Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wanted Posters Contest: Because Wouldn't That Make Querying Easier?!

So, I've been thinking. (**A dangerous pastime. I know.)

I've been thinking about a couple of systems which are inherently flawed.

They are the querying and submission processes--the systems which stand between us and publication. (unless, of course, we take a different route altogether--which is a whole 'nother blog post!)

The idea of cold-querying a million agents, one by one, without knowing what kind of project they really want to work on, is, in a word, crazy.

I mean, sure they say on their website that they like YA fantasy. But would they like a contemporary YA fairy tale where the main character's friends turn into talking inanimate objects? (I don't know how to make that last sentence not be an oxymoron. LOL) Maybe, maybe not.

We do a ton of work in order to query agents who probably aren't a good fit. We have no way of knowing, at any point, if our novel (or PB) is going to match up perfectly with what an agent is looking to represent, right then.

And, then, agents do this whole process again, submitting to publishers. Hopefully, agents have an idea of what a particular publishing house is looking for at any given point in time, but really, it seems like a shot in the dark. :)

I know, agents and publishers probably don't know exactly what they are looking for until they see it.

But, wouldn't it be great if they did?


A magical novel for the age gap between PB and MG, featuring talking stuffed animals. Must make children belly-laugh, and must have tons of heart.

(Seriously, have you guys read TOYS GO OUT and TOYS COME HOME? So awesomely sweet!)


A fantastical adventure featuring a no-nonsense twelve-year-old girl, whose job is to keep the peace when quarrels and fights erupt in magical lands. Must include cantankerous unicorns and Prince Charming as a lamb.


A YA novel featuring a headstrong girl who wishes only to be surgically altered into being pretty on her sixteenth birthday. You know, like everyone else. Must make her choose between her deepest desire, and the survival of her friends.

Pretty cool, huh?

So, should we have some fun??!!

(What kind of question is that??)

Your challenge, should you chose to accept it, is to create your own wanted poster. With a Want Ad which reads vaguely like a query (see examples above).

You CAN use a book already published by another author (like I did above), but how awesome would it be to use a book which you are interested in querying, or a book of yours which is coming out soon? So awesome!

Here is the site I used to make my Wanted Posters:


Here's how you do it:

1. Create a Wanted Poster and Want Ad. Feel free to use the link above, or not. Creativity Matters.
2. Post your creation on your blog or website, with a link back to my blog. Feel free to include the Linky List on your blog post.
3. Enter your link in the linky list below.
4. Do this, before the contest ends Friday, February 17th at midnight EST.

That's really it. But there are some extras:

5. +1 Extra credit for following this blog, tweeting the contest, or figuring out what movie the **quote is from above (there is a clue within the blog post).
6. +10 Extra credit for GETTING AN AGENT OR PUBLISHER TO POST A WANT AD. (Because wouldn't that make querying easier?!)
7. Make sure to leave me a comment here stating your total points for extra credit.


The BEST Want Ad and Wanted Poster created by a writer, will earn them their choice of book from the three wanted posters above OR any other books featured in a WANT AD on this blog during the course of the challenge (if you want your published book featured as a prize, please email me).

The BEST Want Ad and Wanted Poster created by an agent or publisher will earn them queries which fit their deepest desire. :)

Sigh, I can't go a couple of months without creating a convoluted and crazy contest, now can I?

Follow the tweets: I'm using the hashtag #WantedPosterContest to give love to all the entries!


  1. Oh my gosh, sounds like so much fun! I think I'll enter once I get an idea :)

  2. I think this is brilliant! Even though my first novel is just past its baby stages of first draft, I think I am going to try to do this with that book in mind. What fun!!

    Thanks for such a fun contest!

  3. What a cute idea! Your posters were adorable. I don't know if my computer skills are up to the challenge, but I'll enjoy looking at the entries.
    Have a great week.

  4. @Jess--I'm glad you're excited.

    I have to figure out how to get cover art for my book which doesn't exist in print yet. LOL. Maybe I'll ask Jon to help. Oh, there he is!

    @J--Hey! Glad you're enthused. :) (see above comment...)

    @Nicole--So glad you're going to try it out!

    @Nadja--My computer skills are horrific. If I could create three of these in like 10 minutes, ANYONE could. And I mean, ANYONE! :) Thanks for the support!

  5. This is an adorable idea. Let me make sure I have a creative poster in mind before I sign up!!!

  6. What a great idea for a contest, Heather! I'm overwhelmed with everything on my plate right now, but if I can catch up on things, I'd love to enter this contest. I love doing things like this, tech challenged as I am! I'll tweet about it.

  7. What about a book you hate, that you really would like to see hog-tied and dragged to its death behind some bounty-hunter's horse? Could you make a want ad for that?

  8. @Kelly--Of course--that's why I gave everyone a couple of weeks. It's hard to be creative on the spot! The contest will be here, when you're ready!

    @Lynn--Thanks for the tweet! I hope you are feeling less overwhelmed by things--let me know if I can take anything off your plate.

    @Ray--You could ABSOLUTELY make a want ad for that. :) I'd like to see it.