12 May 2012

Writer's Digest's Dear Lucky Agent Contest (Niche: Upmarket/ Women's/ Mainstream Fiction)

Post date: 12 May 2012
Deadline: 14 May 2012

(Note: the judge for the 10th edition is looking for mainstream and women’s fiction that is character-driven and/or has a strong social or emotional message and is delivered with a compelling and distinguishable prose style.)

Welcome to the 10th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing a upmarket (see exactly what this term means below) novel, this 10th contest is for you! (The contest is live through May 14, 2012.)


After a recent “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.


E-mail entries to newagentcontest@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.


The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of upmarket fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, I ask that you do one of two things: 1) Mention and link to this contest twice through any social media—blogs, Twitter, Facebook; or 2) just mention this contest once and also add Guide to Literary Agents Blog (www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog) to your blogroll. Please provide link(s) and notes with your entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step!


Throw out what you think the definition is. What THIS contest goes by is what the agent judge, Lauren Ruth, defines it as, as that is what she is seeking from prospective new clients. Here it is: “Lauren is looking for mainstream and women’s fiction that is character-driven and/or has a strong social or emotional message and is delivered with a compelling and distinguishable prose style. Examples of the types of women’s and mainstream fiction Lauren is looking for include MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult, ROOM by Emma Donoghue, HOW TO TALK TO A WIDOWER by Jonathan Tropper and THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED by Wally Lamb.” (So there we have it.)

  • This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from April 30, 2012 through the end of Monday, May 14, 2012, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
  • To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
  • This contest is solely for completed book-length works of upmarket fiction.
  • You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again.
  • The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media.
  • By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at literaryagent@fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)


Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com.


Lauren Ruth started her publishing career as an intern at Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone/Fireside imprint while earning her B.A. in English language and literature from Pace University. Shortly thereafter, she completed her second internship at BookEnds, where she fell in love with the literary agency side of the publishing industry. In February 2011, she joined BookEnds as a full-time literary assistant, and very soon after began to build her own client list. She will soon have her master’s degree in book publishing. In fiction, Lauren is looking for: romance—all genres; literary fiction; commercial fiction, especially up-market, urban fantasy with romantic elements; middle-grade—all subgenres; young adult—all subgenres; mystery, with a strong focus on cozies; women’s fiction on the literary side; and smart chick lit, a la The Devil Wears Prada. On the nonfiction side, she’s looking for memoir, parenting and family, relationships, food and lifestyle, business, popular science, popular culture, and popular psychology.


For inquiries/ submissions: newagentcontest@gmail.com

Website: http://www.writersdigest.com
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