“Operation Unmask the Agent”

Hello all,

I’ve called this post

“Operation Unmask the Agent”hat bunny

– it’ll make more sense in a moment, and it’s going to be a bit of fun!

But first a reminder. The is a #pitch competition for all genres & all age-groups. Yep that’s right, PB, MG, YA, NA & Adult. And every genre.

The only exception is straight erotica.

Submissions will consist of :

A 35-word pitch, answering a question & the first 300=words of your MS & in the case of PB; that’s 100-words.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a bit of lovin’ and there’s nothing wrong with a lot of lovin’ everything from unquenched desires to steamy sex; where we draw the line is, how shall I put it, we’re not accepting submissions for sex-only novels.  In other words, if it’s in context, such as (for example) a historical-romance, go for it.  But we don’t want porn –sex for the sake of sex.

It should go without saying, but just in case it doesn’t, submissions with paedophilia, bestiality, cruelty to children or animals, unnecessary racism/bigotry, stories that condone or sensationalize rape… these will be automatically deleted.

Now, if your story is set, say in the 1800s and deals with racism, naturally that is accepted, as would be a story with a theme of xenophobia – and so forth, as long as it’s in context.  Sensationalism of any kind, where the one party is victim to another, simply for the sake of sensationalism, that will not wash.

I will be holding a Q&A (ref. below) and am happy to answer questions prior also.funny bunny 3

For the entire Rules & Conditions to the previous post titled Rules & Conditions.

OK, for the fun part.

The pitch-competition will be a lot of fun in itself, with Secret Bunny Agents & Magic Bunyips etc, but there’s going to be more. To understand what these are and to meet the Nest Bloggers & Slush Bilbies, refer to previous posts.

OK, here we go!

When doing something, I think its always more exciting if there’s a carrot dangling. funny bunny 5

And yes, having awesome agents ready and willing to read your submissions is a pretty big carrot, but I wanted an even bigger one!  So, after the Secret Bunny Agents have filled their favourite nests, and before the Magic Bunyips start their lurking, the submission request numbers will be totalled and … the winner is…

The pitch, from all the Nest Bloggers, which gets the highest number of FULL REQUESTS, will receive a…

$25.00 (AUD) Amazon Gift Voucher.  If there’s two with the same number, the voucher will be split, If there’s more than two, then, the first time (time-line wise) will each get an Amazon Voucher for $12.50 (AUD)

And…

The highest total number of requests, regardless if they are partials or fulls, will receive a $10.00 AMAZON VOUCHER.  Again, if there are two, then the voucher will be split and if there are more than two, the first two time-line will each win a $5.00 (AUD) Amazon Voucher.present 2

Isn’t that great!

The better your nest, the bigger the Easter Treats!

But, I have another little game up my sleeve.

I was thinking, how can we make this “FUN” for everyone,even those not participating, even those who participated but were not selected. 

funny bunny 1

And I came up with something.

We have nine (9) Secret Bunny Agents + four Magic Bunyips

How this will work.

At Agent Reveal Time, all participating Secret Bunny Agents names and brief bios will be shown, what you will not know is which mask they will wear.  This will be revealed after Easter.

To demonstrate.  Lets call my imaginary Agent Jo Bloggs.

Jo Bloggs is an Agent at ABC Literary specialising in MG & YA.  Jo is especially interested in adventure stories, think pirates. 

So, there will be 10 such agents.

It’ll be a guessing game if Jo is a Rapper Bunny or a Farmer Bunny or maybe a Football Bunny.  Not even the agents will know who is wearing what mask… everyone will have to guess.  But guessing is so much more fun if there’s a reward.

So, whether you submit or not, everyone can play.

Below is an example with made up names, and there’s only five.  It’s to demonstrate only. The idea is to match the agent with their bunny mask . The idea is to match the Agent to the mask.

Agent Name                                            Bunny Mask Name

Jo Bloggs                                                        Zorro Bunny

John C Smith                                                  Tech Bunny

Jayne Doe                                                       Rapper Bunny

Bobbie Brown                                                 Farmer Bunny

Sam Citizen                                                     Football Bunny

This is complete and utter fun and serves no purpose but to play along. 

