November 7th, 2013
*****Final Contest Update*****
Congratulations to First Prize Winner Melissa Burch! Though “mini” in length, her proposal had volumes of depth and intrigue.
Sincere congrats to Second Prize: Kase Johnstun and Third: James Stolen!
Given the range of both sub-genres and subject matter, this installment was especially difficult to judge. Non-fiction is deeply personal, so we thank all who entered. Best of luck in developing your mini proposals into the full versions you’ll eventually send out into the world.
When it’s warm again, check back here for the next installment of the Vivid Voices Contest.
As many of you know, The Friedrich Agency hosts a bi-annual contest series called Vivid Voices, which focuses on a different genre for each installment. With NaNoWriMo well underway, all you Non-Fiction writers must feel left out! We’re excited to announce the first ever call for non-fiction proposals.
For each fiction contest, we ask for the first 500 words of the novel and a brief synopsis placing it in larger context. BUT now that we are shifting focus for this round, the guidelines must shift accordingly. We ask all contest participants to submit a “micro-proposal” (our term!) that answers the following 5 questions, keeping each answer to one paragraph (and manageable paragraphs please, not giant lumps under the guise of paragraphs!).
1.) Describe the concept of your book–covering central topic, argument, or narrative where applicable.
2.) Present the marketing analysis for such a book– competitive titles, and a persuasive discussion of the hunger for your particular angle.
3.) Tell us why you, specifically, are uniquely qualified or necessary to the project.
4.) Elaborate on any relevant experience you have, promotional connections, or previous writing credits.
5.) Please share the first paragraph of actual writing as a sample of your style to be expected in the book itself.
Submissions are due on Monday, December 2nd, 2013, and should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5pm EST. Winners will be announced Friday, December 6th. One first prize winner will receive a detailed critique of their entire complete proposal. Second prize will have a choice of any two hardcover or paperback books from our list, and third prize will be offered a thorough critique of their official query letter.
Whether or not your concept and presentation resonates with us, we believe that this exercise of boiling your project down to its essential components WILL be useful to you as you plow ahead with these ambitious projects! November is yours, too Truth Tellers! Good luck to all.
August 2nd, 2013
Following the tremendous talent that we witnessed in our last Vivid Voices Contest (The NaNoWriMoCo in December) we couldn’t be more excited to call forth new submissions for a brand new installment of this contest series. Since ThrillerFest is freshly concluded, we’re hoping you’ve been polishing those suspense manuscripts to perfection, because this time we’re in the mood to be scared!
The guidelines, for the most part, are similar to the past two contests: an entry consists of the first 500 words of your novel (yes, we are asking for fiction only) OR short story (if and only if that story is part of a suspense-themed collection which is complete), along with your full name, working title of the submission, and confirmation that the project is not under consideration at another agency at this time.
In this installment, we are adding an additional guideline. After your first 500 words, please include 2-3 paragraphs describing the complete project. We know you’re thinking, “But isn’t this whole contest concept really about focusing on JUST the voice and writing?” Yes, this remains our goal. However, since the 1st prize winner will receive a full manuscript evaluation, we’ll be taking a closer look at the finalists to determine not only who has a strong and compelling voice, but also a concept that we can be just as excited about. We will always read the 500 words FIRST.
These materials, when compiled, should be emailed to vividvoicescontest (at) gmail (dot) com, no later than 5pm Eastern Standard Time on August 12th. We will announce winners on Friday August 16th at noon. Prizes are as follows:
1st Place: Full manuscript evaluation by agent Lucy Carson
2nd Place: Query evaluation and a complimentary hardcover copy of the agency title of your choice.
3rd Place: Query evaluation (and our congrats!)
A helpful tip: Many suspense writers like to incorporate a prologue into their narrative. If you chose to include a prologue, you are eligible to use the first 500 words of your narrative (meaning AFTER that prologue) instead, if you wish. We encourage you to think about whether the prologue is indicative of the novel’s essence before you include it. Some prologues are narrated by the killer, or have an outside perspective that might not be the ideal sample of your novel. Please use your best judgment!
