the shark lady? that would be a great prize! (no sharkasm!)

question- how do you deal with rejection?

Keisha Martin said...

My guess (500) question for the finalist what author has greatly impacted your writing, this author can be alive or gone into the eternal domain of authors, in a paradise in which they write a perfect first draft.

* I think Janet may be laughing at my guess)=o)I was going to say 640 gazillion dollars that the winners of the massive lotto won but I chose a realistic number.

Charley said...

All right, I'll slide into the pool, also. I'll guess 187 to round two, as you need to cut by over half each round or you'll never finish. Then 63 to round 3, 21.5 to round 4 (bitter ripping and tearing on one of them), and 7 finalists, for the round 5 you swore like mad you'd never do.

Question: This is a pay-it-forward contest. What will you do yourself to help another, if you're the winner?

Susan said...

275 entries. Question: If you were guaranteed to get published if you let the shark chomp off one of your hands, would you do it?

Robin Connelly said...

308. Have you already started working on your next book?
Do you have a plan on how to publicize your book when it is published?

Juturna F. said...

117. "Which of your characters do you think has the most fan appeal? Why?"

April Brown said...

Round 2: 310 entries.

Questions:

1. Which aspects of yourself are in each character?

2. Did you leave yourself out of any character, and why?

3. If you could be any novel character who would you be and why?

Rayna said...

Hmm... I'm going to guess 250. As for the questions: At which point did you go from casual writer to aspiring author? When you're exhausted from chasing your dream (and the juggling act of keeping all of the other balls in the air), what do you do to recharge? What's your pitch line for all of those agents at the Backspace Writing Conference?

Achilles said...

205. Figure they want to cut it exactly in half.

Question--What makes you the ideal client? Figure this is something the Shark would want to know.

Janet Reid said...

Still no correct guess yet however if you double one of the answers you'd be within 1 of the correct answer.

Also, three of the questions offered here have been put on the list of possible finalist questions.

Is everyone gnashing their fangs?
Good!

I love the sound of author fangs in the morning!

Ann Landsberger said...

235. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Judith Gonda said...

234 in next round.

Question: How will you pay it forward once you’re published? (warning one answer contains an agent pet peeve and if chosen will result in immediate elimination)
a) run contests to help alot of authors meet agents b) start a blog called Query Narc that will critique queries in the persona of a police narcotics officer; c) name my next MC/firstborn Janet Reid;
d) organize twitter socials with virtual cupcakes and whiskey where authors meet agents;
e) all of the above because Janet said it’s okay, we all make mistakes. a. lot.

Bill Plante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judith Gonda said...

Oh, double then within one: 233?

Dana said...

Wow - y'all managed to read 410 entries THAT fast??!!?

*sends virtual bottles of rum, vodka, tequila, and a ginormous bucket of chum to the Shark and her Crew*

I like Charley's question. We should do a little something to pay-it-forward from time to time. Being lucky enough to have some fabulous writing mentors, I hope I'm in a position to serve as one for another newbie someday :)

Lisa Gomley said...

298 entries.

Questions:

1. If your home was on fire and you only had time to grab three items, what would they be?
2. How have you "paid it forward" in your own life?
3. Are you willing to keep Janet stocked in cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, and scotch?

Brent Stratford said...

Ok, maybe I'm taking this too seriously, but I think a good question would be, "What unique ideas do you have for marketing your book."

Number of quarter finalists = 256 (because I am a true geek and love the number 4. 4 to the 4th = 256)

Bill Plante said...

With nothing better to do; assuming over 200, it could be 201 or 235. Back to polishing

Jane | @janelebak said...

Round 2: 210 entries remain.

Question: What have you learned from this novel that you'll carry forward into writing your next one?

Brent Stratford said...

It took so long to wrangle my phone into posting my reply that I missed Ms. Sharks last post. I'm going to take a flyer based on her propensity for sarcasm and understatement. 409

RTM said...

225 entries (doubling an earlier 117 guess). Went looking for a high number that if doubled was one off a roundish number.

Question: This is similar to one mentioned earlier, but with a twist...
What journey does your protagonist take, and where did that journey take you as a writer and/or person?

This is such a cool contest...

Samantha Bohrman said...

234. I think you have plenty of decent questions to pick from, but here is a prize idea for the runner-up: http://patchtogether.com/store/chumbuddy-192.html. It comes in a body pillow or a sleeping bag. Actually, if you chose to use this as the prize, you could ask, "Do you enjoy camping?" That way it'd go to someone who would use it.

