Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guest Blog Mini-Contest

Now for something a little different.

I'm going to be out of the office next week working at an orphanage in South America through Travelocity's Travel for Good program - more on this when I return. Rather than the usual mix of re-posts and best-of-posts, I thought I'd open things up to you, the bloggers and would-be-bloggers who read the blog.

So. Want to get something off your chest? Want to build some blog traffic? Want to tell the world about your love of reality television shows? Want to mock me mercilessly? Now's your chance.

Here's how this will work:

- Please e-mail a guest post between now and noon Pacific time tomorrow (Thursday) to querycontest@gmail.com.
- Please limit yourself to one entry.
- Please do not e-mail entries to my work address.
- Make sure to format your blog post in block formatting (i.e. single spaced, double spaces between paragraphs, no indenting, plain text) for easy copying and pasting.
- I will choose the five best, most helpful, funniest, awesomest posts to run next week and link to the guest blog author's blog or website or Amazon page or favorite charity or what have you. The topic is totally up to you, although some relevancy to this blog's themes will probably receive preference (but not necessarily!).
- I regret that I will not be able to run every post, and thus some blog post writing may be in vain. But! You can always use the post on your own blog, or, heck use it in your novel. Recycling encouraged!
- Rules and guidelines subject to change without notice.
- Did I mention you only have a little over 24 hours? Sorry for the short deadline!! (Actually it was intentional).

I aim to leave you in good hands. Thanks, everyone.






97 comments:

Kiersten said...

Oh, rock on. What a fun idea.

Also, we'll definitely want to hear more about this vacation/service.

lotusgirl said...

That's marvelous that you are doing service like that on your vacation. I know some people who will be all over this contest. It'll be fun to hear what some of your readers have to say.

ORION said...

Count me in! okay...I guess I'll have to write something now...

A Paperback Writer said...

An orphanage?
Good for you, Nathan.
And thanks for telling us that's what you're doing. It may sound like blowing your own horn, but if it gives other people ideas about humanitarian aid activities they can do, then it's all worth it.
I'm impressed.

Mira said...

What a cool idea! How fun! Actually...it's more than cool and fun. It's a really generous and supportive idea, to allow writers/bloggers a chance to shine. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, you are a Prince of agents, Nathan.

Nathan, are you really going to work in an orphanage in South America? Okay. That's just too much. You have to stop being so wonderful. Stop it right now.

Bane of Anubis said...

Are you going to pull a Brangelina and come back with a brood in tow? J/J - that's awesome of you.

Not sure of guest blogging - the only topic I can think of is "The eerie similarities between the Sacramento Kings and the publishing industry..." so far, I've only got one major point:

"The chance of success is infinitesimal."

Dawn said...

I look forward to reading these.

K. M. Walton said...

Officially entered. Yay.

Rick Daley said...

Have a safe trip. Very noble undertaking, you never cease to impress.

Mira said...

Can we submit more than one? I have a couple ideas.

Although, part of me feels like I talk so much anyway, I should step back here. Not that I'd necessarily get picked anyway....

Ummmm.....but can we submit more than one?

Nathan Bransford said...

One entry per person please!!

Mira said...

Oh, sorry, I just read your post, and it's right there.

Whoops. Sorry.

Can I just say that anyone who doesn't enter this is crackers? Talk about platform building, and agent exposure.

allegory19 said...

Awesome idea! Can't wait to see what the posts will be.

Have a safe trip!

Luisa Perkins said...

I just emailed you my entry. Thanks, and have a great time!

Anonymous said...

Will query reading be put on hold until you come back?

Natalie said...

What a great idea! And what a wonderful reason to travel. I had a friend do something like that, except he spent 3 months at the orphanage. He had an incredible experience.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

I don't want to say something trite but, person to person, I'm impressed.
If you can't learn to walk in someone elses' shoes the next best thing must be helping to put them on.
kudos

Mira said...

Oh, I'm so excited.

I don't want to post too much today, so if all of you people would stop staring at the screen wondering what to write about, and instead would post here, my posts wouldn't stand out as much.

I can't decide. Funny or serious. Funny or serious.

I've ruled out a couple of topics. It was really hard to let go of one. "How can you support my grad school experience?" Very topical. But maybe a bit of a niche audience there.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Yes, I'll have very limited access to e-mail, if any.

Audrianna said...

Nathan - Didn't you watch "Get Me Out of Here, I'm A Celebrity!"? South America is crawling with bugs! Eeeeeek! My dad still has to kill spiders for me occasionally, and I'm not what you would call a girly-girl (though I'm not a tomboy either...so where does that put me?). I mean, hello! They have beetles that can weigh up to (or over) a pound! That's a lot of bug guts!