We welcome suspense of any kind, including novels that bend the genre, or overlap with other distinct genres (i.e. romantic suspense, YA suspense, psychological suspense, etc). We won’t be strict about our definitions, but we want to be on the edge of our reading seats! Best of luck, and please use the comment space below to ask any questions beforehand.
*****Final Contest Update******
Congratulations to First Prize Winner Karen Catalona, with an enthralling excerpt of her novel THE WATCHERS!!!
And another heart-felt congratulations to both Runners-Up
Steven Axelrod and Catherine Lawrence!!
We were thrilled (pun, always intended) by the immense range of sub-genres and styles in this installment of Vivid Voices. It’s truly impressive how many of you kept us on the edge of our seats, in only 500 words! Thank you to all who entered and please look out for the next installment of the Vivid Voices Contest.
November 6th, 2012
Wait, what is this “Co”? Are we incorporating the month of November? Perhaps it makes more sense this way: NaNoWriMoCo(ntest). Join us!
We didn’t just add a syllable…we’ve added an extra incentive!
The Friedrich Agency is excited to announce our very own NaNoWriMoCo(ntest), an off-shoot of our Vivid Voices Contest series, which launched its first installment last June. We love NaNoWriMo’s seat-of-your-pants enthusiasm and want to offer every courageous writer even more motivation to get to 50,000 words.
Once you’ve “won” NaNoWriMo (i.e. achieved your goal), send your opening 3 paragraphs or 500 words to vividvoicescontest (at) gmail (dot) com, along with your full name, the working title of your manuscript, and a confirmation that it is not currently represented or being read by other agents.
The deadline to submit is Monday, December 3rd and this contest is open to any FICTION genre, as long as the author is a NaNoWriMo winner. We love non-fiction too, but for the purposes of this contest, we’re sticking by NaNoWriMo’s definition of a “novel as a lengthy work of fiction.”
On Friday, December 7th we will announce one first prize winner of the complete manuscript evaluation as well as one runner-up to receive a free copy of a current frontlist hardcover (of your choice!). Oh, and we also often request manuscripts that didn’t win, but DID intrigue! **Edit: The winner may submit his or her manuscript for the prize of full evaluation once it’s complete, whenever that may be.**
Now, get off the internet and go write! The clock is ticking, and we can’t wait to see what December 3rd shall bring of your heroic efforts! Happy writing.
*****Final Contest Update******
Congratulations to First Prize Winner Ashley Laster, with an astounding excerpt of her novel SHADES AND SHADOWS!!!
And another heart-felt congratulations to Runner-Up
Mary Rath for PRINCE OF DUSK!
We could not have been more impressed by the range and polish of these excerpts, written in just one month. It’s truly incredible what can happen when talented writers sit down with a goal! Thank you to all who entered and keep an eye out for the next installment of the Vivid Voices Contest.
October 5th, 2012
Remember back in 2010, when we announced the wonderful George Dawes Green’s latest literary adventure, The Unchained Tour? We’re beyond proud to tell you that this has certainly proved to be The-Little-Bus-that-Could! In the past couple of years, The Unchained Tour has become one of the most beloved and celebrated storytelling programs in the United States, specifically down South wherein this brilliant idea took root. To remind: The Unchained Tour is an offshoot of the 2010 Peabody Award winning storytelling organization, The Moth, which George founded back in 1997. The Unchained Tour is an effort to take these stories on the road; it exists to remind cities that it’s their local bookstores, nights of storytelling, and support of all things local, that contribute to the true heart of their communities. Perhaps this is why the most recent Unchained Tour route was heart-shaped!!