Mary S. Erickson said...

Question: Assuming your novel will become a movie some day, because it is that good, which character should be played by Janet Reid?

And, I think you have 101 finalists.

Stephanie Garber said...

I'm going to go with 221.

As far as good questions go, this is so tough, a lot of people have already posted some great questions!

Here's mine:

Give one good reason as to why you don't deserve to win this contest.

Jennifer said...

If you translate "Janet Reid" into alpha-numeric code the number = 86. Which might be too low. So doubled = 172, my guess.

Question: What is your comfort level with revision suggestions that may range from minor to drastic?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Use the Pixie Prerequisite Personality Battery:
1. Chocolate or orange slices?
2. Bath or shower?
3. Number 2 lead or number 7?
[Number 7 would be an automatic disqualifier.]
5. Are your shoes made in China, Italy or Brazil?
6. Can you ask where the restroom is in Spanish?
7. Do your children interrupt adults? Do you interrupt adults?
8. Diamonds or rubies?
9. CNN, FOX or "The Dawn"?
10. Do pop quizzes give you nightmares?

Janet Reid said...

No bullseyes yet.

The questions are not going to be about the writers' manuscripts. They need to be about things that someone who has NOT read the mss can understand, given the Q&A will be posted on this blog.

So: what's your favorite cupcake flavor/Yes and Anything about revisions/No.

Charlee Vale said...

I'm going to say 226 entries.

If your main character were an animal, what would they be and why?

CV

Lisa Gomley said...

251 entries

Kalen O'Donnell said...

320. What is the correct way to kill off a love interest?

A) Murder most foul, committed by a chain-saw wielding serial killer who turns out to be your main character's illegitimate half-brother.

B) Long, wasting illness that is post-humously revealed to be mis-diagnosed syphilis, thus launching your main character on an angst-filled soul-searching journey that mixes equal parts 'but I loved him' with 'but he was a cheating rat bastard.'

C) Fiery plane crash which is revealed to be a government cover-up to hide the fact that said love interest was actually a super-powered alien hybrid now being employed as a black ops assassin and only your main character's true wuv can set him free.

D) A planet-shattering asteroid hurtles towards the earth and your car mechanic love interest is inexplicably commissioned to fly a shuttle bearing nuclear warheads on a collision course with it while Aerosmith plays in the background.

(It's a trick question. The correct answer is none of the above: Eaten by a great white shark while vacationing in Key West, instigating your main character's obsessively vengeful quest to harpoon the monstrous beast once and for all in the new modern classic 'JANET REID.' Duh.)

Michelle H. said...

250 entries

What type of sushi recipe would you use to tempt a Query Shark?

Sheila JG said...

233.

What are some of your favorite words? (Me, I like pseudosesquipedalianism, which my high school english teacher told me means using big words to impress others. I also like pandemonium and snirt.)

G. Donald Cribbs said...

Round 2: 201

What kinds of social media do you routinely engage with to reach potential readers? (List at least four to progress to the next round)

Select your top two preferred forms of social media (Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, a blog, etc.) and explain WHY they are your favorite.

Lastly, which social media has given you the most feedback from potential readers (something tangible like hits or literal comments).

How will your social media habits change once you have an agent and/or a publishing contract?

(did you catch that?) Subtle.

Rick Anderson said...

Number:
333 x 2 (?)


Question:
How do you Slaven the Oregeno?

Tie breaker:
Name one person luckier than Ringo Starr.

MittensMorgul said...

Sheila JG: even longer:

hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: the fear of long words.

I am also a fan of snirt (the word, not the stuff, which is the grey, dirty snow at the side of the road).

I'll take another guess and say 149.

And another question: Have you had a frightening moment when you realize one of your characters is loosely based on a real person? And that person might recognize themselves in an unflattering way?

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

@Sheila JG and Mittens: How about LEAST favorite words?

I'll start ... moist and phlegm :-)

Oh, and rural. Only because saying it makes my mouth feel ridiculous.

We're getting off topic, but words are fun ... all those "deepest thought ever" question ideas made me reach for a martini. Lol

Chris Scena said...

301 entries in the next round. Q: What is your drink of choice (alcoholic or non)?

Susan Colarullo said...

