Monday, February 15, 2010

Pay It Forward Query Critique Contest

The day has arrived! Today could change your life. Okay, not really. But maybe next Monday.

Because I'm having a contest that starts today and ends on Sunday at 10 PM(MST). Winners will then be chosen and announced next Monday, February 22.

Here's what you can win: A query letter critique.

By whom?

By one of these top five literary agents!

1. Kate Testerman-Shafer of KT Literary (critique will be posted on her blog, Ask Daphne)
2. Michelle Andelman of Lynn C. Franklin Associates (my fabulous agent!)
3. Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency
4. Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency
5. Joanna Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation

Worth entering? You decide. But if you win, one of those agents will be helping you out with your query letter. And who better to do that than the people who read hundreds of them?

I mean, seriously.

In addition to that, FIVE more winners will win a free copy of my eBook, From the Query to the Call, which outlines in great detail how to write a query letter (and other things). All winners--as with all buyers--get a free query critique by me with this eBook.

As if that weren't enough, FIVE more winners will win a package of my all-time favorite writing tools: the super-sticky, super-size Post-it note. I love those things. They're 4x6-inches, so you can really take notes in the middle of the night and stick your scribbles to your laptop. (See photo below -- I missed the "post your workspace" day, so I just decided to include it here. Those Post-it's could be yours! And yes, I constantly work on two computers.)


1. You must follow my blog.
2. You must follow Shelli Johannes-Wells' blog.
3. You must fill out the form below. (Lots of ways to earn extra entries--but none of them are required to enter, just follow both blogs, which will earn you 3 entries.)

***NOTE: Shelli is also running a big contest this week, because we're party animals! We're offering extra entries for following each other, but if you're interested in winning the prizes in her contest, you MUST ENTER HER CONTEST. She's having prizes every day with some grand prizes at the end of the week. Mine isn't like that. It's open from now until Sunday night, and then drawings will be held. (This will be my only post this week.)

In other words, if you enter here, you are NOT entered there. They are two separate contests that we're promoting together. Does that make sense? If not, shoot me an email: elanajohnson(at)gmail(dot)com.

My twitter. My facebook.

Good luck! And have a great week -- I'll be around, but not blogging.

Oh! And if you've made it this far, Shannon O'Donnell is having a contest on her blog. You can win my eBook and a query critique from me--or a $20 gift card! So go enter over there too, okay? Okay.


Robyn Campbell said...

Elana, cool, cool contest. I entered using that most awesome form. Here are the links. Only one problem. I haven't been able to comment on facebook all weekend. I will find out today what is going on there. And come back to give you that link. I am going to take the laptop out to the coffee shop to see if I can comment on it. I'm a follower, and I follow Shelli.I follow you on twitter, facebook too. Here are the links:

Putting Pen To Paper


Facebook link coming after I diagnose and fix the problem.

Unknown said...

Such an awesome contest! That form is so very cool. It sure makes things easy!

Jess of All Trades said...

Okay, this contest might make me "believe" in contests. Thank you so much for putting this together. Following both of ya' now - and I'm glad; she has a great looking blog!

My blog post will show on Wednesday (Writer's Wednesday!) And I'll send the link then. ..I hope that Counts?

And yes, the form is Awesome.

Scott said...

Woo-hoo!!! This was easy since . . . I already follow you and Shelli, we're already friends on Facebook and I already follow you on Twitter. Now, back to watching the snow! Woo-woo-hoo-hoo!


Alli Sinclair said...

Thanks to you and the agents and Shelli for offering this - what a fabulous opportunity!

Laura said...

I'm in!:)
Thank you for this contest, Elana! (and thank you Robyn for the heads-up).

Here's my blog for anyone interested: Through Laura's Eyes

Best of luck to all.

Robyn Campbell said...

Elana, here is my facebook link. Must be a prob with my ISP. It's satellite. SHEESH.


Stephanie McGee said...

Tweeted @StephanieLMcGee

Facebooked it. But I don't know how to get my facebook link.

Michelle H. said...

It seems like the, "Year of the Critique." A person can't turn around without finding someone holding a contest to offer help to us desperate writers.

