May 16, 2018

Query Kombat 2018 Submission Window Opens!

The submission window is NOW OPEN until May 18 at noon EDT. There is no cap on entries.



If you don't receive email confirmation within an hour of submitting your entry, contact us via Twitter and let us know. Kontestants will be revealed on May 25th, and the tournament will kick off on June 1st.

IMPORTANT: The Query Kombat team reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, at any time, for any reason. If an entrant is disqualified/drops out before the agent round, an alternate from the same host will take its place. If an entrant is disqualified/drops out after the agent round, the opposing entry will automatically advance to the next round. If an entrant is disqualified/drops out after the agent round but before new match-ups are assigned, match-ups will be assigned by random number generator with one random entry moving forward without a match. The only time we will ever disqualify an applicant is if you say or do something to blemish the spirit of query contests. Query Kombat is supposed to be fun…

So no fighting!

In order to enter the contest you MUST follow formatting guidelines, and submit during the contest window. All entries that follow said guidelines will be considered. 

In the event that we receive more than the available 64 spots (this is highly expected), Michelle, Laura, and I will savagely attack the slush pile in attempts to build the best team. We will pick (and announce) three alternates in case a submission is disqualified.

Entries should be sent to:  QueryKombat (at) gmail (dot) com.

We're asking for a $5 - $10 donation with each entry so we don't have to start charging a fee for the contest. Donations may be sent via the Query Kombat icon in the sidebar.

Formatting Guidelines:

Font: Times New Roman (or an equivalent), 12pt font, single-spaced with spaces between each paragraph. No (I repeat: NO!) indentations.
Subject line of the Email: A short, unique nickname for your entry [colon] your genre (audience included). Do not skip this step or your entry will be deleted. (ex. I Fell in Love with a Ken Doll: Adult Erotica)

For the nickname, make it as unique as possible so that there are no duplicates. These will be the names used in the tournament (or an abbreviated version if it's too long) so keep it PG-13 and try to have it relate to your story in some way.

In the body of the email (with examples):

Name: Michael Anthony
Email address: myboyfriendwasbittenbyashark (at) gmail (dot) com.
Twitter Handle: @BarbforSenate36

Title: Eunuchs and Politics
Entry Nickname: I Fell in Love with a Ken Doll
Word count: 72K
Genre: Adult Erotica (If Ownvoices, please list here)

Query: 

Barbara B. Doll seemed like a woman who had it all, from the perfect body to her own dream house, McDonald's and a variety of vehicles. She even managed to become a U.S. Senator and go to the moon! However, something seemed missing. She didn't have any idea what it was until she met Ken.

Ken Dahl is funny, good-looking, and may have ties to the Illuminati. Barbara is immediately drawn to his shiny, perfect hair and teeth. When he offers to teach her surfing, they hit it off instantly. Everything seems to be going perfectly until Barbara discovers Ken has no genitalia. She must search within herself to determine whether love can overcome plastic, non-removable underwear.

EUNUCHS AND POLITICS is adult romance, complete at 75,000 words.

***THIS is NOT a PITCH but your FULL query. You may include greeting and closing. Do not include a bio or comp title.

First 250:

Words, words, and more words.

___

Do not include the chapter title.
Do not include a bio or comp title.

If the 250th word puts you in the middle of a sentence, you may go up to 258 to finish that sentence. Do not abuse and send 258 words or more. Both Pages and Google Docs will return incorrect word counts if you have hyphens, em-dashes, and ellipses. Microsoft Word counts correctly.

Please use this site to give you an accurate word count if you are concerned about your standard word counter: https://wordcounter.net/. If you must, count by hand. A properly hyphenated word is one word. Words separated by an em-dash or ellipse are two words.

All queries submitted are FINAL. We will not edit them in any way, shape, or form. Please read, reread, and rereread your submission before you hit send. You have several weeks to polish your work. Take advantage of it. Competition will be fierce.



Best of luck in the tournament!



TWITTER PARTY!

Contests need to be fun. To help keep you from worrying as the hosts read through the emails, we're having a party! These are the daily topics, but feel free to start your own as well.


May 15th    Before the big day arrives tweet your category and genre. Ask questions about genre if you’re unsure where your manuscript fits.