Gotta be 251.

I'm just relieved that Janet finally re-surfaced. I was beginning to think that we'd actually managed to kill her with our hackneyed phrasing, mangled syntax, and transparent plot devices. Kept picturing her face down in a half-eaten plate of sushi and chocolate torte, her right hand still clutching an empty bottle of 20-year scotch.

Question: What was the most disturbing thing you discovered about yourself as a direct result of writing your manuscript?

Mister Furkles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mister Furkles said...

I'll guess 151 but I really think it is 101 which has already been taken. Besides, you're going to want 151 proof rum for the second round.

So here is a question, perhaps not for the winner, but

"How did you research your historical novel?"
Well, it works if the novel is historical.

If it is hysterical, then
"How do you know what will be funny in print?"

Terri Coop said...

Quarter finals: 308

1) Why should your book win?

2) Why shouldn't your book win?

Terri

Rose Glitschka said...

My guess is 323.

As for the question:
The zombie apocalypse is beginning and has spread towards your area. How do you survive?

The Frisbie said...

My guess for beginning of round #2 is 251 mss.
My question for finalist: Given the progress of this contest, what benefits do you now envision as a benefit of having entered this contest? Indecently, though I am much less “with it” than many responders, I have both enjoyed and benefited from every aspect of this endeavor. Thank you,

lightfootosolage said...

Questions to ask:
1 - What is the overall goal of your career? Do you want to make it big or are you trying to be a respected pilar of your specific genre?
2 - Are you a one book every five years kind of author or something more frequent? What is your process (many beta readers or one well trusted circle of friends)?
3- How do you feel about trends? Did you develop your manuscript because of something you watched/read or was it something you have wanted to write for a long time?
4 - How do you plan on marketing your book? Do you write this book with a specific audience?

My questions seem a little boring compared to the rest, but as a first time writer I would LOVE to see how the finalists answer these questions to help me should I not be one.

Dana said...

I think you should go with James Lipton* ala 'Inside the Actors Studio' fame and ask each finalist, "What is your favorite curse word?"

*Marcel Proust/Bernard Pivot questionnaire

You can tell a lot about someone based on what they yell in traffic.

Steve Forti said...

203 entries left.

Question: If you win, Her Royal Sharkliness will start following you on Twitter. How do you intend to keep her amused?

Alternate question: If you overheard Ernie and Bert talking to Kermit and Fozzie, how could you tell which side was which?

Janet Reid said...

the number of entries remaining after the first round is NOT triple digits.

I like the curse word idea but it's so identified with Actors Studio it feels wrong. I'm looking for "egad, Shark questions" kinds of things.

Lisa Gomley said...

84 entries

Unknown said...

77. How fast do you write? What is your favorite dessert?

(Google wasn't playing nicely with me - hopefully it'll be OK this time) :)

HannahDanielleStewart said...

If you won the contest, but had to give your winning slot away-who would you give it to?

I find this particular brand of questioning cruel and unusual because it makes the author think of winning and then snatches it away again!
Bwah ha ha ha!

HK said...

Sigh, that's me above. Unknown. What a Saturday.

It's been fun reading all the comments all day. Thanks for the entertainment! :)

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

Ok then ... 55 finalists.

Cynthia Ivers said...

I'd ask the finalists if they could be a fish like QueryShark, what type of fish would they be, and whether a QueryShark would be a friend or a foe.

Larissa said...

85 entries

What piece of common writing advice do you ignore/think is bunk?

Rose Glitschka said...

My second guess: 33 (one of my favorite numbers).

Question (shark-ish):
What writing rules did you follow in your query and MS? Also what rules did you break in your query and MS? Why for both.

Redleg said...

Did Zhuangzhi dream he was the butterfly...or did the butterfly dream he was Zhuangzhi????  And...urm...99?

Mister Furkles said...

Well, if you are not going to drink 151 proof or 101 proof, may it would be 86 proof. But 86 isn't a good guess.

So, I'll guess 83. That's a glass of single malt with one ice cube.

Charley said...

When did they decide to call cartilaginous species "fish"? They used to be a separate class, like marsupials, not members of the big five (fish, mammals, etc.).

Anyway, alternative questions could be:
1) Presuming the winner to be an honorary shark, in what way do you consider bones overrated? Do you find bony animals to be species-ist?
2) Do you consider the shark-head depicted in the Harry Potter movie to be a complimentary or derogatory depiction?
3) Inasmuch as humans and other animals go on feeding frenzies from time to time, do you consider it an unfair generalization that this term is associated with sharks?