This past September, the ‘72 Bluebird school bus embarked on its THIRD triumphant tour. This year’s troupe of amazing raconteurs included the world-renowned, prize-winning author of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and CORALINE, Neil Gaiman, Savannah-born playwright and native favorite to The Moth, Edgar Oliver, and of course our very own George Dawes Green.
American journalist and former editor-in-chief of French Vogue, Joan Juliet Buck, was among the raconteurs for the tour back in 2011. She writes about this life-altering experience in her wonderfully vivid piece, “A Bus Called Wanda”, which just ran this past September in The New York Times. Thanks to Ms. Buck, the word about this terrific endeavor is now reaching beyond Southern state borders.
We could not dream of a more worthwhile pursuit and simply cannot WAIT until that beautiful blue bus comes a-sputtering down our city streets!
Check out The Unchained Tour’s heartfelt promotional video here!
(This Unchained Update brought to you by Molly Schulman)
June 5th, 2012
The Friedrich Agency has decided to periodically call for submissions to a new kind of contest that we’re dubbing “Vivid Voices.” With a few months’ interval between each installment, Vivid Voices will focus on a specific genre of literature, and invite all participants to send the opening 3 paragraphs (OR the opening 500 words, whichever is more substantial) of their project for the chance to “win” a full length evaluation of the complete manuscript. Only submissions in the genre specified will be considered, and no manuscript currently on submission will be eligible.
For our inaugural contest, which begins TODAY and ends MONDAY JUNE 11th, our genre for submissions is Young Adult.
Here’s how to enter!
Send your opening 3 paragraphs (or 500 words) to vividvoicescontest (at) gmail dot com, along with your full name, the working title of your manuscript, and a confirmation that it is not currently represented or being read by other agents.
One winner will be selected by FRIDAY June 15th for the complete manuscript submission and evaluation, and one runner up will be selected to receive a free copy of one of our current frontlist hardcovers (we’ll give you the choice!).
Nota Bene: your submission will not be considered if you send more than the specified length, email us at a different address, or ignore the guidelines above.
We welcome your Vivid Voices!
December 22nd, 2011
Don’t worry, we’re not about to shout-out to our authors via reindeer naming, as St. Nick does in this classic rhyme. On the other hand, the past two weeks have brought us various bits of wonderful news that bears announcing– what better time than on the night we bid a (professional) farewell to 2011?
You may have seen the press releases for “World Book Night”– an exciting event which will take place next year on Shakespeare’s birthday: April 23rd. On this day alone, made possible by the collaborative efforts of publishers, authors, and 50,000 volunteers…ONE MILLION BOOKS WILL BE GIVEN AWAY. A panel of bookseller and librarians have chosen only 30 titles– each of which will be printed in a special edition for this particular purpose. The goal of this day is to reach out to readers who may need a free book to get their reading muscle back in shape. It was a massive success in the UK, and we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that PEACE LIKE A RIVER (by Leif Enger) and Q IS FOR QUARRY (by Sue Grafton) are among the 30 chosen!
In other news:
Judy Blundell, whose latest book is written under her frequent penname “Jude Watson” has landed on the Indie Bestseller List with her contribution to the 39 Clues series, A KING’S RANSOM! Originally reported by our friends over at GalleyCat. Congrats, Judy!
Bo Caldwell’s second novel, THE CITY OF TRANQUIL LIGHT, has won the INSPY award for literature that grapples with expressions of Christian faith. Congrats to Bo! And you can read further here.
Alison Espach made two Best of 2011 lists for her debut novel, published last March, THE ADULTS! Wall Street Journal included it in their Top Ten Fiction and Library Journal chose the audiobook version of it for their list! Hooray!
Sheri Holman has a double-whammy of lists as well– her latest novel WITCHES ON THE ROAD TONIGHT was honored by both the Boston Globe and the Toronto Globe and Mail for their round-ups of best fiction from this year. Some fierce competitors this year!
