Monday, January 24, 2011

Win a free registration fee for the Backspace Writers Conference

If you're planning to attend the Backspace Writers Conference here in New York on May 26-28 there's an opportunity to win a free registration fee (not travel, not lodging, not meals).

Here's how:

 1. Mail  your query letter and the first two pages of your finished novel (the same two pages you want critiqued at Backspace.) The query letter should be single spaced; the two manuscript pages should be standard manuscript format: 12-point type and double-spaced. (Remember, only the first two pages, even if it ends mid-sentence.)

Do I really need to tell you 1" margins on the sample pages? Why yes, after today's incoming queries, yes I guess I do.  

2. One entry per person, please.

3. Mail your entries (yes, on paper, with a stamp - no email entries for this contest!) to:

Sara Kendall's Holding Pen
Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.
240 West 35th #500
New York, NY 10001

4. Your envelope MUST have the word BACKSPACE written prominently on the front so we know it's a contest submission.

5. DO include an SASE. We will let you know when your entry arrives.
If you do not hear back in ten days, RESEND your entry
(please do not call or email to follow up).

6. Entries must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 15th. Entries received with a postmark later than March 15th will be disqualified. This INCLUDES any material sent again. (That means you should really plan to send no later than March 1)

7. The two winners will be announced the week of April 1st.

8. The contest will be judged by Janet Reid, Suzie Townsend and Meredith Barnes of FinePrint Literary Management, and Joanna Volpe and Sara Kendall of Nancy Coffey Literary &Media Representation.

REMEMBER: The Agent-Author Seminar part of the conference is limited to 150 writers and tends to fill up quickly. Anyone who registers for the conference, but who also enters and then wins the scholarship contest, will have their conference registration fee refunded in full.  In other words, don't wait to see if you win before you register or you could be too late for the Agent-Author Seminar.

This contest is over. Don't send an entry!


kriswaldherr said...

Quick question: is this contest only meant for authors seeking literary representation? It sounds like a great writers conference.

Josin L. McQuein said...

It's kind of sad that it takes that many lines to specify how to send a plain old snail mail entry for something.

(And you know there are still going to be people who do it wrong, wait to long, send it by email thinking you didn't "really" mean "no emails", etc.)

Janet Reid said...

Kris, there's no limitation on which authors can enter.

Corinne O said...

oh my... it might be time for a trip back to NYC.

A.S. King said...

Janet Reid you totally rock!

In case anyone needs a push: I've attended the Backspace conference since 2006 and it's always educational, fun and full of groovy connections that I never expect to make.

Do it!

Janet Reid said...

and in case anyone is wondering about the value of Backspace, let's all remember that A.S. King is the author of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ which has received several honors, most recently an Edgar nomination

PS Yay!!!!!!

Roberta Walker said...

Possibly a dumb question: do you have to be a member of BS to enter? Thx.

Janet Reid said...

Roberta, Sorry, this is NOT a dumb question, you do not win the free prize for that. You'll have to try harder to be dumb.

The answer to your question is no. Anyone can enter. Just make sure you follow the guidelines.

A Funny Daddy. said...

Hello Janet,

Are you happy to accept submissions from international authors?

If so, can we be excused the SASE?

This saves you all the hassle of handling those tiresome IRCs, quite time consuming, especially if you have to deal with some poor hapless soul in the Post Office, who hasn't been adequately trained.

Also, it can take 10 to 20 days for a letter to wend it's way the 3000 miles or so across the Atlantic. Bit pointless sending a follow up submission if one hasn't heard from you in 10 days.

Janet Reid said...

A Funny, sure. Of course, if you don't include an SASE you won't know we got it, but that's your call.

Also, you can buy US postage online these days.

And IRCs are a relic. The post office hasn't a clue what to do with them anymore.

A Funny Daddy. said...

Hello, Janet,

In the interests of international harmony, I shall refrain from using an IRC.

In the interests of my sanity, I shall forgo the pleasures of grappling with purchasing and printing US postage stamps. All this newfangled technology.

So no SASE, I shall simply put my faith the various postal carriers betwixt here and the US. Hmmm, did you know the Royal Mail loses over 1 million items a year.

Now to polish the query. Talk about difficult to compose.

Sara J. Henry said...

A.S. King - yes, like meeting ME there last year (not that we sort of didn't already know each other through the Backspace forum).

And I have to add that her PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ is just about my favorite book of 2010. Wicked good.

Roy Mauritsen said...

does the fact that one of the judges has previously declined my submission affect my chances? it would seem like and indicator I would need the conference even more. :)

Janet Reid said...

No it doesn't affect your chances (for good or for ill!) There are five of us looking at each entry.

Natalie Marie Villafane said...

I have a dumb question too. Since five of you are reading our queries, who do we address it to? Is the Fabulous Five acceptable? Do I win the free prize?

Janet Reid said...

Sorry, Natalie, no prize for you. That is not a dumb question at all.

You can address it to Dear Backspace Query Contest Judge.

Or you can say Dear Holding Pen Wranglers.

Or you can say Dear Snookums 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Or just say "hello"

The bottom line is the salutation here won't affect our decision. Unless of course you say "Dear Writers House"