OK, yes, I've been drinking wine. I'll shut up now.

Brent Stratford said...

91 finalists

What was the best piece of advice you found from reading the Query Shark blog?

SueJ said...

249 Entries?

What is most likely to drive an agent crazy when making an query?

What should not be put in a query if you do not want the agent to hit delete quickly? (In one sentence)

What is the most revealing thing about you that you will admit to publicly? (Well maybe not, this is after all a writers contest with a lot of vivid imaginations. Probably could not post most of them.)

Okay, who will lose their mind first, the agent or the writer?

SueJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janet Reid said...

Brent has it. 91 entries made the first cut.

SueJ said...

Wrong on the number of entries already, spelling ability failing, and wondering what I am doing at this hour. Ho hum, try again.

85 entries

Do you consider waiting for the results of writing contests exciting or torture?

SueJ said...

Jeesh, and I thought I was nuts writing at this hour. And I am not in the eastern time zone.

Judith Gonda said...

Alrighty then, Sharks for $400:

Who is Macheath and why was he compared to a shark?

(Okay, I didn't know this myself until 2 minutes ago after some wikipedia perusing, but hey, we're talking finalist torture here, folks, no holds barred. Also, those of you with a winner's confidence would be wise to do some research, in case this question makes the cut--good lord, Janet, now you have us all competing to get our questions used in a contest in which we're all contestants--forget The Hunger Games, these sly Shark Games can't be beat!)

And my latest guess is 99 entries in R 2.

Thanks for the fun contest and related games.

HK said...

Yay, Brent! Way to go.

Jamie Wyman said...

91?? Christ, woman! You and your minions are machines!

Bill Plante said...

What should we ask them? "Publicists love a hook. What is yours?"

Brent Stratford said...

I’d rather know I made the cut than guess the correct number of finalists.

As you can tell by the hour, I am not taking the suspense well. It is worse than waiting for the lottery numbers; with this you actually feel like you have a shot.

Congratulations to the talented 91 who were good enough to make the first cut and a huge thanks to Janet. She is either crazy or a saint for wading through all our non-crap.

Bonnee Crawford said...

99 entries. Question: Who do you think would win in a fight between a taco and a grilled cheese sandwich?

(I may have stolen that from a movie...)

Wry Wryter said...

Three questions come to mind as I consider the 82 making it to the next round.
1. What picture would you like us to use for your PEOPLE MAGAZINE interview?
2.Are you comfortable sitting next to Babs, on THE VIEW?
3.Do you have a second masterpiece for us to read?
answers:
yearbook, next to Whoopi please and hell yes.

Dana said...

So are you going to tell all of us chum-wannabes who made the first round cuts, or do you plan to keep us all in suspense as you circle?

Laughing my ass off at the sister-wives bit, BTW! Honestly, who keeps a joint email account? It would annoy me no end to keep up with hubby's little buddies. I have enough trouble keeping up with my own!

Janet Reid said...

No list of those who made the cut or didn't is going to be posted. ONLY the finalists will know for sure, and that's AT LEAST two weeks away. Other updates to come of course.

Dana said...

I'd pout and call you a big meanie, but that would probably just make you flash a toothy, sharky grin.

So I guess I'll just go back to reading my trashy novel and enjoying this lovely Sunday morning.

Happy Chomping!

Jamie Wyman said...

You're totally not telling *anyone* if they made the Round 1 cut, are you? That's evil. I respect that.

Dianne said...

If you follow agents on Twitter, you know that alcohol and food are essential in their line of work. What gift basket of goodies would you give the judges to soften them up and why?

A.J. said...

I don't know what's cracking me up more--the questions some of you are coming up with or the people who are still guessing the number of finalists even after our dear shark has posted the number.

The correct answer is 91! Ninety-one finalists!

Which, I believe, makes my original guess of 46 the one Ms. Reid was referring to when she said if you doubled one of the previous guesses you'd be within one of the correct answer.

I almost made a second guess of 93, but that would have been going one in the wrong direction. :)

Congrats to the 91 who made it!

Janet Reid said...

Jamie, my evil plan for world domination requires this.

Jamie Wyman said...

You're well on your way to Omnipotent Sharky Despot.