May 16th  After 8:30AM tweet when you’ve submitted your entry to our QK email. Nerves and jitters can be calmed by sharing with others. All day long tweet out what your entry Nickname is and why you chose it.

May 17th   Day 2 of submissions! Judges get fun secret names. Entrants get to create nicknames. Your poor hosts are left out. Create nicknames for Laura, Michael and Michelle!  (Keep it clean. We blush easily.) And tweet your favorite comp title.

May 18th    Last day to submit. We close at noon. Tweet your main character’s name and a special tidbit about them. See what sorts of names are popular and if anyone else shares MC’s names with you.

May 19th    Tweet what you find the hardest about writing. Is it keeping out telling? Writing action scenes? What’s hard for you? Anyone have tips for making them easier?

May 20st   Say hi to an entrant you’ve never talked to. Wish them luck in the slush round. If you need to let out some nerves, see if your new friend will lend an ear.

May 21nd     Tweet something about how you write. Do you use music or prefer silence? Morning or late at night? We celebrate our differences.

May 22rd     Tweet us your villain’s name and something evil about them.

May 23th      If you’re looking for some beta readers or CP, now is the time to tweet about it.

May 24th     Tweet us your favorite line from your novel. If you read any you like, favorite it. Have any favorite lines from a novel that’s not yours? Tweet those too!

May 25th     Tweet your thanks to the agents, editors, and judges of Query Kombat 2016. They’re dedicating a lot of time to help out. The least we can do is take a day to celebrate them! The big reveal is today! (We'll be running around like crazy gerbils getting everything ready.)

May 11, 2018

Query Kombat Judge's Nicknames


Since the kontestants get to invent amazing nicknames, naturally the judges want one, too! Plus it lets them vote with more freedom. To recognize our wonderful judges and know the vote is legit, here is a list of the nicknames they have chosen:

Good Janet
Ebony Maw 
Bowser 
Discount Wonder Woman 
Theofani 
Red Ink Slinger 
Mrs. Will Herondale 
Vanellope 
Wordthulhu 
BookJava 
Love & Squalor 
Literary Lady 
Jennyanydots 
Wonder Woman 
Hobbes 
Mabel Pines 
Frozen Veal 
Rainbow Brite 
Ginger 
No One of Consequence 
Altered Carbon 
Picky Peruser 
Thaddeus Spinster 
Earthbound Misfit 
Bella 
Piano Ninja 
The Queen of Thorns 
To the Sword 159 
SylpheWings 
Mrs. Winchester 
Jumping Jellybean 
The Red Cardigan 
Gallowspider 
Princess Falafel 
Lady Acacia 
Barn Owl 
Arachnophile 
Sonya Blade 
QueryPoppins

It's fantastically fun to be silly sometimes and our judges had a blast choosing these names. We hope you'll have fun choosing an inventive nickname for your story!

And speaking of fun!

The chance to chat with our judges is Monday, May 14th and Saturday, May 19th!


Join us on the hashtag #QKChat at 3:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm EST on May 14 and 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm EST on May 19th to ask questions about the contest and writing in general. You can ask writers who are further along on their journey what submission is like or how they promo or what they said during their call. Just don't ask them to reveal their secret nickname. :-) 
Remember submission for Query Kombat is just a few days away on Wednesday, May 16th.

We've added a few special judges who are going to help with just the first round. Their nicknames are included up above. Here they are:


Sarah Remy

Sarah Remy writes fantasy for HarperImpulse and NineStar Press. Sarah lives on the dry side of Washington State with three dogs, four chickens, and two horses. Every morning Sarah takes time over coffee to think about the next generation, the challenges they face, and how best to protect them against oppression and adversity. Sarah can be found at sarahremy.com or on Twitter @sarahremywrites.



Ed Ashton

Edward Ashton lives with his adorably mopey dog, his inordinately patient wife, and a steadily diminishing number of daughters in Rochester, New York, where he studies new cancer therapies by day, and writes about the awful things his research may lead to by night. He is the author of the novels Three Days in April and The End of Ordinary, as well as several dozen short stories which have appeared in venues ranging from Fireside Magazine and Escape Pod to the newsletter of an Italian sausage company. Please be nice to him. Odds are, he's had a very long day.