So...have fun in South America!!!! I definitely want to hear all about it!!

P.S. Alas, at the moment my brain is so fried from dispatch an over-the-road-truck, I believe I will have to miss out on the mini-contest.

Other Lisa said...

Nathan, that sounds like it will be an amazing experience - travel safe! Have fun! Take photos!

Marilyn Peake said...

Nathan, that's so wonderful that you'll be working in an orphanage in South America. Kudos to you!

I just now discovered your blog post - only 45 minutes until your contest deadline. Must go and write feverishly ...

Nathan Bransford said...

marilyn-

Don't worry, it's tomorrow - you have 24 hours.

Marilyn Peake said...

I just realized - contest deadline is noon tomorrow. Phew. I have time.

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Nathan,

Just saw your response to my mistake. Thanks!

nkrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Martone said...

Wow, Nathan, you never cease to amaze me! What incredibly altruistic travel plans. I can't wait to hear all about it when you return.

In the meantime, thanks for the opportunity to write a guest blog. I'm sure plenty of people (ahem, Mira) will jump at the chance. Ironically, I was posting my very first entry on my travel blog (http://www.moon.com/blogs/american-nomad) when I noticed your mini-contest offer. Guess I'll have to switch gears to something more literary for tomorrow's deadline. :-)

Bon voyage!

--Laura

Margaret Yang said...

Word count limit on the blog post? I think I read somewhere that a max length for a blog post should be 800 words but yours are typically shorter.

Lady Glamis said...

What a great idea for a contest, Nathan! You're so smart. And kind! What a wonderful thing to do for South America.

Does this need to be a new post? Or can it be one we've posted in the past?

Nathan Bransford said...

Up to you re: new/old and word count.

Lady Glamis said...

Thanks, Nathan. :D

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, are you open to photos in the post at all? Not sure if that'll mess things up for your formatting or sanity level...

Morgan Xavier said...

Nathan - cool idea!

Can I use one of my own blog postings that I wrote a few weeks back? I only have a couple followers, so it would be nice for the exposure, plus, I'd really love to hear what other people have to say in regards to the topic (if it is picked, of course :)

Leona said...

You're on Nathan! You just moved up to the top of my list for my query! LOL yeah, just what you wanted to hear. (My book won't be ready for query for a month or so, no worries.

Kudos to you... I was adopted and it means a lot to know people care about those in need!

(I've had some recent experiences that caused me to wonder.)

Nathan Bransford said...

Pictures... hmm.... I think that could get dicey. I won't say no categorically, but I might be a bit reluctant because I foresee technical challenges.

Morgan Xavier said...

Ok, you answered my question while I was writing it. Hehe, thanks!

Catherine Hughes said...

As a newbie reader of the blog, I'm a bit confused about the email address... The only one I can see appears to be your work address - but you've asked us not to use that!

Help! Would love to give it a try; would hate to inadvertently annoy...

nkrell said...

I LOVE THIS!! What a great thing to do. One of my favorite sayings is "When you dig another out of their troubles, you find a place to bury your own."

I hope you have a great time, Nathan. More people should do this kind of thing. It's a fantastic way to give to others, but more often than not, you receive so much more in return.

Mira said...

You know, as usual I took the wrong approach here.

Fiction. Most of the people here write fiction. Blogs are essays. You don't want to be bothered with pesky essay writing.

Nah, you don't want to enter this contest.

Although, I suppose you could get creative, and do a blog entry that was a story...or a group story...or a fictional character talking about....wait. What am I doing?

Nah. Don't do it. I prefer my writing contests to be completely free of competition.

So if you write fiction, please don't enter this contest. Thanks.

Nathan Bransford said...

catherine-

querycontest@gmail.com It's in the post.

Laura Martone said...

Hey, Catherine.

The preferred email address is in the blog post - querycontest@gmail.com.

Hope that helps!

--Laura

Laura Martone said...

Oops. Nathan beat me to it. Poop.

Catherine Hughes said...

It's 8pm over here and my vision is failing in the extraordinary (for the UK) heat.

Apologies folks!

D. G. Hudson said...

Very creative way of delegating work, and justified when you're doing a good deed with your time.

Good luck to all who enter. Should be fun, or at least informative.

It would be nice if you posted some photos of your experience, Nathan, on your return. Kudos to you.

serenity said...

Super generous contest, as always. I'm sure it will be a deluge. I can't wait to see the winning posts.

jjdebenedictis said...