And the folks over at Bookpage (who, let it be said, really do know their stuff) honored two of this year’s debut authors from our stable. David Rowell, for his novel THE TRAIN OF SMALL MERCIES, is included in a phenomenal group of selected “Best Titles” and…
Haley Tanner, the author of VACLAV & LENA, shares visual real estate with the colorful array of “Best Book Jackets”. Bookpage, we like your style!
To all of those reading, we here at The Friedrich Agency send you our warmest wishes for a happy, healthy and literary holiday season!
(And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap…)
July 1st, 2011
To buy these suspenseful summer sequels! Whoever said Book #2 in a series paled in comparison to the first hasn’t had the good fortune to read John Verdon and Joseph Finder. What better way to ring in Summertime than with a decapitated bride (SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT) and a teenage girl who’s been buried alive (BURIED SECRETS)?? Whether you prefer your suspense in the form of an intricate and mind-bending puzzle OR in twisting, deftly-plotted adventure– we’ve got your Summer order here.
John Verdon, whose debut novel THINK OF A NUMBER (currently a finalist for the 2011 Nero Award), returns with retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney at the helm in his forthcoming thriller (out July 12th!), SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT. Gurney is lured into yet another wildly gripping case, this time being faced with the severed head of a blushing young bride, newly wed to an eminent psychiatrist in their very own back yard, at their very own wedding. Gurney is reluctantly, though irresistibly, drawn in, quickly being buffeted by a series of revelations that transform the bizarrely monstrous into the monstrously bizarre. Open Letters Monthly canonizes Verdon along with classic thriller authors Robert Ludlum and Jack Higgins, calling Verdon “as good as it gets”. And Library Journal bestows SHUT with a big red star, calling it [a book with] “absorbing complications, perfect pacing… a must-read for thriller fans who enjoy tales that are not only gripping but believable.”
Also back on the job is Nick Heller, the tough-as-nails, high-powered intelligence investigator Finder introduced us to in his 2009 New York Times bestselling VANISHED. Another second-in-the-series stunner, Finder’s BURIED SECRETS begins when a teenage girl meets a handsome stranger in a bar…He offers her a lift home, and she ends up buried alive in a coffin 10 feet underground. In a tremendous high-wire act, Heller attempts to crack the double mysteries of the daughter’s whereabouts and of what the girl’s father may be hiding. Jeff Ayers of The Associated Press calls BURIED SECRETS a “page-turning suspense” and another well-earned star from Library Journal, “Finder’s outstanding writing and engrossing plot twists embellish a captivating summer read.” (We told you!) See the gripping book trailer HERE!
So, everyone it’s time to slip on those flip flops and sun hats. Kick back, enjoy those fireworks…and brace yourself.
Oh, and use sunscreen!
June 3rd, 2011
Summer is almost upon us, but why stock up on James Patterson for your beach trip when you could DISCOVER two fresh new voices?? Whether you’re in the mood for an entrancing, poignant love story or a hilarious and inspiring memoir, we’ve got the skinny on what’s happening in the exciting world of debut summer lit!
This week has seen lots of well-deserved coverage for the debut novel VACLAV & LENA, by Haley Tanner, and for the debut memoir MY YEAR WITH ELEANOR, by Noelle Hancock. Coincidentally, both of these women are far too young to be the accomplished storytellers that they are, and their fresh perspectives will startle you into laughter, or stun you into contemplative silence (depending on the page).
But the books are distinctly different. VACLAV & LENA, published to a rave New York Times Review earlier this week, follows two Russian immigrants as they navigate ESL and a planned career in magic, growing up in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. A sudden separation wrenches the young lovebirds apart, until they are reunited as teens many years later. In dazzling, captivating prose, Haley Tanner delivers the love story into which we’d all want to insert ourselves.