Since I already won a critique from you last month, I'm not going to enter again (although I do have other ms queries). Just wanted to pop in and let other people know to please enter this contest! The advice I got for my query was fantastic!

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

Ok, so I am like doing everything. But I dont have a book yet, please dont be mad, I want one.

Love the contest and good luck to all.

Mary E Campbell said...

Very awesome contest Elana. I'm not ready to enter, but it is so cool that you are able to get all those agents to participate. So great to see you this weekend. Everytime I hear the song Uprising by Muse I think of your book Control Issues - can't wait to read it one day.

Unknown said...

Super excited! Pick me! Pick me!!!!

Jennifer Swanson said...


Truly fantastic contest! I tweeted about it on my Twitter account: JenSwanBooks. I sent you a friend request on FB. Here is my FB account page

So excited! Thanks for doing this!

Kerri Cuev said...

Woohooo The party has started!!!

Sarah Ahiers said...

awesome. i entered (or at least i think i did... the entry form went gray when i submitted)

I'll FB you when i get on a computer where it's not blocked and the blog entry will come tonight

Sarah Ahiers said...

oops, sorry. forgot to tell you my FB profile is under Sarah Ahiers.
I'm an original, baby, so it shouldn't be hard to find me

Melissa Sarno said...

Wow, what an amazing contest!

I just posted about it on my blog:

And I'm on twitter @meli1020 :-)

My facebook is blocked at work so I hope to remember to do this when I get home! haha. My facebook name is just little ole me, Melissa Sarno.

Thanks again for this awesome give-away!

Kristi Faith said...

Such a great prize package, any of them!! I love those post its! :0) LOL

I entered, but I can't access FB either right now. I will keep trying. Also I did not click on points for blogging, but your contest is in my sidebar along with Shelli's. :0) You guys have a great thing going.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I appreciate you adding my contest to the bottom of your post - you are so great!

I posted a link on my facebook page and will do a full post and sidebar link on my blog. :-)

Kristi Faith said...

After all that, I forgot to leave you links....

Clementine said...

Thanks, Elana!

Suzette Saxton said...

Wishing everyone the best of luck!

Kate Hart said...

My blog post is here, and I tweet here (and included you in an @ mention in my tweet). Thanks for the contest!

Rebecca Knight said...

YAAAAY! Best contest ever :D. I'm @twoheadknight on Twitter.

You and Shelli RAWK!

Heather said...

Great contest!

Here's my tweet:

And my blog entry will be written in a day or two, at

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the awesome contest, Elana!
I blogged about it:

I Tweeted it, and follow you:

I posted it on Verla Kay contest message board:

Trisha Leigh said...

My Twitter is trishaleighKC.

Great contest!

Steena Holmes said...

What a fantastic opportunity Elana! FREAKIN' AWESOME!

December said...

Only two of the agents rep my genre- so hopefully I win them!
Thanks for the fabulous contest!

Lacey J Edwards said...

Wow! Great contest! Thanks!

My blog:

For the other entries, I can be found everywhere as LJBoldyrev. I'm easy. >_<

Good luck everyone!

Tiffany Neal said...

So. I am illegally accessing your blog from school right now. (Let's hope my principal doesn't come trapsing in right about now.) But I will be facebooking it up tonight (Tiffany Neal) and blogging about you as well!

As always, you are fantabulous!!

Christina Lee said...

Elena, you had me at Post-it notes ;)

Kristi said...

Weeeee! Great contest! Just entered!

Caroline Richmond said...

Cool contest!

I tweeted about it @CTRichmond.

I also added you as a friend on Facebook. (Caroline Tung Richmond)

Thanks for the opportunity!

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I tweeted and facebooked. Now I need to write a query. :)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Great contest! WOOT!

Stina said...

I'm with Christine Lee with the post-it notes. Can never have enough of those. :D

I'll be blogging about the contests tomorrow since today was photography tip day. My blog is linked to my FB page and my Twitter whatever(StinaLL).

Question: I already get the awesome newletter. Should I click the 'no' button?

Tere Kirkland said...

Happy Lundi Gras!