Erin Foster Hartley

Erin Foster Hartley is a YA author whose work explores themes of family and identity in unexpected ways. She was a mentor for Pitch Wars '17 and Teen Pit '18, and she has led teen writing workshops for the Iowa Youth Writing Project. Erin is represented by Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content.

May 7, 2018

Agents of Query Kombat 2018 (partial list)

We have 29 agents and counting joining us this year. Some are new. Some are established. All are looking to make requests! To everyone entering this year, best of luck! It's gearing up to be an amazing tournament.

If you need a refresher on the submission guidelines (they've changed a bit this year), click here.

Kara and Michelle each have a 1/3 of the list posted on their blogs. Check em out.

Please support the agents below by thanking them for participating and following them on Twitter. Don't forget the #QueryKombat hashtag. They provide they largest reward this tournament offers. Be sure to let them know they're appreciated.

Don't forget. Submission window opens May 16th at 9am EST and closes May 18th at noon.



Agents of Query Kombat 2018



Lindsay Mealing of Emerald City Literary


Lindsay has been writing stories since she could first hold a pencil. It wasn’t until she sat down to edit a manuscript for the first time she realized her true love was not on the writing side of the publishing industry, but the business side. She began interning for Mandy in early 2015 and quickly realized agenting was what she wanted to do forever more.


Lindsay is a self-proclaimed  nerd, loving everything science fiction and fantasy – from epic tomes to gaming. She fell head over heels with the SFF genre when she read KUSHIEL’S DART by Jacqueline Carey (she even has Phedre’s marque tattooed on her back).

May 4, 2018

QK 2018: Guess That Agent!

Want some chances to win a query critique from a QK host? Of course you do! And we've got some opportunities for you!

Below is 1/3 of the agents participating in the Agent Round of Query Kombat. Their names and the agencies they work for have been redacted. Correctly guess the name and agency of all ten agents and send them to querykombat (at) gmail (dot) com as quickly as possible. Be the first to guess all ten correctly and you'll win a query critique from yours truly.

Visit Michelle and Kara for more chances to win!



??? of ???


??? has been writing stories since she could first hold a pencil. It wasn’t until she sat down to edit a manuscript for the first time she realized her true love was not on the writing side of the publishing industry, but the business side. She began interning for Mandy in early 2015 and quickly realized agenting was what she wanted to do forever more.

??? is a self-proclaimed  nerd, loving everything science fiction and fantasy – from epic tomes to gaming. She fell head over heels with the SFF genre when she read KUSHIEL’S DART by Jacqueline Carey (she even has Phedre’s marque tattooed on her back).

Apr 24, 2018

2018 Query Kombat Forum

The QK Forum has returned for a second year!




With an estimated 300+ people joining in on the fun this year, we figured we needed a place to bring together our agents, editors, industry professionals, and kombatants. Not only that, but we wanted a place for entrants who don't make it into the tournament to find advice, friends, and support.

So, if you plan on entering the tournament or just rooting for your favorite entry, join us in our new forum. There's also a place to get feedback on your query and first 250! And who knows who might reply to your post!

***Remember: Forums are open to the public, Agents, contest hosts, editors, and mentors may make appearances. Please give other posters the same respect and consideration you’d want them to give you***

Final note: Sincerest apologies for the lack of non-typical gender options when creating a profile in our forum. Proboards hasn't quite gotten with the times. After creating your profile, to hide the gender from your posts, go to Profile -> Edit Profile -> Privacy -> Gender Visibility. 

Apr 16, 2018

Query Kombat Judges (partial list)

Time for our AMAZING lineup of judges for this year's Query Kombat tournament. Many of them were contestants in prior contests. We've worked hard to find authors that form a diverse group of opinions, talents, and specialties from all categories and genres.

Query Kombat would not be possible without the wonderful people who donate their time to help. For this month-long contest, we've recruited 40+ industry professionals to critique entries and vote for a winner of each match-up. Each and every one of these judges is participating out of the kindness of their heart, so please join the QK Crew in thanking them for volunteering.

THANK YOU!