In MY YEAR WITH ELEANOR, Noelle Hancock invites us to spend a year (the one prior to her 30th birthday) with her as she confronts a different fear each day, following her immediate, guttural response to an Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” This isn’t just shark cage diving and fighter piloting (although delightfully, we DO get those vicarious thrills as well), it’s also interviewing her ex-boyfriends about what went wrong, subjecting herself to Stand-Up comedy (the fear she says was the most daunting by far), and even working for a week in a funeral home. A former blogger and columnist, Noelle intersperses hilarious quips with breathtaking insight in the prose of this fresh debut. Check her out on The Today Show!
…And go buy both of these terrific books (hardcover please)!
March 9th, 2011
One of our clients forwarded us an email from a fan of hers– a 13 year-old boy who had just discovered her literature, and wanted to ask her advice about how he could get started on becoming a writer himself. Unable to hold herself back from chiming in, Molly Friedrich instantly compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts for this young writer, and although I’ve shared an abbreviated form of this list already on Twitter (#mollyslist) , I wanted to post the unabridged list here for anyone interested. Keep in mind, this advice is directed at a 13 year-old! But I think there’s something here for everyone.
l. Hang onto your name, it’s already perhaps a best-selling name.
2. Keep reading. Then pick your favorite book and actually study it. Outline it. Figure out why it’s so compelling and terrific.
3. Read all the prize-winners of the last five years, two per month, from the Booker and the Pulitzer in Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
4. Then read the four most commercial writers of fiction on the Times Best-seller List. Try to figure out how on earth they got there. If you can’t stand James Patterson, then go to his very first book, ALONG CAME A SPIDER, and figure out what must have happened to launch him into the stratosphere of sales.
5. Do three things each day which have nothing to do with literature or any sort of book. Don’t forget to have a life, so that you’ll be able to pull upon something to write about, even if radically altered.
6. Read Michael Greenberg’s collection about the life of the free-lance writer, BEG, BORROW, STEAL. Brace yourself.
7. Stay away from social networking, Facebook, twittering, blogging, all of this. Your brain is still too young for such distractions and your neural paths will go haywire.
8. Grow up. Most prodigies who publish at age eighteen or so, fail to recover sufficiently to get it right in their ripe old twenties. Pay no attention to the Justin Bieber world that is inspiring an entire generation of nubile singers. You belong to a different nation.
9. Good luck to you, you’ll need it. At the end of the day, the decade, a good deal of success–after all the hard work–comes down to luck.
Too bad about the social networking caveat– she’s obviously not the one blogging this list! But perhaps we can all appreciate the irony. What do you think, folks– is there any advice you might add?
March 4th, 2011
Hi folks! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but what better occasion than Spring for a proper update on what’s happening over at TFA? We have three fantastic, very different novels that are hot off the press, and I’d love to take this chance to introduce them to you.
Debut novelist Alison Espach brings us THE ADULTS, a fresh and hip coming-of-age that one book scout very cleverly referred to as “more of a growing-up-too-soon” novel. We were blessed with a killer New York Times review that among other words of praise, compared Espach to Woody Allen himself. Equal parts hilarious and poignant– we love this book!
With a narrator who instantly wins your heart and a completely unique plotline (we won’t divulge any spoilers!), CLEANING NABOKOV’S HOUSE follows the unusual journey of a newly single woman who realized she happens to have moved into the house where Nabokov lived during his years of teaching in upstate NY. This is Leslie Daniels’ hysterical debut, but she’s no stranger to great writing– Leslie herself used to be a literary agent! Check out her author site for a comprehensive collection of reviews and other news.
Last but NEVER least, WITCHES ON THE ROAD TONIGHT is the latest novel from the immensely talented Sheri Holman. What do you get when you combine interweaving historical narratives, exquisite prose, and a touch of the paranormal? This one-of-a-kind novel defies all genres and labels. You simply experience it to understand! And bring a pen, because you’ll be underlining many shatteringly articulate sentences. Many reviews still to come, but for now, this is the place to learn more…
Happy reading! ‘Tis the season to lose track of time and space in great fiction!