Monday, January 4, 2016

Pass or Pages Official Contest Rules and Agent Panel

We hope our teaser post in December got you excited about Pass or Pages, a new query contest from Operation Awesome.

This contest features feedback on queries and first pages from a panel of agents. Before jumping into the rules, let's meet our panel of judges!

Caitie Flum, Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency
Caitie Flum joined Liza Dawson Associates in July 2014 as assistant and audio rights manager. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2009 with a BA in English with a concentration in publishing studies. Caitie interned at Hachette Book Group and Writers House. She was an Editorial Assistant then Coordinator for Bookspan, where she worked on several clubs including the Book-of-the-Month Club, The Good Cook, and the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club.

Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group
Mark Gottlieb’s focus on publishing began at Emerson College, where he was a founding member of the Publishing Club, later its President, overseeing its first publication and establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature and publishing, Mark began his career with the Vice President of Berkley Books (Penguin), working with leading editors.
His first position at the Trident Media Group literary agency was in foreign rights, selling the books of clients around the world. Mark later worked as Executive Assistant to Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident, with responsibility for organizing/managing diverse authors and their complex business transactions. He next assumed the position of audio rights agent. Since Mark has managed the audio rights business, the annual sales volume has more than doubled. Mark showed great initiative and insight in identifying talented writers.
In passing the Audio Department's torch, Mark is building his own client list of writers. He is excited to work directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available to Trident. Since that time he has ranked as high as #1 in Agents on in Overall Deals.

Lisa Abellera, Kimberley Cameron & Associates
Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. She has studied creative writing, design and business, earning her B.A. in Strategic Management from Dominican University of CA and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco. 
Lisa had a successful career in the corporate world before joining the world of publishing. After editorial internships with an independent press and Kimberley Cameron & Associates, she now follows her true passion for books and writing. She leverages her business and marketing expertise to help authors navigate the complexities of publishing. She is excited to develop talented authors and help advance their careers.
She is actively building her client list with both debut and established authors. She is looking to form long-term, collaborative relationships with writers who are committed to putting forth their best work.

Dr. Uwe Stender, Triada US Literary Agency
Literary Agent Dr. Uwe Stender is a Full Member of the AAR (Association of Authors' Representatives). He is interested in all kinds of commercial fiction, especially Young Adult, Middle Grade, Mysteries, and Women's Fiction. He is also interested in all kinds of non-fiction projects. But surprise him, his tastes are eclectic, and he may just love what you wrote!
His favorite five novels right now are: Eleanor And Park, How It Went Down, Code Name Verity, High Fidelity, and The Big Sleep.

Contest Rules:
For this round of Pass or Pages we will only be accepting Adult Mysteries/Thrillers. For future rounds we will feature other genres/categories.
So if you've written a mystery or thriller for adults, and it's complete and polished, read on!

This contest is for people looking for feedback on their query letter and first page. It would be ideal for someone who is about to start the query process, or who has already begun but isn't getting requests for more pages.

On January 11th at 7am EST we'll open the submission window. You'll fill out a form here on the blog with all the pertinent information (contact info for us, query and first 250 words for the agents). Please stay under the 250 word limit for the first page--going over 250 words will cause your entry to be disqualified. The submission form will be live until the end of the day January 13th. Please don't "personalize" the query for the agents or include your bio paragraph, but other than that, treat it as you would a normal query letter. Include your manuscript's word count and title in your query. Comp titles are welcome if you were planning on using them in your regular query letter.

You are welcome to enter any other query contest (such as Sun vs Snow) whether or not you are chosen for our feedback panel.

A random selector tool will choose five entries to be given to the agents. Operation Awesome reserves the right to disqualify entries if they don't fall within the genre guidelines, or if they fail to follow any of the other rules. Romantic Suspense will not be included in our definition of Mystery/Thriller for the purpose of this contest. Entrants selected for agent feedback will be informed by January 15th.

The winning entries with agent commentary will be posted on Operation Awesome the week of January 25th, one entry each day. If you aren't comfortable with having your entry (which will be anonymous) shared on the blog, please don't enter Pass or Pages!

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments or feel free to tweet @reynoldstribe.


  1. Looks like a great contest. Shared. :)

  2. Shared on my writer Facebook group. Great idea!

  3. Is it for only one ms or more than one?

  4. Looks like a great contest. I hope you do one for women's fiction soon!

  5. Looks awesome! Will you be doing another contest for the crime genre down the road, or can I bend the rules enough to enter this one, lol?

    1. Not true crime--if it's non-fiction, it's not a fit for the contest. But a crime thriller or suspense novel would be okay.


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