On Monday, May 14th we'll be hosting a Twitter party where writers can reach out to the judges and ask questions about their entries, writing, querying, etc. Join us at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern. The hashtag will be #QKChat.

We'll have a second chat to calm raw nerves on Saturday, May 19th at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm Eastern.

Visit Kara and Michelle's blog for their portion of the list.




Marty Mayberry

Marty Mayberry writes adult and young adult novels, and infuses them with romance. When she’s not dreaming up ways to mess with her character’s lives, she works as an RN. She lives in Maine with her husband, children, three neurotic cats and a high-strung Yorkie. She’s a member of YARWA and a PRO member of RWA.

Her YA sci-fi thriller won the ‘15 YARWA’s Rosemary Award for speculative fiction. Her NA Urban Fantasy took second place in the ’17 YARWA’s Rosemary Award in the NA category. And her romantic suspense and short contemporary romances both finaled in the’18 RWA Golden Heart ® Award. She’s represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Agency.

Twitter
Author Website


Kelly deVos

A third generation native Arizonan, Kelly deVos can tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cactus, cattle and climate. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Kelly is represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Her debut novel, FAT GIRL ON A PLANE, will be published on 6/5/18 by Harlequin Teen and her work has been featured in Normal Noise and 202 Magazine. Kelly is also a passionate advocate for body positivity and fat acceptance.

Instagram
Goodreads
Twitter
Website


Kaitlin Hundscheid

Kaitlin Hundscheid is a middle grade writer in Birmingham, Alabama, currently honing her writing-during-naptime skills. She is an alumna of ’15 Query Kombat and ‘16 Pitch Wars, and she is represented by Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management.

Author Website
Twitter
Instagram





J Lenni Dorner

While embracing the ancient tribal traditions, J Lenni Dorner learned a legend originated by The Grandfathers.

In May 2016, J became a member of the Operation Awesome Team, running the Debut Author Spotlight on Wednesdays. Blogging from A to Z #AtoZchallenge co-host as of 2017.

J weaves fantasy with lore to unhinge your mind.

This speculative fiction and reference author is happily married and living in Pennsylvania (USA) on the original lands of the Lenni-Lenape people. When not reading or writing, J enjoys video games, funny cat videos, finding drawings of dragons on Pinterest, and watching movies.

Twitter
Goodreads
Website
Amazon
Facebook

Erin King

Erin King lives in Manhattan with her graphic-designer-husband where they like to pretend “creatives” can afford the city. While her three native New Yorkers attend elementary school, Erin writes YA fiction and sometimes risks her life by going for runs in Central Park. (She’s anaphylactically allergic to exercise. Yes, it’s a thing. No for real, google it.) Erin was crowned the 2017 Query Kombat Grand Champion and is repped by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group.

Twitter
Website

Diana Pinguicha

Born and raised in the sunny land of Portugal, Diana lives in Lisbon, where she works as a game developer and writer. In her free time, she can be found writing (obviously), painting, and devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games—especially anything on the fantasy spectrum. Keeping her company are two awesome kitties, Sushi and Jubas, and her bearded dragon Norbert!

Blog
Twitter



Betsy Aldredge

Betsy Aldredge is the co-author (with Carrie DuBois-Shaw) of the YA romance, SASQUATCH, LOVE, AND OTHER IMAGINARY THINGS (Simon Pulse, August 2017), which has been called "the most hilarious, charming, feminist Sasquatch-hunting book ever to grace a bookshelf" by author Alison Cherry. Kirkus said, "Squatching doesn't get any funnier than this." A retelling of Pride and Prejudice, focusing on a family of Jewish Bigfoot hunters, SASQUATCH was the Grand Champion of Query Kombat in 2014.

Twitter
Auther Website

T. Frohock

T. Frohock has turned a love of history and dark fantasy into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. A real-life cyborg, T has a cochlear implant, meaning she can turn you on or off with the flick of a switch. Make of that what you will. She currently lives in North Carolina, where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. Her newest Los Nefilim novel, Where Oblivion Lives, is coming in 2019 from Harper Voyager.

