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In case you haven't heard...

Cheryl's Musings: In case you haven't heard...

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


In case you haven't heard...

Firebrand Literary announces their first annual Query Holiday!

From their web site:

Query Holiday

The ability to write an amazing first chapter is a much more important skill, as a novelist, than
the ability to write a good query letter. So why even bother with a query?

That’s why we’re announcing the first annual FIREBRAND QUERY HOLIDAY—o support
authors who want to spend their time and energy perfecting their manuscripts and not just
polishing their sales skills.

We want to read your first chapter.

Our usual, query-based submission system will be closed for a short period starting on the 15th of December (don’t worry, any query that was already in our system will be answered even while the system is “down”). And then—beginning on December 15 and ending on January 15—we will be accepting sample chapters via a unique email address:

We pledge to review all samples by the end of January, and will respond to those that we are interested in no later than February 1.

Who should submit?

We’re looking for talented authors—with completed books—who are interested in working closely with an agent before and after a publishing deal is done. If you’re interested in revising your manuscript, partnering with an agent, and marketing your book—you’ve come to the right place.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve queried Firebrand before—all that matters is that you are ready to submit the best material you have to offer.

Instructions on What & How to Submit:
  1. Paste the first chapter/twenty pages of your most polished work into a new word document. On a cover page provide the title of your work, the market, the word count of the entire manuscript, and your name, phone number, and email address.

  2. Email this material as a word document attachment to: between December 15 and midnight January 15.

  3. If we like what we read, you WILL hear from us by February 1. If you don’t hear from us, we are sorry to say that have we passed on your manuscript. You should feel free to query us after Query Holiday with other works, through our normal website submission system guidelines. Happy holidays!

Firebrand's agents represent children and YA lit (as well as other types), and they include sci-fi and fantasy on their list.

From Agent Query profiles:

Nadia Cornier
  • Fiction Interests: Literary Fiction Science Fiction Chick Lit Mystery Horror Christian Commercial Fiction Fantasy Women's Fiction Humor/Satire Romance Family Saga Historical Fiction Young Adult Thrillers/Suspense Children's Multi-Cultural Adventure Gay & Lesbian Military/Espionage Offbeat/Quirky Erotica Middle Grade Graphic Novels

  • She'll look at SF/F but, please read James Maxey's BITTERWOOD for an idea of what kind of SF/F she's into - It's a genre-rule-bending, smart take on a tried-and-true subject.

  • She's got a great YA list right now, so your book will have to really make her heart sing to catch her attention. She'll do her best to not sign "repeat" clients, so if you have a YA spy book, a YA vampire book, or straight chick lit YA voice, she's already got it on her list, love it, and she's not looking for any more that will conflict with the sales of her current clients.

Ted Malawar

  • Fiction Interests: Literary Fiction Mystery Commercial Fiction Humor/Satire Historical Fiction Young Adult Children's Adventure Middle Grade

  • He is looking for strong YA and select adult fiction, and to expand Firebrand's middle grade, chapter, and picture book list.

  • For YA, he is looking for books that walk the line between commercial and literary, he likes high concept novels with great "hooks," unique premises, and great humor. (He likes to laugh a lot.)

  • He also enjoys lyrical fiction, as long as it has an authentic and compelling voice. He´s a huge fan of mysteries, smart historicals, and urban fantasy about original topics (no vampires, please)

  • For middle grade, he is drawn to unique coming-of-age stories. He likes stories that make him laugh, but if you can make him cry, even better. He likes projects with fantastical/supernatural elements, too, and action/adventure plots.

  • He is also looking for author/illustrators.

Michael Stearns

  • Fiction Interests: Literary Fiction Commercial Fiction Fantasy Humor/Satire Romance Young Adult Thrillers/Suspense Children's Middle Grade

  • In terms of genre books, he's much more interested in non-Tolkienesque fantasy, paranormal romance, comic coming-of-age, and thrillers (all with some literary spin).

  • He responds well to wit; not dorky funny but genuine wit.

  • He's interested in both teen and middle grade fiction

  • For picture books, he is relying on referrals only and he is only signing a few writers whose work he knows and trusts

Happy submissions!

:) Cheryl

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At December 17, 2008 at 11:09 PM , Blogger Heather Zundel said...

This is incredible. You are my new best friend (not that you weren't already there before). Are you planning on submitting to them?

Publishers/editors/agents seem to be more willing to look at actual work right now. I wonder why that is. . .

Thanks for posting this. No, really, thanks.

At December 18, 2008 at 8:02 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Oh, good! It's such an amazing opportunity. Let me know what happens.

I don't plan to send anything to them, primarily because I've got a full ms at another agent (Barry Goldblatt) who I met at my SCBWI fall conference. He represents several of my favorite writers and he's something else--I'd love him to represent me. Fingers and toes are crossed....


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