I'll enter on Wednesday, once I'm back at my computer. This is an amazing contest, Elana and Shelli, and one I definitely need to blog about.

Good luck to everyone who enters!

weeghosties said...

Tweeted: @staceyigraham
facebook friended
and followed.


Unknown said...

oooh--I so want to win! I linked to your blog in my facebook status, and tweeted as well. @MerissaMurray
Following you on FB and twitter. Blogged about the contest at
Here's the blog:
Elana Johnson at is holding a query critique contest. If you enter and your name is drawn, will win a critique of your query from someone who reads multitudes of the things; someone who knows what does and doesn't work.
Yes, that's right--you could have your query critiqued by one of these top five literary agents!
1. Kate Testerman-Shafer of KT Literary (critique will be posted on her blog, Ask Daphne)
2. Michelle Andelman of Lynn C. Franklin Associates
3. Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency
4. Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency
5. Joanna Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation
If you're interested (and if you're anywhere near drafting a query you will be,) stop by her blog and sign up. I did.

whew. :)

Deb Salisbury, Magic Seeker and Mantua-Maker said...

Too cool. Thanks for doing this contest. I'll post about it tonight. Now I'm off to read Shannon's blog. :-)

LynnRush said...

Woo-Hoo! Great contest. :-)

Janet Johnson said...

Entered. Very cool form. I need to learn neat tricks like that. I facebooked it, but don't know how to include the link here . . . I'm feeling technically-challeneged.

Corey Schwartz said...

Hi Elana,

I'm not going to enter because I am agented and don't want to take a query critique away form someone who really needs it.

But, it's an awesome contest! I'll tweet about it.


VB Tremper said...

Awesome, Elana, thanks!

I'm vbtremper on both Twitter and FB and we're already connected on both.

Thanks again,

Kimberly Franklin said...

This is a fab contest, guys!!! : D

Unknown said...

Elana - thanks for doing this!

Laura Lofgreen said...

I love sites like this. Thank you for sharing your information and I hope I win. Visit me at I'll be featuring your contest, plus, I just requested to be your friend on facebook.

kah said...

Very nice. I swear I thought I was already following you. I don't know how that went unnoticed for so long. :( I'm sorry.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I blogged, tweeted, and facebooked about this. Yay!

Twitter: @kayeleenhamblin
Facebook: Kayeleen Jackson Hamblin (!/kayeleen.j.hamblin?ref=profile)

Southpaw said...

I love the duel computer action.

Weronika Janczuk said...

Tweeted and facebook-ed.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the great contest. I put it on my facebook page-
Tomorrow I'll post a note on the Michigan SCBWI e-mail list about yours & Shelli's contest to spread the word. I don't have a blog.
FYI--I'll be in Florida on Monday visiting my mom with no Internet. If I happen to be a winner, I'll respond with total happiness on Wednesday when I get back.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

yay elana - this is so fun :) i feel like oprah giving away all those cars! :)

Anonymous said...

Sign me up for the fun!!! :)

VR Barkowski said...

Too cool, Elana! Love this!

Facebook: VR Barkowski
Twitter: VRBarkowski

Jessica Nelson said...

Wow, what a contest! I need to come back and reread this when my eyes aren't burning. LOL
Do any of those agents rep inspirational romance? I'll have to see probably before I enter (even though I know there are other awesome prizes). :-)

Susan Fields said...

Thanks so much for the awesome contest! My fb name is Susan Rutowski Fields - there should only be one of me. I've added your comment on the sidebar of my blog

Carolyn V. said...

Done and done. Awesome contest Elana! You're the best! =)

Unknown said...

Blog post is up at and my Facebook post is under my own name (you're already my FB friend!) Thanks again Elana!

ali cross said...

Very exciting! Thanks for the awesome contest E-Jamma!

Jenn Adams said...

I blogged about your contest. :o)
Can't wait to win!
(Word verification: RESTE. Maybe a message from the universe about my need to get off the computer and go to bed?)

Sarah Simas said...

Awesome contest! I really admire your pay-it-forward attitude. :)

Just Joany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Joany said...