Twitter
Website



Richard Pearson

Richard Taylor Pearson is a triple threat: author, actor, and attorney. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he appeared in many plays and musicals. After graduating from Rhodes College, Richard went on to obtain a law degree from Rutgers School of Law. While he works as an attorney by day, his nights and weekends are spent writing novels and performing in theatrical events all over New York City. Richard lives in Jersey City with his husband, Brian, and their daughter, Natalie. His debut novel, The Role, was published by Lethe Press in May of 2016.

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Book Link



Cimone Watson

I love Jesus first, my family second, and everything else third. I’m a math nerd, movie nerd, linguistics nerd and book nerd. My family and I are a whole box of Nerds. I grew up in South Florida and attended college at the University of Houston for a while, which deepened my understanding of diversity, something I love to see in books. I love kakuro puzzles, spending time with family, drinking banana, peanut butter and cacao powder smoothies, and listening to the sound of ocean waves. Team Peeta, so don’t @ me. (Kidding; you can always @ me.)

Youtube
Twitter
Blog

Kristi Wientge

Kristi Wientge is originally from Ohio where she grew up writing stories about animals and, her favorite, a jet-setting mouse. After studying to become a teacher for children with special needs, she spent several years exploring the world from China to England, teaching her students everything from English to how to flip their eyelids inside out. She’s spent twelve years raising her family in her husband’s home country of Singapore, where she spends her days taking her four kids to school, Punjabi lessons, and music. With the help of her mother-in-law, she can now make a mean curry and a super-speedy saag. Karma Khullar’s Mustache is her debut novel.

Website
Twitter
Instagram



Rachel Bateman

Rachel Bateman grew up with an abundance of sisters, but an unfortunate lack of boys next door. When she’s not writing, you can find her sewing, wrangling chickens, or secretly planning her next road trip. Rachel lives with her husband and two sons in Great Falls, Montana. She's the author of Someone Else's Summer (a 2016 Pitch Madness success story!) and the owner of Second Star Books, a YA subscription box that promotes debut authors.

Website
Instagram
Second Star Books


Mar 16, 2018

Query Kombat 2018


Bloggers Kara, Michael, and Michelle are back again to bring you the sixth annual Query Kombat tournament, and second year of the QK Forum

Some of you might be scratching your heads. Kara? Who's Kara, you ask yourself. Check out this link for the 411.

*
Contest Mission: To showcase the work of diverse and talented novelists, while providing a learning environment that unites the writing community through knowledge, kindness, and a little friendly kompetition.

 

The Basics: (updated from previous years. Read carefully.)

Query Kombat will host 64 kombatants in a single-elimination, tournament style query-off. Entries will go head to head (one on one) with one another until only ONE entry remains. There will be a total of six rounds in Query Kombat. 64 entries in round one, 32 in round two, 16 in round three, 8 in round four, 4 in round five, and 2 in round six.

Unlike traditional tournaments, we won't be using tournament brackets. Entries will be matched up based on target audience and genre. We'll continue grouping that way until it's no longer possible.

If you secure a spot in the tournament, your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript (to the end of a complete sentence) will be pitted against another query and first 250 words. Judges will read each match-up and vote 'Victory' on the best entry. Remember, this is subjective. Considering last year, votes may come down to personal tastes.

The entry with the most ‘victories’ at the end of the round will advance to the next round until only one champion remains. 

The agent round will be held after the first round. That mean the top 32 entries will make it to the agent round.

Of course, there's a twist!

The agent round will be conducted in secret. And by secret, we mean TOP SECRET. Entrants won't know who requested what—or how much—until they are eliminated from the tournament.

On the plus side, winners of the first round will be able to update their entry prior to the agent round. So any feedback the judges give can be implemented before the agents see your work.

We have 21 agents on board so far. We're hoping to double that number before the Agent Round kicks off in June so get your entries ready!


Who’s Invited to Submit:

The Query Kombat Tournament is open only to unagented writers seeking representation. Your manuscript must be complete, polished, and ready to submit. If your manuscript has been in the agent round of another major contest within the last four months, you are not eligible to participate in Query Kombat. Please don’t try to sneak in. The QK team includes about a hundred industry professionals, and a few hundred spectators. Someone will notice and inform us. If you're unsure if a contest qualifies as major, contact us through Twitter before submission.

