Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why I Love Miss Snark's First Victim

**Correction: Authoress is actually Miss Snark's First Victim. My mistake. :) **

I'm supposed to be pounding out thousands of words so I can catch up (or at least not fall farther behind) on NaNoWriMo... so, of course, this is the perfect time to blog.

But I'll make it fast. Really. Maybe.

I've been very, VERY impressed lately by the blog Miss Snark's First Victim, run by the anonymous Authoress.
Isn't she lovely?

I've been following her for many months, and the wonders she is doing for aspiring writers continues to inspire me. She has regular critique sessions, where her loyal fans submit various sections of their work for general critique. She has regular "Secret Agent" contests, where actual anonymous agents come by to peruse a certain capped number of entries, comment, and request material from the winners. (The agents are announced at the end.)

Lately, though, she's been running [around like a headless chicken to run] her second (?) annual Baker's Dozen Auction. Over the last couple weeks, she's been logging entries for this massive undertaking--capped at, I believe, 350 for YA/MG and somewhere around 250 (total guess) for adult books (because there weren't enough adult entries, they gave the extras to the YA/MG category).

Once the entries were received, she and author Jodi Meadows started reading slush. The goal is to whittle each category down to 25 entrants.

Those 25 entrants will then get to participate in a massive auction where, if I understand it right, lots of agents will look over the entries and place bids (Gimme 5 pages!, 50 pages!, Full!) on the ones they like and want to see more of. That's 50 potential wanna-be authors who will have an excellent chance of finding an agent during this contest.

Miss Snark's blog has already logged 30 success stories--and she admits she hasn't even covered them all.

All this while striving to become a professional author herself. She announced several months back that she has an agent and may someday unveil herself and start marketing, but for now, few know who she really is.

I can't think of the most impressive thing about all this, because I'm thoroughly impressed by everything I've seen. Though she finally broke down and charged ($8!!!) to participate in the Baker's Dozen contest this year, everything else on her blog is completely free. That's thousands of hours she's just giving away to help others. She even has a portion of the entry fees earmarked to donate YA books to her local library.

And on top of everything, she's amazingly humble. It would be so easy for her to feel entitled, and to demand payback from karma, or worship from her growing legion of fans. Not so.

On November 1st, when hundreds of Baker's Dozen wanna-be entrants visited her web form to submit their entries, the payment link hadn't been set up. She had to cancel scores of entries and start all over again. The response from her fans was very positive. No one yelled, griped, or swore. Even those who wouldn't make the next window were gracious. Miss Snark still agonized over her mistake and, the next day, lovingly expressed her gratitude for grace.

How can we not love her?

**Note: I actually made it into the YA/MG Baker's Dozen slush pile. (Twice.) I'm waiting on tenterhooks to see if I'll make the cut for the actual auction. Still--should Miss Snark stumble by (and, yes, I'm tweeting about this post, and mentioning her) I want it to be clear that I do NOT expect special treatment. If I don't make the cut, I will still adore her blog. Adoration would be a fickle thing indeed if it were so easily killed.

So head on over and check her out. You'll thank me later... or you would if you weren't going to be too busy thanking Authoress. :)

Have you been impressed by any other blogs that help aspiring authors?


  1. Ooh, best of luck!! She is a charmer, isn't she? I haven't stopped by her blog, recently. I used to be a loyal follower, even got picked as a top of of one of her first 100 words contests. But I follow so many peeps, now. Hard to keep up. I really need to devise a better tracking system.

  2. Haha...just read my comment. Apparently, I stuttered.

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  4. Best of luck to you! And yes, her blog is fantastic. She graciously helps out many aspiring authors. I hope she reveals her identity one day. :)

  5. Wow, I hadn't heard of her. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Salarsen: I put all my favorite blogs in my sidebar so I can scan post titles and visit the ones that strike my fancy. Even so, I still miss excellent posts if I wait too long between visits. :( Also, I didn't notice your stutter until you pointed it out. ;)

    Tina: no kidding! How can we properly worship her if we don't know her true name?

    Donna: my apologies for not telling you about her sooner. #badfriendnocookie

  7. Damn, I wished I'd known about all this before. I could have entered the adult contest.

  8. Sorry, Nancy! I should have mentioned it, but the end of October was muy stressful! *vows to do better*