Friday, October 22, 2010


Woohoo!  Finished!

I'm amazed at the great turn-out for the Great Query Contest.  Now that I've gotten all of the critiques out, the question is:

What's Next? 

First: Thank you!
My thanks to everyone who braved the teeth and claws of a public query critique.  I hope that I gave you some helpful notes.

Second: Keep in Touch.
I want to know how you're doing. Please comment or email me when you hit major milestones like getting an agent and signing a book deal. I also want to offer this forum to you as a way to get the word out when your book is released. I'll be happy to review your book here at the Bear when it's published. I'll also be happy to host an ARC giveaway, guest blog, etc. to help you out.

Third: Publishing Opportunity.
Those of you who have complete YA paranormal, fantasy, or sci-fi books, my publisher, Spencer Hill Press, is currently accepting queries from both agented and unagented authors. Full disclosure: it's a very small outfit (just three part-timers) and we're still working on expanding distribution. In addition, I'm going to be editing at least one of the new projects in the coming year. Want it to be yours? Submit through the contact form.

Fourth: Writing Seminar.
All this critiquing has gotten me interested in offering a writing seminar. I think I'll keep it small (6-16 people), so writers can get more individual attention. It'll be here in New Hampshire on two consecutive Saturdays (probably 10am-5pm-ish) in April or May, 2011. I checked into a location in Concord, NH that's both affordable and within walking distance of the bus from Boston's South Station. The focus would be on developing vibrant characters and narrative voice, and the cost would be in the $300-$350 range, although blog followers, students, and early-birds would all get discounts that would bring the cost down into the $200-$300 range. If you're interested, please email me, and I'll keep you in the loop as things develop.

Fifth: The Rest of the Contest.
Let's all take a breather from queries for the week before we start:

Round Two

Everyone who queried in the first round is eligible to re-submit his/her queries by email. Please get your revised queries to me by Midnight on Saturday, October 30th.  I'll post them EXACTLY AS I RECEIVE THEM, (from the "Dear Ms. Agent" to the "Sincerely, Moi"), so please format them appropriately for an e-query. You do not have to include your name or contact info, though. I'll set up a poll, and voting will start on Monday, November 1st through Sunday, November 7th. I'll ask people to vote for the book they'd most like to read. Feel free to promote the heck out of this and get all your blog followers and Facebook friends to vote. The winner will receive a 30-page partial critique.

Random legalese: By sending me your entry, you agree that I may re-post your query (in whole or in part) here at the Disgruntled Bear. I'm also allowed to brag about how I was reading your work before you got famous.

Happy Weekend!


Disgruntled Bear said...

And now I think I need to lie down.

Deb Salisbury, Magic Seeker and Mantua-Maker said...

Poor Bear! Thank you for all your hard work! It's been fun reading the queries and all your revisions.

Kim said...

Bear, it's so nice of you to make all of these offers! You are a gem. Thanks for helping us out and spending your time trying to make us better!

Lori M. Lee said...

Thank you so much for your help and the effort it took to critique so many queries!

Kim said...

If we were to submit to your publisher, would you suggest waiting to see if we win the crit first?

Eliza Tilton said...


Kimberlee Turley said...

You have such a way with words. It's been fun following your progress through the queries and seeing what you've done with them. A round of applause for you!

Disgruntled Bear said...

Thanks, everyone! Kimysworld, I recommend waiting until the contest is over, but either way is fine.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much for hosting this! It's been very helpful :-)

Deniz Bevan said...

Just a question, about submitting to the publisher - the form is only set up for entries from the States! No Canadians allowed at all?

Disgruntled Bear said...

Deniz-- I know on my Ganzfield site that the US address format is the default--Spencer Hill is probably the same. Don't worry about the address not lining up exactly--you can put the full address in the comments section. At this stage, the main form of contact is email, so, as long as that's correct, everything will be okay.

Guinevere said...

I just came over from Janet Summer's blog to read her query, and I think it's really neat that you're offering query critiques (and a writing seminar coming up - how fun!). Looking forward to reading more from you.

Unknown said...

FYI, The next Blog Jog Day is November 21. It went so well for us last year that I thought I would let you know. Sign-ups are at

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, 27!!! With thorough comments, too. Thank you so much, for doing this. :)

Disgruntled Bear said...

Thanks, Janet! I know how much the feedback I got on my query and first pages at Backspace Writers conference helped me when I was first pitching MINDER. I hope I've given people some solid guidance to help them make their writing stronger.

Nicole Zoltack said...

You are so wonderful for doing all this! We all appreciate your hard work. said...

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