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Sharpen Your Pencils (Another Big Contest is Coming!) already know to enter the below contest to win an early copy of The One That I Want. BUT, I actually have something MUCH MORE exciting to announce. This contest isn't up quite yet, but it requires some forewarning.

Why's that? Because come the last few days of May and into early June, my FABULOUS agent, Elisabeth Weed is going to be opening up her inbox to your queries AND your first chapter. She will guarantee that she reads your submission (w/your chapter, which is much more of an opening than most agents give you) with a proof of purchase of The One That I Want within the first four days that it's on sale. (Pre-orders count too, so if you've bought it or want to buy it, um, now, go ahead and do it.) You'll have the month of June to get it to her. (And this just in: a wonderful, wonderful review from Chick Lit Club, calling it, "A beautifully written story about the dreams of the future and the reality of what happens when those dreams are shattered. My favorite book so far this year, and a definite must-read.") Wow! 

So why tell you now? Because I don't want you guys sending in half-assed query letters and manuscripts. I've raved about Elisabeth - oh, what, COUNTLESS - times here, and I think this is truly an incredibly opportunity to grab the attention of one of the best agents in the business. And I don't want you to screw it up. :) Seriously, Elisabeth and I have worked together since my debut novel, and as I always say here on the blog, your agent should be your biggest advocate, and if you're fortunate enough to have her as yours, you're in real luck. So again, this is a great opportunity for you to get an assured closer look at your work and NOT to be headed toward the slush pile sight-unseen or at least sight-barely read. Why now? Why her? She'll chime in below but she really does take a close look at referrals and at folks who read my work - I've referred her at least five, and I think more, clients - so she's always open to smart, good work that fits her wheelhouse.

You've been given some advanced notice...go dive back into your manuscripts, and come June, I'm hoping this pays off for a good number of you!

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Reader Comments (31)

This might be a dumb question, but do kindle purchases of the book count as welll?

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

Hi Meghan,

Not dumb at all! Yep, no prob - kindle, audio, any format is great.


May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Winn Scotch

Thanks Allison! What a great opportunity!!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Do we have to have the manuscript finished? Or if not finished, how far in should we be? I'd love to take advantage of this opportunity but I'm not sure I've written enough yet...Or I don't suppose there's any chance of a "rain check" read at a later date?

Thanks so much!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristen


I'm sure that Elisabeth can find a way to accomodate you, as her primary concern is finding great matches for her stable. She's going to weigh in here a bit later, and I'm sure can advise you. Also, she and I will iron out the exact details and post them in a few weeks, but you are absolutely right to take your time and get it right, so that is a great instinct.


May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Winn Scotch

Hi All!

I just wanted to chime in and say that I am really excited about this contest. While of course I want you to buy Allison's book, this contest is doubly selfish on my part because many readers off Allison's blog have actually become clients with books I've sold. Actually, I'd like to name them here, and if I am forgetting anyone, because Allison is a rainmaker, please pipe up! Therese Walsh, Sarah Jio, Camille Noe Pagan and Dara Chadwick.

And Kristen, rain check away!

All best,


May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth Weed

Wow, what a great opportunity!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz H Allen

How have I not found you before now!! Thankfully I follow you on Facebook. I'm gonna love this blog, I know it. Now please, please tell me you love chocolate? If so, then we'll be besties I'm sure :)

I have partials out right now, but how can I not send to Elisabeth especially after such a rave review :) Thanks for this awesome opportunity.


May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteena Holmes

I found you through Steena (comment above) and WOW. What a fabulous opportunity!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandyland

What an awesome contest and a great opportunity! Thanks Elizabeth and Allison.

I would love to participate but I am only 12k words in on my novel. If you decide to allow those of us who aren't finished with our manuscripts to participate, I will definitely send a query and my first chapter (I have already pre-ordered TOTIW so at least I have accomplished that!).

And congratulations on a great review from Chick Lit Club :)

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertracey garvis graves

Ummm, excuse me! But this is the most awesome giveaway EVER! A chance to be read by an excellent agent!

One question: Does the chapter have to come from a completed work, or can it be one in progress? Thanks Alison, for a wonderful opportunity!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Allison/Elisabeth -- Thank you for this awesome opportunity. I went directly to Amazon and pre-ordered!

Elisabeth -- I have last edits to do on two books, one is women's fiction and the other is a mystery. It looks like from your current clients that you would probably prefer the women's fiction, correct? Your website says you do not accept attachments so I am not sure how to send the first chapter. But then, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself and instructions are coming soon?

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCindy A

Hello Allison,
I learned about your blog through Steena Holmes. FWIW, you have some interesting posts here. Although the agent query is a wonderful opportunity, I am concerned about the timing. Since I am three chapters away from completing the first draft of my novel, I am hesitant about submitting work before it is ready. Should I throw caution to the wind and send a chapter anyway? If nothing else I would get some useful feedback. My only question is would I be burning a bridge if Elisabeth Weed doesn't like my work? I've been told most authors only get one chance per agent. Any suggestions?

All the best

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Franco-Cook

Hi guys,

I'm so thrilled at your enthusiasm! I always say that my agent's success is my own success, and I truly hope that Elisabeth (and you guys!) find a few good matches here. Don't worry - I'll post more specific logistics in about two weeks - and I'll be sure to tell Elisabeth to come answer these specific questions - but I'm certain that she'd honor reading the first chapter when it's finally ready, even if it's not within the two months, as long as you've supported the contest/book within the deadline date. The most important thing that I always tell writers is to WAIT until you're ready to submit, so please don't forget that just because of our little contest!!( Andrea, definitely don't submit before you're ready. Even if you don't buy a copy, I'd rather that you do it right - for yourself!) :)


May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Winn Scotch

For this contest, you can ignore the normal rules of the Weed Literary submission process and send the one chapter as an attachment along with your query to

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth Weed

This sounds like a lot of fun--I'm in! Dusting off my fiction projects. Oh, I better get crackin'!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanene Mascarella

What a great deal! Because your book sounds wonderful, and well, having an agent take a look at my book sounds pretty darn appealing. And, at the very least, I get a good book to read? Off I go to Amazon!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter--Deb

This is such a great opportunity! Thanks so much Allison and Elisabeth!!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErika Robuck

(Oh, and yes, I DID pre-order the book. It looks wonderful.)

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter--Deb

I'm hoping to use that rain check when I'm good and ready. Thank you for creating such a great opportunity for your fans!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNina Badzin

What an awesome opportunity! I was planning on buying the book anyway, but this is an amazing bonus! Thank you both!!!

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Lindsey

What a fun contest idea! :)

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Jio

Would recommend that one of the contest rules be that submissions must come from those with completed manuscripts. There are several people asking to send an unfinished ms, which means they aren't ready to submit to an agent yet.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCindy A

I've revised my mss based on some specific agent feedback - but before that - Elisabeth had already rejected it. I'd assume I am not eligible (doesn't mean I'm not planning to buy the book) - but I just want to make sure.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy sue nathan

Hey guys,

I'm so excited by everyone's enthusiasm! I want to be clear though that the credit goes to Elisabeth: she's genuinely looking for new talent, so came up with this idea. Which shows how generous she is as an agent.

Amy - I'll direct her back here because I don't know the answer to that question.

Thanks again guys! We're going to officially kick this off in two weeks!

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Winn Scotch

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