What an awesome contest! Thanks for having it. I am a follower on both blogs and will be returning to learn all I can from you.

~ Just Joany

Unknown said...

This is a great contest. I've already blogged and facebooked about it...


Victoria Dixon said...

Hi, Elana. Awesome contest from you and Shelli. I did try to friend you on facebook just now, but can't find you. It takes me to your website, but not to you and the link on your page says it's broken. :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Elana,

What a great contest. Thanks!

Tami Brown said...

Marvelous. This really is paying it forward!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great contest. I shall be entering when I have a moment to spare.

I can always use a query critique!

Kelly Polark said...

Crazy cool contest! THanks!

Natalie said...

This is such a great contest Elana! It's the kind of thing I would have loved to win before I had an agent. I'll definitely be spreading the word.

Livia Blackburne said...

Great contest! I'm @lkblackburne

sbjames said...

Hi Elana! I popped over on a tweet from Livia (thanks Livia). I now follow you. I'm @susiebj. I also follow your blog and Shelli's. Thanks to the both of you for all these wonderful opportunities. I'm heading to FB to befriend you. I use my full name there- Susan Bigelow James. Then, I'll be posting all about your contest at LiveJournal as elfmama.

I know I've got a lot of names. It comes from having such a common one. My top choice is often taken. The elfmama actually came about on a spurt of frustration, but its fitting so I kept it.

Shari said...

Awesome contest!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Count me in! I already follow you both and I posted on my blog:

Thanks for such awesomeness!

Carrie Harris said...

I just want to say that you = awesome. Obviously, I'm totally behind this giving back thing. OR paying forward, or whatever you want to call it. :)

Valerie Ipson said...

Awesome contest! Will even be more awesome to actually win it!

Diana Paz said...

Really cool contest. I love how you gals are helping each other. Warm writer fuzzies :)

Jade said...

Talk about an insane contest!!

I just tweeted @Jadehearsvoices and I'm going to do a blog post today because EVERYONE needs to know about this.

Thanks for doing this.

Unknown said...

Awesome contest! Thanks so much for setting this up. I'm in Facebook land and over at twitter I'm @Lindsaka. My blog is

Anonymous said...

Hey awesome!! I did enter your form but then it jumped me out of there to do the newsletter thing, so....don't know if it took. Anyway, I follow both of you and my blog addy is and I've posted... I'm sorry I don't know how to do the linky things in here! Can't do FB from work (did I say I was at work?) but I'll friend you tonight.

Francesca said...

Great contest!!

Following you both and...

Blogged it at:

Twittered the contest:

I've friended you on Facebook -- and I've been following you on Twitter for a long while now. I also bought your book several months ago. That counts, right?

Bish Denham said...

I'm working at following both your blogs this week. I've posted a link to the contest as a sidebar on my blog. Yeeeha!

Valerie Ipson said...

I couldn't find you on Facebook, but got everything else done!

Dawn Embers said...

This is a great idea for a contest. The combinations make it intriguing and a good use of promotion.

On twitter I'm DawnEmbers. I put my real name in the application (amber wilson) but that's a rare instance.

Krista Darrach said...

Great Contest!
I followed you on facebook and twitter. Posted the contest on both as well.
Blogged about your contest at
Thanks for the opportunity!

Anonymous said...

Love the contests. Thanks for doing this. I blogged about it here:

Author A.O. Peart said...

What a wonderful contest - just what I NEED!!!!!!!!!! Thank you.
Here is what I did:
1.I follow Elana's and Shelli's blogs
2. I Tweeted contest:
3. Posted contest info on Facebook:!/profile.php?id=681904000
4. I follow Elana's on Twitter
5. I added Elana as friend on Facebook
6. I wrote about contest on my blog:

Tabitha Bird said...

Awesome!!! Thank you. I will shout out your contest on my blog this Friday. I have already posted today beforeI knew about your contest :) Sorry.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I'm in.

In don't do twitter but I'm on Facebook and I'll befriend you and add a plug on my blog.

Jess of All Trades said...