Submissions for MG, YA, NA, and Adult works will be accepted (Sorry we aren't accepting Picture books or Chapter Books this year.). Only one entry per person. Do not attempt to submit more than one entry by using different email accounts. Again, the QK family is huge. Someone will notice.


Submissions: 

The submission window will open on May 16th at 9:00 AM Eastern time and close on May 18th at Noon.

We will have email confirmation. If you don't receive it within an hour of submitting your entry, contact us via Twitter and let us know. Kontestants will be revealed on May 25th, and the tournament will kick off on June 1st.

In order to enter the contest you MUST follow formatting guidelines, and submit during the contest window. All entries that follow the follow guidelines will be considered. 

In the event that we receive more than the available 64 spots (this is highly expected), Michelle, Kara, and I will savagely attack the slush pile in attempts to build the best team. We will pick (and announce) three alternates in case a submission is disqualified.

Entries should be sent to:  QueryKombat (at) gmail (dot) com.


Formatting Guidelines: (Please follow strictly)

Font: Times New Roman (or an equivalent), 12pt font, single-spaced with spaces between each paragraph. No (I repeat: NO!) indentations.
 
Subject line of the Email: A short, unique nickname for your entry [colon] your genre (audience included). Do not skip this step or your entry will be deleted. (ex. I Fell in Love with a Ken Doll: Adult Erotica)

**If you do not have a Twitter handle, please consider getting one. We rely on it heavily for announcements, special events/prizes, and general/emergency kombatant communications. #QueryKombat is also a great source for up-to-date information.

For the nickname, make it as unique as possible so that there are no duplicates. These will be the names used in the tournament (or an abbreviated version if it's too long) so keep it PG-13 and try to have it relate to your story in some way.

In the body of the email (with examples):

Name: Michael Anthony
Email address: myboyfriendwasbittenbyashark (at) gmail (dot) com.
Twitter Handle: @RavenousRushing

Title: Eunuchs and Politics
Entry Nickname: I Fell in Love with a Ken Dahl
Word count: 75K
Genre: Adult Erotica (If Ownvoices please list here)
Query: 

Barbara B. Doll seems like a woman who has it all. From the perfect body to a hundred-million social media followers, success seemed all but assured for her. And after being elected into the U.S. Senate while on a spacewalk on Mars, the sky wasn't even the limit.

However, despite her immense successes, something seemed to be missing from her life. She could never quite pin down what it was, until she met Ken Dahl.

Ken is funny, good-looking, and may have ties to the Illuminati--all the qualities Barb looks for in a man. She is intensely drawn to his shiny hair, chiseled body, and mysterious ways. When he offers to teach her snorkling, they hit it off instantly. Everything in their relationship was perfect until Ken confesses he lost his genitalia in a freak clogging accident ten years ago. When Barb sees his techie replacement parts, she is stricken with a fearful curiosity. Ken soon introduces her the plethora of pleasures to be had with his collection of cybernetic attachment, winning her heart from the fear of uncharted sexual territory.

But then the video of Ken's clogging accident surfaces on the web and goes viral. Memes flood the internet, instantly making Ken Dahl famous. Shaken by the anticipated political fallout of being outed as his girlfriend, Barbara is face with the choice of walking away from everything she spent her life trying to achieve, or from the one thing she always felt her life was missing.

EUNUCHS AND POLITICS is adult techno-erotic romance, complete at 75,000 words. It is also not a real book. Yet.

***THIS is NOT a PITCH but your FULL QUERY. You may include greeting and closing. Comp titles may be included. No bios!!

First 250:

Words, words, and more words.

___

Do not include the chapter title.
Do not include a bio.

If the 250th word puts you in the middle of a sentence, you may go up to 258 (absolute max limit) to finish that sentence. To clarify: 258 words is the max first page word count allowed by a kontestant. 250 words are to only be exceeded if the 250th word divides a sentence.

Both Pages and Google Docs will return incorrect word counts if you use hyphens, em-dashes, or ellipses. Microsoft Word counts correctly.

Please use this site to give you an accurate word count if you are concerned about your standard word counter: https://wordcounter.net/. If you must, count by hand. Hint: A properly hyphenated word is one word. Words separated by an em-dash or ellipse are two words.