Woot! Unfair advantage for all us Canadians. Today is a national holiday. :)

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you, Mr. Bransford. Inspiring.

Rick Daley said...

I submitted twice. Sorry about that...was the single submission limit in the original post, or did you add that in after trigger-happy writers like rushed through the floodgates?

WORD VERIFICATION: subbo. Very appropriate for this comment.

Anonymous said...

I think there should be a halo over Nathan's head, don't you all?

He has to be the most lovely agent person on the planet.

Nathan Bransford said...

rick-

It wasn't in the original post, but I added it after some multiple multiple repeats (i.e. more than two).

Livia said...

Hi Nathan,
What are your thoughts on including links in the blog post? Can we attach a file with the html version of the blogpost, or would that just open up another can of worms?

Nathan Bransford said...

livia-

Links are fine, I'll figure it out. But no attachments, it would be too cumbersome to have to open them all to read them.

Livia said...

Wow, I've known about your legendary fast response time but it's another to experience it myself. Thanks!

Patrick Rodgers said...

Pick me, oh pick me please the Prince of Nigeria demands it.

This was actually kind of fun. I use to write an opinion column for my local newspaper once a month when I was in college and it was exactly like that. A splash of serious, a splash of comedy and lots of fun writing.

I also had been wanting to write my little piece for awhile and put it on my website or blog now I had an excuse to write it so if Nathan doesn't pick me oh well it can always go on my website or blog.

Mira said...

I can't decide. I can't decide. This is literally going to kill me.

There's one old post I could expand upon.....But there are so many new ideas....

Nathan, I don't suppose I could query you with my ideas about a guest post? And you could request a partial or a full?

I'm. Going. To. Die.

I don't even care about winning at this point. I just want to pick a topic.

Patrick Rodgers said...

Mira well you better hurry as now there is only four spots left since I already sent my entry ;)

How will we know Nathan if we have won, will you email us back or do we have to wait it some kind of limbo tell next week and see our pretty little entry on your blog.

Anonymous said...

nathan: when will you announce which entries will be posted? I mean, will you let us/the winning entries know ahead of time? Or say when you've made the decision?

curious

mc

Nathan Bransford said...

patrick and anon-

I'll try and announce the winners on Thursday or Friday. That way people who didn't win can go ahead with their posts on their own blogs if they want.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if it's been asked, but can it be a repost of something we've already posted on our own blog?

Anonymous said...

Anon - he said yes to that.

Thomas Burchfield said...

I'm afraid I'm going away myself, but on no mission so noble, only a trip to Pasadena for July 4, including a trip to the Huntington Library and Gardens, which I shall write about on my return.

Stay safe Nathan!

Laura Martone said...

Thomas,

I LOVE the Huntington. I was planning to write about it on my own travel blog.

Hope you have fun!

--Laura

Andrew Jack said...

I'm in, great idea Nathan. Thanks for posting that link on Travel for Good as well. Interesting stuff.

Enjoy your vacation!

Jen C said...

Super awesome idea! But can I tear myself away from my obsessive editing for long enough to sit down and write a post? I guess time will tell...

Kathleen Noud said...

Have fun in South America. I went to Peru last year and I am itching to get back over there!

Minnette Meador said...

The experience in S. America will be life changing for you, I think. Both my kids worked in Peru at a woman's shelter and came back completely dedicated to helping people; both of them work for AmeriCorp now. This is amazing work and so needed throughout the world. You inspire all of us. Makes me want to get up and go volunteer...sigh. Have fun and take care of yourself while you're down there.

allegory19 said...

I got nuttin' - well nuttin' good anyway.

Mira I'm jealous of your dilemma. Oh where oh where is my Muse - Yoo-hoo!!!!

Maybe I should sleep on it. Or drink on it... hmmm...

Endless Secrets said...

That's awesome Nathan! I hope you have a great time, learn alot and make great memories to share with all of us.
I'll try to submit a post, not quite sure what to write though. We shall see!

Mira said...

Allegory, just because I have ideas, doesn't mean that I have anything good either!

Can I help though? For ideas? I looked at your profile, and the third line under interests. Write about that. Why make that choice? Or - is there something you'd change about the industry? Get on a soap box. The 24 hour deadline can make you worry too much about quality. Don't. You're competing against people who might have written blog posts ages ago and spent maybe months writing them. Write from the heart. No one can compete against your heart - it's unique. You can do that in 24 hours. And you'd be surprised what will come out. Selected or not, it will be valuable writing.

Mira said...

oh. That's my soapbox.