All righty, Writer's Wednesday blog link:

Linda Banche said...

twitter name: LindaBanche

facebook name:

(use the one with the picture)

Thanks for the great contest.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Wow, I'm so impressed. What a great contest! Thanks for offering :)

, said...

My blogpost about the competition!

I checked the box marked that I am okay with my query being on public display, but I'm worried about people ripping off my idea if that happens! If it is actually optional to keep the winning queries private, I'd like to change to that option, but if you must make it public to enter the contest then I will have to go along with that.

Also friended on facebook as Heidi Schroder

Adam Heine said...

Adam on Twitter
Adam on Facebook
Adam's blog post on the contest

Thanks for the opportunity!

lisa and laura said...

You ROCK. Seriously. That is all.

Tiffany Neal said...

Okay, so I set up a Twitter account too...
I totally don't get twitter, but I'm there...@tiffanyaneal

Elena DeRosa said...

Wow, that was close...I came in at blog follower # 667!

Anonymous said...

thank you! this is a great contest, and oportunity

here is my links



following both bloggs
: Vacilici

friend on face book: samamntha schoenfeld

feywriter said...

Awesome prizes!

twitter: feywriter

facebook: Mary Jensen

Amie McCracken said...

Yay! Filled it out, followed both, friended you on FB, followed you on twitter, tweeted and FBed.

I'm so excited.
Amie McCracken

Emily Ann Benedict said...

What a great contest! Thanks for the opportunity.

I've posted an announcement on both of my blogs.
My regular blog:
Contest blog:

Also have it on Twitter:

I've also put it up on my personal FB page and my FB Fan Page:
Fan Page:
Person Page:

Thanks again! :)

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Oh, btw, Robin Campbell sent me over! She's the best contest announcer. :)

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Very cool contest! I wasn't sure what the Tweet or Facebook contests were...

I intend to blog about your contest tomorrow, but I didn't count it in my entry as I haven't yet, though I did add your contest to my sidebar.

Fun fun! *jumps up and down* Oh oh oh, pick me!!!

Sara {Rhapsody and Chaos} said...

Hi Elana!

My twitter name is @saramcclung
tweet about the contest:

I just added you as a friend on facebook!
facebook status:

Your contest is a permanent fixture at the top of my blog page! Has been for a few days. Your contest is also listed on my sidebar.

Kim said...

Couldn't find you on facebook, but here is my blog link

Thanks for doing this, what a great contest.

Holly Lefevre said...

Great contest! I found you via D.L. Hammons and Cruising Altitude and am so happy! I'll be back to fill out the form and enter, but for now I am following you and Shelli too!

Jewel Allen said...

Thanks for the contest!

JEM said...

Hi Elana - Thanks for such a great opportunity! I've blogged about the contest here:

Carol J. Alexander said...

Cool contest. Thanks for the opportunity.

Luke said...

Elena, thanks for the contest and the great access to the agents. I found your blog through Shelli's site and am thankful for both sets of expertise. As an aspiring picture book writer, your sites have been informative and invaluable.

Danyelle L. said...

Awesome, and thanks!

I'm Danyelle Leafty on both Facebook and Twitter:


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this contest!!!

Holly Lefevre said...

Back to twitter name is 504main


Brigid said...

Thank you thank you thank you!
On twitter I'm @philologia. My blog is On Facebook I'm Brigid S. :)

Lakendra Lewis said...

Hi, Elana,

Thanks for this contest!

On Twitter I'm Diamond473
On Facebook I'm under my own name.

Lakendra Lewis

Little Ms J said...

Yes, I am a procrastinator. Did I get in just in time? :-0

Jay said...

Whew. I'm in! What a great contest. Thanks for having it.

Angelica Weatherby said...

*shivers* I lack skills on writing query letters... I don't think I'm even ready to do one! Oh well, I'll just worry about college homework. :) Excellent contest though! Gives a challenge- I love challenges.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Right, I've entered. This is such a great contest.

I also blogged about it
( and friended you on Facebook ( AND Twitter (

All right!

RAD - Dot Painter said...

I blogged about your contest on my site too:

I would LOVE to win a query critique.

Field engineer said...


See Elana's recent blog posts

Recent Posts Widget