I’ll give more detail as we get closer but you can do a chart or an (=) for example Jo Bloggs = Rapper Bunny, John Smith = Zorro Bunny (etc)  The entries will be sent through via email per the below schedule & I will be available for questions.

And the winner is…

The rules are simple.  The time-line you can submit your Unmask the Agent email will serve as both your entry and your entry time.

This competition/game is open to everyone.funny bunny 2

Only one entry per person (please play fair, cheating just ruins it for everyone)

The winner will be the first person, time-line wise to guess and match all the agents with their masks.  If no one guesses right, then all who sent in an entry email will go into a draw with a random winner picked.  If more than one person guesses correctly, then the first correct entry received will be the winner.

And what do you win?  An Amazon $25.00 (AUD) gift voucher!

There will be more details as we get closer to the date, but for now, take a look at the Time-Line Schedule below (note Unmask the Agent submission is April 12th):

Schedule: 

March 15th      Introduce the Agents

Mar 20th           Update the Bunny Masks

Mar 21st-29th      Run a 35-word Pitch clinic

Follow @NestPitch & @Nik_Vukoja on Twitter for more information.

March 30th        Run Q&A on-line allowing people to ask questions

Follow @NestPitch & @Nik_Vukoja on Twitter for more information.

Mar 30th           Post on Twitter submission window to open April 1st

Apr 1st -2nd        Submission windows open 1st April NOON USA EST until 11.59am 2nd April USA EST (equiv. times in UK, Australia & Europe will be posted)

Apr 3rd -10th     1st Round – Slush Bilbies select top 120 nests*

Apr 12th           Match Agent to Bunny Mask window open 8am USA EST for 12 hours, until 8.00pm April 12th USA EST (times diff for other countries will also be listed) – Emails must be received during this time to be eligible.

Apr 11th -15th  2nd Round – Nest Bloggers  pick their 72 nests*

Apr 16th              3rd Round – Nest Bloggers post their top choices

Apr 17th -19th   4th Round Secret Bunny Agents  stock *nests

Easter Sun.     Stocked *nests* revealed/Secret Bunny Agents identities revealed

Apr 21st           Unmask the Agent Winner Revealed

Apr 22nd          Bunyips can now offer belated presents*

Apr 23rd           All #NestPitch requests should be received by Secret Bunny Agents.

Apr 28th           All Bunyip requests should be made& sent

Apr 30th           Special additional surprise revealed!

May 1st            Update on #nestpitch Blog thanking everyone + a special <surprise>

showing love pic 1

So, spread the word, share the love, play nice, & don’t forget, there’s also #Pitchmadness with Brenda Drake in March… off you go, hop to it… & gave fun

Until Nest Time

     Super Bunny     Super-Bunny- Power- Out!

Slush Bilbies – Revealed

Hello again…Fluffy Tail Musk Rabbit

 As promised, please find below our talented Team of Slush Bilbies. 

But just before I introduce them, I wanted to take a moment to discuss a few of the #NestPitch Rules. When I first thought about running a #pitch-fest I considered the ones I’d participated in.  My experience has been that #pitch competitions are run by generous individuals within the writing community and attended by professional & fun agents who understand how hard it is to put your work before an agent. 

They were well organised, playful and unique. Their hosts were approachable, attentive and extremely helpful and their rules were designed to be firm-but-fair.  These were the criteria I wanted for #NestPitch, which is why I have added the rules regarding previously published works and previously featured pitch submissions. cuddle bunnie kitten 1

Since posting, I’ve had one or two (or perhaps a few more) people contact me on these two rules.  I can understand the frustration in having been featured yet not having been offered representation, however, this rule stands & for two reasons. 

(i) Agents are busy people with ACTUAL clients to represent and nurture.  When an agent agrees to be part of a #pitch-fest they are doing it at the expense of completing other tasks on their do-do list. By ensuring the pitches featured are new and unique, we are ensuring that agents will continue to give of their time to #pitches in general, which naturally opens opportunities for aspiring writers.