Hope it was welcome. Um, ignore it if it wasn't.

That said, I've posted enough for today. I need to man up, and choose a darn topic and do some writing.

eeenny, minny moe.....

BarbS. said...

Bravo, Nathan! That's a brilliant way to spend time away from the daily grind.

BarbS. said...

PS: Please promise you won't eat cuy! My pets would not approve... ;)

Dennis Cass said...

Sent! Thanks for doing this, and thanks for doing good.

Audrianna said...

Oops...I lied. I did do a blog. Well, when inspiration strikes, right?

Indigo said...

I took the bait line and sinker. It should be there by now. In any event it was a fun piece to write.

Have a grand time, while away. I think if all of us gave a small part of our time and lives to help others, the world would find a measure of serenity. (Hugs) Indigo

superwench83 said...

What a cool idea! The contest and the orphanage visit both! I don't think I'll have the time to enter the contest, but I'm looking forward to reading the winners.

allegory19 said...

Aw gee shucks Mira, you're so nice. Thanks for the pep talk. I've got a couple ideas... and they're all from the heart <3

Flemmily said...

Thanks Nathan! Very fun idea. Nothing wrong with having something new to post on my own blog in any case.

Kelly said...

This is awesome! Thanks, Nathan, for giving us all a chance to guest blog.
Have a fabulous trip, you noble, giving man, you.

Jen C said...

I sat down to write a post. Honestly I did. For true. I wrote 2 whole sentences before it reminded me of a really cool new scene for my novel.

I don't know whether that counts as distraction, or some kind of reverse distraction... like the time my Math teacher gave me a detention for reading my English book in class (yep, bonafide rebel).

Either way, my word veri is kiefult. Kapow! Egad! Pow! Kiefult!

wendy said...

You're an inspiration, Nathan. Hope all goes well. Looking forward to hearing more on your return.

cyprus property said...

Nice information provide by you.
You are doing very well job! keep it up.

Vacuum Queen said...

Entry in. Cool idea. I already want to edit it and add something.

Meh.

Maybe if mine is chosen I can add in the left out stuff in the comments section. :)

andrew said...

Done and in! Good luck to everyone who entered.

Eva Ulian said...

I can't get my email to work at querycontest@gmail.com. so I will need to send it elsewhere????

Adam Heine said...

I only just now noticed where you're going to be (how's that for being self-centered?). That sounds awesome. I look forward to hearing about it when you get back.

K L Romo said...

Nathan - is your volunteer work part of your vacation, or will you be spending the entire time at the orphanage? And is any of the trip subsidized? My husband has always wanted to do this but just didn't know how. If you could give a little more logistical info, that would be great! Thanks.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hope your trip rocks! That is just awesome.

Karen said...

I had not heard of the Travel for Good program, but I checked it out yesterday. The different projects available sound awesome.

Tracey S. Rosenberg said...

I was so concerned with getting the formatting correct in my e-mail hat I forgot to say thank you!

So: thank you! :)

Ink said...

I was kinda hoping from the title of the post that the selectees would all win Mini Coopers...

I mean, it only seems fair.

careann said...

Terrific opportunity for us, thanks! My submission has been e-mailed and if my not-always-reliable server has cooperated it should make it before your deadline.

Carol

Mira said...

Phew. Done.

Allegory, yea - good for you. I hope you turned something in! :-)

Lol. I can not believe I wrote what I wrote. But that's what happens when you have such a tight deadline. Even you're surprised.

This was amazing, Nathan. Thank you so much!

What a great use of an agent's blog: getting everyone scratching away, writing, writing, writing.

And to spend all this time while you must be getting ready for a vacation.

Thanks.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Just re-read my submission and found a proofreading error. Damn these 51-year-old eyes!

Matilda McCloud said...

My 51-year-old brain also let me down. By mistake, I began my post with a rhetorical question! Horrors!

Eva Ulian said...

I've just discovered why Nathan is travelling- here is "Travel for Good" statement:

"We believe that travel can transform not only your perspective, but the vitality of communities, places, and people. And that it can ultimately enrich the world itself -- because whenever you engage with the world, there is an opportunity to bridge long distances, fill gaps, and make a much-needed difference. We believe we can better the world, one trip at a time."

Missy said...

Nathan,
What a wonderful idea! I did not know this program existed. Thank you for posting the link, and I just submitted my application to work at an orphanage in Peru over my Christmas break from college.

I have always wanted to do something like this but I could have never afforded to go on my own.

Thank you for being so generous with your time. Please let us all know how your trip went.

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