All queries submitted are FINAL. We will not edit them in any way, shape, or form. Please read, reread, and rereread your submission before you hit send. You have several weeks to polish your work. Take advantage of it. Competition will be fierce.


Host Blogs:

Because the immense amount of work ahead of us, the tournament will be hosted on three separate blogs. In order to enter the contest, you MUST follow Michael, Michelle, and Kara's blogs (Twitter is cool, too). All three blogs will host the first round and agent round. The second round will be hosted by Kara and Michelle. The third round will be hosted by Michael. The fourth round will be hosted by Michelle. The fifth round will be hosted by Michael. The final round will be hosted by Kara.

Have no fear, each blog will have links to all rounds so you will not get lost.

Agents and judges will be revealed soon.

Questions can be left in the comments or asked via Twitter and we'll answer them as quickly as possible.


Donations:

For the last five years, the QK Crew has donated thousands of hours to the sole purpose of bring the writing community together every June for a query kontest like no other. Every year since our first, our family of agents, judges, mentors, and kontestants has grown, as has our love and hopes for the tournament's legacy and family we've built. 

Please help support the QK Crew, who dedicate so many work and family hours to helping others achieve their dreams, and to bringing our beloved industry a little closer together.



Important Notices:
 
1. Disqualifications - The QK Crew reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, at any time, for any reason. That being said, the only time we will consider this option is if a kombatant does or says something to blemish the spirit of the Query Kombat Tournament, its community, or its affiliates.

 ***Agent requests for a disqualified entry will remain unreleased and be deleted.

2. Drop-outs - If an entrant drops out before the agent round, an alternate from the same team will fill the open slot. If an entrant is disqualified after the agent round, the opposing entry will automatically advance to the next round. No alternates will be substituted following the agent round.

3. Donations - Donating is strictly voluntary; it does not increase or decrease a kontestant's chances of being selected. Donating will not affect the judge's votes or agent requests. Donors will remain anonymous unless self-identified. Individuals unable or unwilling to donate will not be impacted in any way. 


Best of luck in the tournament!







Mar 9, 2018

A New Crew Member!



A letter from Laura:

After two wonderful years, I'm sorry to say that I'm not going to be able to participate in Query Kombat 2018. I adore the kontest and will be helping out behind the scenes as much as I can. Alas, my husband and I are expecting a baby! We're incredibly excited, but unfortunately, our little bundle of joy is planning to arrive about halfway between the reading period and when Round 1 starts. There's just no way for me to host this year in any way that would be remotely fair to Mike and Michelle, the judges, or you, the kontestants. I will, however, be reading and cheering you all on from the sidelines. But never fear! We have found someone ABSOLUTELY AWESOME to take my place! Mike, Michelle, and I are very excited to announce the new host for Query Kombat 2018. It's no fun to just tell you who it is, though, so we've made a game instead. 
Make sure to follow Mike (@ravenousrushing), Michelle (@michelle4laughs) and the new host so you don't miss any kontest news and announcements. You should follow Laura, too, so she doesn't get lonely (@lh_writes). She'll be tweeting as much as she can. Happy searching, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Feb 10, 2018

A Query Kombat Success!

Sorry I'm a little late posting this, Rick. Tenacity is definitely the word that comes to mind when reading your story. It is your realization that one only fails when one quits or refuses to get better that got you to this point; and it will get you further still. Congrats, mate! May this success be the first of many.
 
 -Mike
 
 
My Long and Slow Journey to Signing with My Agent
In February 2016, I watched a television show called My Strange Inheritance, where a man inherited letters between his deceased uncle’s mother and JFK. After her son, a navy seaman under JFK’s command during WWII, died during the attack on their PT boat, then Lieutenant John Kennedy wrote a letter of condolences. The woman wrote back and the two corresponded even after JFK became President of the United States. JFK helped the woman receive her Social Security payments at one point. I thought this would make a great novel, but I wrote middle grade fiction so I needed to alter the concept. It inspired me to write it from the prospective of a child whose father died in the war. The first draft was finished in two weeks and then I revised it to what I thought was query ready (boy was I wrong).  

