This is the Last Day for Entry!!

Welcome to the 13th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing either a science fiction novel (adults or teens) or any kind of young adult novel, this 13th contest is for you! (The contest is live through January 31, 2013.)


After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.


E-mail entries to Please paste everything. No attachments.


The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of your sci-fi novel or young adult novel. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any social media. Please provide a social media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your offical e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino somewhere in your mention(s) if using Twitter. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks.


Science fiction novels of any kind, as well as young adult novels of any kind.


  1. This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from Jan. 17, 2013 through the end of Jan. 31, 2013, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
  2. To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
  3. You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.
  4. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.
  5. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)


Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to ($50 value)!


Victoria Marini is an associate literary agent with the Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency, and an assistant to the boss-ladies: Jane Gelfman, Deborah Schneider, and Heather Mitchell. Gelfman Schneider has been in business for over 30 years. They passionately represent a wide range of authors including American Academy of Arts, Edgar Awards and Pushcart Prize winners, as well as severalNew York Times bestselling authors. Victoria began taking on clients in 2010. Currently, she is building her list and hungry for more.

Here are some books that she has represented:

The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets by Kathleen Alcott (Adult General/Other)
Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (YA)
OCD Love Story by Corey Haydu (YA; July 2013)
forthcoming: Loop by Karen Akins (YA sci-fi)”


Today’s the last day to enter so if you have two social networks – a blog, a twitter account, a facebook or myspace (old school, I know!) – and have written a sci-fi and/or a YA story, then go for it and good luck!!


Warm regards,

Starting the Next Novel

One of the most exciting things an author can do is start working on their next big thing, whether it’s a novel, a poem, a short story or flash. Even working on a new article is thrilling. You get to start all over again – or as my case would have it, continue on with the story since I’m working on a duology – and create something from nothing, tackle the white space on a page, form new characters with new backgrounds, loves, loathes and everything in between. There’s a new plot to be created, new twists and turns, and a setting that has to be vibrant and fresh. And, if you’re writing articles or non-fiction, you get to interview all new people, share their stories, and interweave them together into one coherent knowledgeable piece. It’s literally a start-over, a chance to do whatever you want to in the story realm, to break rules and make new ones, to just… explore and see where you land.

It’s one of the best feelings in the world, in my opinion.

But it can also be the scariest.

All that white space, all those new characters, all those new people, plus not to mention all the words, paragraphs and pages that need to be written and the edit-and-revise process we’re all so fond of… well, it can be daunting. A lot of work goes into the written word.

But this morning as I was walking from my warm car to my relatively warm work building I noticed something different about my little town of Eagle River. A fresh coat of white sparkled and covered everything, from the streetlamps and roads to the pathway to my building. My breath clouded before me and a chill raced up my spine. It had snowed. And everything looked new again. I even had to blaze my own trail to work. In that momentary frolic, I realized that whatever path I decided to take, whether it is a straight line, zigzagged, or circular, as long as I got to the door it would be the right path to take. It’s the same for working on a new piece – whatever you decide to do will be right, as long as you finish it in the end and are proud of what you created.

So while starting anew may be a tad bit frightening (yes, there will be times I sit up late at night over a cup of tea and think Oh my gosh, I’ve written myself into a corner! How can I ever fix this?) try to focus on the fun of it, the adventure of it, and the love that you have for writing. It’ll be much more exciting that way.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Warm regards,

Because I neglected to post last week and…

work went crazy and I’m still a little miffed (even though I was AWESOME and calm)… here’s a poem.



I would really like it if
People would stop leaving coffee grounds in the kitchen
On the counter
On the table
On the freakin’ floor
Haven’t you learned to clear up after yourself? 

I would really like it if
People would change the toilet paper rolls
When they know it needs to be changed
Because it needs to be changed
Because we’re civil like that
And who wants to be sitting on the throne without a tissue? 

And I would especially like it if
People wouldn’t wait until the last possible second to get stuff done
And then want to change things in the midst of it all
And then change it back
And then add more text into the already massive document
Didn’t you just say no one would read it that carefully anyway? 

I would also like it if
People would stop messing with things that are already finished
Or harping about things that are done but are ‘handled’
No one will see that tiny fingerprint on the corner of the presentation cover
Or honestly mind that it’s there
Are you afraid they’ll disqualify you over a smudge (or your work)?

But mostly, honestly, truly,
I would really like it if
We all just celebrated the fact that today is Friday
And we’re done with the draft
And it snowed outside
And I plan on going sledding this weekend
Among other (exciting) things
Can’t we all just have some fun?

Have a wonderful winter weekend everyone.

Warm regards,

Birthdays and other things…

I turned 24 today.


Whooooot! It’s my birthday! Whooooot!

*end of mini-celebration*

Life is good. I have a job. I moved out of my parent’s house. I started a little freelancing editing business. I’m learning to be independent – paying various bills and such. But I thought I’ve have more, done more, seen more even, the path I’m on now is nothing like the path I first thought of when I was in college. Back then I figured I’d be almost done with graduate school by now, working in a little independent publishing company or book store, and on my way to becoming a successful author. Life changed, choices were made, my path spliced – even just slightly – and now I’m here, a different place that I figured I’d be, but happy nonetheless.

Just like my path spliced and I ended up on a different one, my NaNoNovel did as well.

I had it all figured out: the chapters, the characters, the emotions. The plotline was set in stone! (Or so I thought.) Until I got to the very end. Then it changed, completely. I couldn’t believe what I was writing, trying, imagining. People say that writers are the ‘gods of their universes,’ and I believe that to some degree. You can control what you write – who says what, who ends up with whom, where the story is going. But sometimes, sometimes, inspiration hits and you just… well… can’t anymore. Sometimes inspiration takes over, completely, and you end up writing something unfathomable and yet lovely right up until the moment the waterspout of inspiration dribbles back into the spring. And when it does happen you just have to go with it, don’t think, don’t see, just write. Revisions can come later. The alternate NaNo ending never crossed my mind during the writing process until the very end and, even then, the only thought skittered through was Did I just write that?

Don’t get me wrong. I am in control of the story. I can always hit backspace and write the ending I had planned. But I’m not going to, not yet anyway. I’m going to let this one sit for a little while, ruminate in its own plotlines and characters, and come back to it later. Re-read (and, let’s face it, probably re-write most of) the novel and see how the ending works. It could suck; honestly, it could be the worst flash of inspiration I’ve had. But it could be wonderful too, a perfect fit.

Here’s hoping for the latter!

Warm regards,