www.inkthinkerblog.com — Welcome to 2008, writers! This year kicks off the second annual Inkthinker Query Challenge, with some changes to the original model. The official start date is Monday, January 7, 2007, but any queries sent during the month of January can be counted toward your year total. Read carefully to make sure you don’t miss anything! And get ready to start climbing your way to the top!Who can participate:
Anyone who wants to get more writing assignments in 2008
What the goal is:
120 queries before the end of the year (10/month or 2.3/week)
What counts as a query:
Any letter or other communique that proposes for publication something you wrote or are going to write. For example, pitching an article to a magazine editor and proposing a blog to a website editor both count. So does entering your writing in a contest, sending a letter of introduction to an editor or potential writing client, and even submitting something to Inkthinker or Notes in the Margin!
What doesn’t count as a query:
Over-the-transom submissions (just sending off a completed piece to a book publisher, magazine editor, etc, without its being requested), anything that’s not writing (eg, editing, translating, etc), and anything else I deem unacceptable at my sole discretion.
What you have to do:
- Sign up using the form at the top of the page.
- Query, query, query, and keep track of what you’re sending and when.
- Submit your updated numbers to me monthly.
What you get:
- Personal satisfaction. No, seriously.
- Random prize drawings throughout the year.
- A awesome, super-cool prize for the participant with the most queries at the end.
Other ways to win:
Have a query you’re particularly proud of? Submit it for the Query of the Month contest. I’ll review the best queries submitted in the previous month, as submitted by you, and pick my favorite. The winning query will be posted on Inkthinker and the winning querier will receive a writing-related gift.
How you can encourage others:
Get a gig or assignment as a result of a query you sent for the Challenge? E-mail me your success stories to post on Inkthinker so we can all celebrate with you and learn from your experience.
The quick summary:
- Sign up using the form above.
- Send queries.
- Keep track of your numbers.
My Challenge, my rules. Winners, prizes, rules, and regulations are at my discretion. Conversation is encouraged, but I have the final say, period. It’s all in good fun, but you need to follow the rules and regs. Anyone found cheating by reporting inflated numbers or any other method will be disqualified. (And seriously, it’s not that big a deal, so don’t cheat.) The original author will retain copyright to success stories and queries published on the site, and will not be compensated for such. When you send your success story or submit your queries, you give me permission to post them on the site free of charge and to archive them here forever. Rules, regs, and terms subject to change at any time at my discretion. Updates will be posted here.
CLARIFICATIONS, added January 9, 2007
Is it too late to join?
You can join the challenge AT ANY TIME.
Can I count queries I sent earlier this year even though I just joined?
When you join, you can COUNT ALL QUERIES YOU SENT OUT RETROACTIVELY TO JANUARY 7, 2008.
If I send in a completed piece, like an essay or something, does that count as a query?
Submissions to lit mags, etc, WILL count as queries. However, use good sense in submitting–don’t just sent out the same piece to 100 random mags you found at Duotrope so you can win the challenge. That’s stupid, and a waste of your time and the editors’. And completed articles submitted over the transom with no invitation from the editor to send something in do not count. It’s called the Query Challenge for a reason. Personal fiction and essays for lit mags are their own queries, but articles need an introductory letter and a request for an assignment. Like I said before, the prize is good, it won’t be so good that it’s worth completely destroying your personal integrity–or being unprofessional.
Do I have to link back to you if I join? I don’t like you/don’t want to/don’t have a website/other reason.
You don’t have to link back to Inkthinker if you join the challenge, but it would be appreciated. The more people who know about it, the more people who will benefit from it.
So, I should, like, copy you on all of my queries so I can get credit for them,
For the love of God, NO. Do NOT copy me on your queries. I will seriously go bonkers. Then, in my defensible-by-reason-of-mental-illness state, I will be forced to bludgeon you with your keyboard. I definitely want your success stories, but please, please, PLEASE don’t copy me on your correspondence with editors. There’s absolutely no reason to do that. And besides, you’re reporting numbers to me at the end of each month anyway.
Questions? Leave a comment and I will answer in the comment trail and/or update this info so everyone has all of the same information at the same time.
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