(ii) As an aspiring writer, I’m speaking from experience when I say I know the frustration, the second-guessing, the annoying of friends, family, the postman, to read and re-read your submission, and then the final SEND & with it comes instant insecurity and regret…if only I had… But nothing is more frustrating than seeing the same pitch featured on several blog posts and in several #pitch contests.  While agents may feel they “Have seen this all before” and turn away from the laptop, aspiring writers may in equal portion feel “Oh God, not Such & Such again; why do I bother.”I think most would agree neither of the above is the desired response.   

As for the question of Published Works, I’m not going to delve into the whys & why nots.  I have no issue with self-publishing. In fact, I see it as a very real and viable opportunity and option for many authors.  I also know of several self-published authors who have a wonderful product and a strong following.  However, if self-published authors wish to be truly considered “Published” in the traditional sense of the word, they must also acknowledge their work is published in reference to competitions. I am sorry if some people don’t agree, however these are the rules.  

Lilac RabbitI hope the above serves to clarify the reasoning, however, if anyone still has questions I’m more than happy to answer them.  Either post a comment on here or speak to me when I’m on Twitter.  I tend to be on Twitter under my personal name @Nik_Vukoja but if you follow me and @Nestpitch you are bound to catch me at one of them.  I’ll ask that people, other than agents, NOT send email-questions; I’m often on Twitter and am happy to answer questions on-line or via comments.

 You can find the rules & conditions in a prior post on this blog

 <if you’re a AGENT & want to know more about NESTPITCH, SECRECT BUNNY AGENTS or MAGIC BUNYIPS, please contact me via Twitter or email: nestpitch@outlook.com >

 baby bunyip

bilby 4…and now, the Slush Bilbies REVEALED (aren’t they awesome!) 

( i) Emily Mead Emily Mead

I’m a writer and reader of all things YA and MG. Last year I participated in the Like a Virgin pitch contest, and loved the experience of having agents read my work. This time around I’m hoping to do some reading! I’m also an intern for Entranced Publishing, and this year I’m polishing my YA contemporary for querying.

I blog at Aussie Owned and Read http://aussieownedandread.com/, interviewing Aussie authors or imparting my wisdom,

And also at my personal blog, The Loony Teen Writer, http://theloonyteenwriter.wordpress.com/ 

(ii) Susan Nystoriak Susan Pic

Lover of all creative arts, aside from author, other hats include music teacher, wife, mother and animal lover.  As a writer, I tend to stay within the speculative fiction realm at the Adult and New Adult levels.  I am very active on Twitter, and have taken part in numerous writing/pitch contests, several resulting in requests for partials and fulls,and most recently, my NA manuscript was selected for the #SunvsSnow pitch contest.

Aside from opportunities to present my work before an agent or editor, those contests have led to some wonderful writer-family connections.

As a Crit-Partner/Beta reader for writers, I’m honest but encouraging.  I’m also happy for feedback from others and love to share.

On my blog, S.M. Nystoriak’s Writer’s Block, http://smnystoriak.wordpress.com/ you will find interviews with emerging and established authors, both traditionally published and indie/self-published.  It’s fascinating what we can learn from each other!

You can also find me on Twitter: @smnystoriak

(iii)             Cassandra Page CassPage

I’m a mother, author, editor and geek, living in Canberra with my preschool-age son and two Cairn Terriers. I have a serious coffee addiction and love to read speculative fiction. When I’m not reading or writing, I’m a geek, especially of the Doctor Who and AD&D variety—because who said you need to grow up? My debut novel, ISLA’S INHERITANCE, comes out with Turquoise Morning Press; http://www.turquoisemorningpress.com/ in the second half of 2014.

If you want to hear more about it, you can cyberstalk me via the following links:

Website: http://cassandrapage.com/  Twitter: https://twitter.com/CassandraPage01

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CassandraPage01

I’m also a regular contributor in  the Aussie Owned & Read blog; http://aussieownedandread.com/ along with a group of very talented Australian Authors.

(iv)             Louise (Lou) Gornall Lou

I’m currently studying for a BA (Hons) in English language and literature with special emphasis on creative writing. My debut YA urban fantasy, In Stone, was published last July.

