For a long time now, Angela and I have wanted a way to acknowledge the people who have helped us develop into stronger writers and who add to the writing community as a whole. As a new feature here at The Bookshelf Muse, Angela and I will take turns giving well-deserved recognition to some of the people who really make an impact...people who truly are Writing Heroes.
I heart the 7 ladies at Operation Awesome. Since setting up camp in 2010, they've been hard at work making the writing world a happier place. They are, in a word, awesome. (Sidenote: As awesome is my adjective of choice, I will be substituting it with other nifty descriptors for the duration of this post, so as not to let the A-word take over. Consider this a Bookshelf Muse Thesaurus special.)
First off, their book reviews are amazing. I read a lot, but I just don't have time to do many reviews, so I have a lot of respect for authors who do--particularly reviewers like these, who choose such exceptional books to plug. If you're looking for a tasty read, seriously. Check out their site.
Second, and maybe most outstanding of all, are the Mystery Agent Contests. On the first day of each month, a mystery agent posts what she'd like to read at Operation Awesome. Then, for a finite period of time, followers can pitch any completed book of theirs that fits the agent's specs. Once 50 people have entered, the contest closes, the agent goes through the entries and picks the ones she finds most appealing. The agent's identity is revealed, and the winners get to send their work, in part or in whole, to be read.
Do you get how fantastic this is?? These are big-time agents, telling you exactly what they're looking for and inviting you to pitch any project that fits the bill. It's like...throwing your query into a slush pile that only contains 50 letters, and guaranteeing that it will be read by said agent. As opposed to the usual slush piles where Junior Assistant Editor X is assigned to read the thousands of queries that come in that month.
AS IF THAT WASNT MAGNIFICENCE ITSELF, when each agent is revealed, an interview is posted on the OA Mystery Agents page. These snippets are gold for anyone looking for an agent. They tell more about what the agent wants to see, what she's thoroughly sick of, submission pet peeves, etc. This makes it super easy for authors on the prowl--just click through the archived interviews to find out more about each agent. You'll also see a number of success stories, where OA followers scored representation through these monthly contests.
So. As you can see, these ladies absolutely deserve to be exalted to hero status. Thank you, Lindsay, Amparo, Kristal, Kelly, Angela, Michelle, and Katrina, for being so, well, awesome!
To pay it forward, I will give a 1000-word critique to the Operation Awesome group. They can choose to give it away, assign it as contest fodder, or do whatever they like with it. As resident writing heroes, their blog will also have a permanent link in our header.
So tell me Musers...do you know the Operation Awesome ladies? Have they helped you or your writing in some way? Please tell us in the comments and help celebrate these amazing WRITING HEROES!