Wry Wryter said...

Jeez Janet, I knew I should have entered my book,
WE NEED A BIGGER BOAT;
one woman's quest for world domination and her untimely demise as related to the Spielbergian concept of maritime politics.

Though wet behind the ears, yes she has ears,the lady, I use that term loosely, became a successful literary agent.

Lydia said...

Two weeks. I'm assuming sometime during those two weeks, we will be arranging a pharmaceutical happy hour. With an open bar. Just to take the edge off.

Cynthia Ivers said...

Charley -
I assume your comment was directed to me. Sharks ARE fish, a specific type of fish but a fish, nevertheless....geesh...

Liz Colter said...

I'm going to guess that 410 manuscripts made it to the next round, because that way I'd know for sure that mine is still in the running.
Since you'll be the one having lunch with one of us, perhaps one of your questions should be something like "Do you routinely eat lunch in the nude?" or some such. Of course, if Mr. Shark is the winner, probably no one (female, at least) would care.

Judith Gonda said...

Okay, Janet, I bite. I can't stand the suspense. What sharkly April Fool's tricks do you have tucked under your fin for us today?

Here's a real question for you: What specific criteria are the judges using to select entries? Salability? Genre? Technical skill? Originality? Good story and likable character?

On that last point, when I've read entries from other contests that get posted online I am often surprised that my favorites are different from those of the judges. But I guess subjectivity is a double-edged sword, and the more opinions and differences in taste, the more opportunities to find one's literary soulmates.

Charley said...

I can't recall a single Pinky and the Brain episode where the Brain teams up with a shark for world domination. But then, the Brain always loses, and we know that's not an option for Query Shark, so I guess you're going it alone. Narf!

Terri Coop said...

Hmmm . . . riffed the finalist number. However, I'll add another question.

Why shouldn't I eat you right now?

Sheila JG said...

What's a "shark question?" Here's what I would ask, if I were you -

1. If you were to win the mega-mega super millions lottery, what are three things you might buy for your agent? Keep in mind that extreme generosity does not offend me.

2. The world is about to be destroyed. You, author, because of your contribution to the arts, have been given a slot on the escape shuttle. You may bring 4 people to populate the new world. That leaves 3 slots, after you pick your literary agent - who are they?

3. You have won an all-expense weekend to anywhere with anyone. Assuming you live in NYC, whom do you ask to take care of your pet shi-tzu while you are gone?

Good luck with the next rounds. I'm in awe of your generosity in this endeavor.

Rachel Pudelek said...

310 finalists in this next round.
When I queried an agent, she asked a question that made me think.

What would your main character say about you writing this book?

But, if the question can't be book related...

What is your favorite plant and why?

kregger said...

91 is a nice round number.

How many times did you read your MS aloud and to whom?

(I'd hate to tell you my answer)

And, on a more serious side for those least likely to write, I ask--Ginger or Mary Ann?

Congrats to everyone.

Rick Anderson said...

Yowzer! 400 plus go into the water, only 1 comes out of the water?

This is getting interesting.

R.L. Ugolini said...

Who are you when no one is looking?

E. B. Pike said...

91! *bites nails* *breaks out in sweat*

I'm not going to even think about if I'm in the 91 right now.

Possible questions for the finalists: What are your plans if you win this contest? If you don’t win?

MittensMorgul said...

OOH! New Question:

When you heard there were only 91 entries that made it past the first round, how sure were you that you were absolutely, positively NOT one of them?

Dana said...

@RL - "Who are you when no one is looking?"

How about we twist that into, "What is the most interesting thing you've been told to do by the voices in your head?"

I reached an agreement with mine - I'd write their story if they promised to shut the hell up!

Kay Camden said...

I hope these haven't been suggested yet. I skimmed all the comments and didn't see them.

Why do you write?
What if you couldn't write?

Jamie Wyman said...

Mittens, that's a great question. I can honestly say that I'm as sure as a single mom on Maury that I'm not in that pile of 91 manuscripts.

Regina Castillo said...

Question: How many books do you read a month?

It's the whole writing to read and reading to write thing.

Di Eats the Elephant said...

91 it is. Down to 45 next round (everyone cuts theirs down by 5, it's an odd number already). And 9 is just fun.

Question: If the Shark asked you to go commando when doing your book tour -- panty lines are so passe -- would you be willing to do that for your art?