In May 2016, I entered my manuscript into Query Kombat and was thrilled when my manuscript appeared as a selected entry into the contest on May 26, 2016. I was on Laura’s team. In the first round, my query and first 250 words was pitted against an entry that dripped with voice. I lost the first round in a landslide. That was the end. So I thought.

A few days later, while out to lunch during my day job, I received an email from Laura asking if I would like to be a host save because one of her entries received an offer. I jumped at the chance. It meant I would be included in the agent round, but I would not be competing in any further rounds. The benefit of being the host save is that the agent requests would be available for me to see and respond to while the other rounds were still ongoing. I was blown away to receive 11 requests from Query Kombat, one of the requests being from Caitlen from LKG. That was it. I would surely get at least one agent offer from one of the 11 requests. So I thought. I was so wrong.

Over time, my requests came back as rejections. I entered my manuscript into Pitch Wars 2016, and was not picked, but two great things came out of it. First, one of the mentors, I knew from a Facebook group, agreed to be an unofficial mentor to me. Secondly, the mentor and her partner suggested that two other writers and I explore becoming critique partners. The three of us connected by email and hit it off. I was so lucky to gain two critique partners who wrote such beautiful prose; especially since my writing was more like cave drawings than their poetry. After working with the Pitch Wars mentor and my critique partners, I was ready to query again. I received a fair amount of full requests from agents, but they all passed. One agent who passed took the time to give me valuable feedback. I revised again, taking my manuscript from 34,000 words to over 50,000 words, adding prose chapters to my epistolary novel.

I was ready to query again. Still I received more full requests, which ended in rejections but I did receive an R&R from an agent. I revised again and sent it back. She liked the changes but I missed the mark so she gave me further feedback, which led me to revise yet again.
On October 31, 2017, I decided to query Lauren Galit from LKG Agency. Even though Caitlen from LKG Agency requested and passed on my manuscript from Query Kombat, I reasoned it was practically a completely different manuscript (which it was) and there was nothing saying they were a one and done agency—that you cannot query another agent from the same agency after a pass.
I watched the data explorer on Query Tracker for Lauren and noticed that she responded quickly when she requested more of a manuscript. A few queries that were sent after mine received full requests after just one day while the date of my query slipped further and further away. That was it; it had to be a pass. So I thought.

On November 29, 2017, Lauren requested the full manuscript, which I sent the same day. On December 14, 2017, I received an email from Lauren requesting a telephone call. I was thrilled. After all this time, this was it. So I thought.

On December 15, 2017, after a night with almost no sleep due to nerves, I took a call from Lauren. She said Caitlen remembered my manuscript from when I submitted it during Query Kombat and noticed how much different it was. Lauren was such a pleasant person and had such great things to say about my manuscript but also pointed out its flaws. I agreed with all the changes that Lauren suggested. Her comments and advice were well thought out and resonated with me, so when she asked for an R&R for one chapter to see how I handled the revision, I jumped on the opportunity, hoping the R&R was not a slow no.

I worked over the weekend revising two chapters and writing a completely new scene that Lauren suggested. On December 18, 2017, I sent the revision to Lauren. On December 20, 2017, Lauren sent a second email saying she liked the revision and wanted to set up another call. This was it; it had to be an offer, right? Or so I thought. This time my thought was correct, because on December 21, 2017, I took my second call from Lauren and it was an offer of representation. Since it was close to the holidays, Lauren gave me two weeks to hear back from the three agents that still had my manuscript. On January 2, 2018, I emailed Lauren and accepted her offer.   

It was a long, slow journey,  in which I tried to give up on my manuscript several times, but due to encouragement from my critique partners and constructive feedback from rejecting agents at just the right time, I did not give up and have a terrific agent as a result. I could not have done it without Laura, Michelle, and Michael from Query Kombat who started the journey with me and for all the help from friends along the way.  
  

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Rick Wheeler lives in Northern California in a multigenerational household. When he is not writing middle grade fiction, he works with at risk youth as a Deputy Probation Officer. He enjoys listening to classic rock, hanging out with his dog, and having tea parties with his granddaughters, not necessarily in that order.  
Follow Rick on Twitter @eswheeler1992.