I play gate keeper at Swoon Romance and the lovely Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency; http://www.d4eoliteraryagency.com/ is Yoda to my Luke Skywalker. YA aficionado. Brit bird. Film nerd.

Identical twin. Junk food enthusiast.

Rumored pink Power Ranger and avid collector of book boyfriends.
This is my blog: http://bookishblurb.com/blog/

This is Mandy’s blog: http://www.mandyhubbard.blogspot.co.uk/

(v)  Heather Bryant Rename

I lived in a little city in Australia with far too many voices in my head. I’m an escapist reader and writer and love any story with ‘real’ characters who drive the plot. At the moment I’m is a reviewer for Aussie Owned and Read, and author assistant to the wonderful Sharon M. Johnson, and shopping my most recent WIP (a YA fantasy), working full time, and eating far too much chocolate (haha, like that’s even a thing).

In other words, I’ve seen the query and pitching worlds from both sides.

I can be found on twitter here: https://twitter.com/heather_b88

Blogger herehttp://heathermbryant.blogspot.com.au 

Aussie Owned and Read here: http://aussieownedandread.com

(vi) Katy Upperman Katy

I write contemporary young adult fiction featuring cool girls, hot boys, and steamy kisses. My work is represented by Victoria Marini at Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc. http://www.gelfmanschneider.com/ I’m a graduate of Washington State University, a former elementary school teacher, a Soldier’s wife, a mama, and a Florida resident. I blog about writing and books at http://katyupperman.com/, and I’m a reviewing member of http://www.thebookanistas.com/ and a http://yaconfidential.blogspot.com.au/ Operative. When not behind my laptop, I can be found running, baking, or swimming in the surf.  

(vii) Stacey Trombley Stacey T

I’m a teen (and occasionally tween) at heart who you’ll never catch in the adult section of the book store. I write both YA and MG of any genre you can think of. Since I’m completely contest obsessed and have entered more than is at all sane, I totally know what its like to bite your nails waiting for any hint at all we liked your work.

I blog at both HopelessYA http://hopelessya.blogspot.com.au/

and Middle Grade Minded http://middlegrademinded.blogspot.com.au/

Phew! How Awesome is THAT LIST! 

By the way, has anyone noticed that 1/3 of the Team is made up of people with an “S” in their first name?

Sharon Johnston – Nest Blogger  Stacey Nash – Nest Blogger   Sharon Bayliss – Nest Blogger

Susan Nystoriak – Slush Bilby   Stacey Trombley-Slush Bilby

And the rest of the Team:

Jeffe Kennedy – Nest Blogger   Amanda Moody – Nest Blogger   Brooke Powell – Nest Blogger

Kimberly Chase – Nest Blogger   Tina Moss – Nest Blogger   Dannie Morin – Nest Blogger

Cassandra Page -Slush Bilby   Heather Bryant -Slush Bilby   Lou Gornall – Slush Bilby

Emily Mead -Slush Bilby   Katy Upperman -Slush Bilby

easter_bunny_clipart[1]But wait there’s more…. Actually you’ll have to wait…sorry

>& don’t forget to take a look at our NEST BLOGGERS bios in the previous post < 

Next post will be a timetable and a few surprises… that way you can plan ahead and play along.  I’ll be posting again after 5th Feb — if any of you don’t know #adpit is running on Feb 5th; it’s well worth taking a look J

What I can tell you is that we are getting together some incredible agents to put on their Secret Agent Bunny Masks & a few have taken on the mantra of Magic Bunyip… a billabong is a great place to lurk and spy!

And…it’s not going to be all about the pitch.  To make it fun, there’s also going to be a game or two everyone can play… damn, I’ve given away too much; “Will the jury please ignore that last statement.”

The additional fun & games post is a few weeks away.

Oh, and if anyone wants to know more about cute little bilbies, yes they are real, bilby 2

there’s quite a few society’s in Australia who are working to protect them.  Sadly, they need our protection, they are endangered species.

& one, OK two final things.

Next week is #pitmad, for info go here >>> http://heidinorrod.wordpress.com/
& in March there’s Brenda Drake's #pitchmadness, for info go here >>> http://www.brenda-drake.com/

Until Nest Time….  Easter Basket 2