Wanted: Debut Authors for The Debutante Ball Class of 2015! Apply Within

beachreadsIt seems not too long ago we were applying to be a part of The Debutante Ball, and now here we are, putting out a call for the 2015 class of soon-to-be authors.

To be honest, we’re all still in a bit of shock from how fast this year has flown. The Deb Ball will forever hold a very special place in our journey to publication, and we want to leave it in good hands as it enters its 9th (9th!) season. We’re looking for debut novelists who embrace community and authenticity, and who understand that creating a platform is less about you and more about who you can connect with in a meaningful way. If this sounds like you, read on for the rest of our wish list:

1. We’re looking for female fiction writers who have not yet had a novel published, but will have one released between September 2014 and August 2015 by a traditional commercial publisher.

2. All genres are welcome; we’d like a Deb class with a good mix of genres to bring you an audience you might not normally get, and to mix it up a little for readers.

3. Enthusiasm is a must! We want to know that your heart is really and truly in this, and for all the right reasons. The Deb Ball has a long tradition of fostering community and support for writers at all stages of the process. It’s more than a platform for first-time novelists; it’s a celebration of writing and publication. It’s also a legacy, built over the last nine years, of amazing writers who are now household names. We want to preserve this special arena.

4. You don’t have to have blogged previously, but if you have, please let us know where we can find you online so we can get to know you. The larger your reach, the better.

5. Experience with the WordPress blogging platform is not required, but is a plus. If you have experience with WordPress, web design, or are otherwise tech savvy, please make sure to let us know that in your application.

6. It’s important that you make time for The Ball. Being a Deb requires a 2-4 hour commitment each week—not only are you responsible for your own posts, but you will need to commit to helping to maintain the site, find guest authors, and publicize the blog through your own networking channels. In short, we want to know you’ll keep the Ball thriving!

If this sounds like you, here’s how you can apply:

Copy and paste the following questions into an email and send them along with your answers (please, no attachments) to info@thedebutanteball.com. We’re accepting applications through July 30, 2014. We will announce the new Deb Class of 2015 around the first week of August, and let those of you chosen know before announcing it on the blog.

Name:
Location:
Contact info:
Book title:
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
2. About your book?
3. Publisher and scheduled release date?
4. Why do you want to be a Deb? What do you bring to the blog? Please feel free to include details about other writings you may have published; experience you have with blogging or online writing communities; and other skills or experience you may have with PR/marketing, websites, working within a group, or anything else you feel may be relevant and/or helpful. (due to the fact that all five of us will be reading all of these, please try to limit this to around 300-400 words, thanks!).<
5. How did you find out about The Debs?
6. Anything you would like to share that we should know about you?

The main responsibilities of a Deb include, but are not limited to:

  • Blogging one day per week on an agreed-upon topic, and helping to contribute to a daily presence on the site by commenting on other Deb posts
  • Providing your fellow Debs with your book in advance of your release week so they can read it (paper or electronic galleys from your publisher)
  • Maintaining the website (it’s all set up for you, so this is easier than it might sound, but there is regular maintenance to be done)
  • Managing the Twitter and Facebook accounts, including daily promotions of posts through both tweets and Facebook postings
  • Sharing the responsibility of hosting guest authors on Saturdays and gathering past and present Deb news for the Sunday News Flash
  • Choosing your topics for the year
  • Giving away a copy of your book to celebrate your launch week
  • Choosing next year’s Debutante Ball class of 2016

After the new Debs are chosen there will be Deb boot camp (okay, it really means we’ll walk you through each of our tasks, offer advice, and answer any questions you have) so that you’re ready to take the reins on September 1.

Good luck! We’re so excited to hear from you.

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Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novel CHASING THE SUN (Lake Union/New Harvest, June 2014), about a frail marriage tested to the extreme by the wife's kidnapping in Lima, Peru. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Visit her online at nataliasylvester.com

This article has 10 Comments

  1. Wow, it’s been almost a whole year? Huh. Doesn’t seem that long.

    It just occurred to me that this Debs project sort of makes up for the fact that being a writer usually means that you’re going through all these stages alone. For example, if you’re putting on a play, or playing in a band, there are people right with you who are going through exactly the same thing you are. But even if writers know a lot of other writers, they’re still usually at different stages of their careers.

    So, each group of Debs chooses the next group and hands over the keys and that’s that? There isn’t an uber-Deb running everything behind the scenes? (I’m thinking of Holland Taylor in the movie “Debs,” but I know it’s probably not exactly like that. 🙂 )

    1. Hi Anthony!
      Crazy that it’s been a year already — I can’t believe it. It’s been wonderful to go through all the stages with my fellow debs. Great support!
      Yes, each group chooses the next team and hands off the keys. There’s no uber-Deb. Although, there’s an uber-Domain-Server-person who keeps the debutante.com site alive every year, which is great.

    2. Yup, it’s exactly like that! Being a Deb means you don’t go through this alone (the most fun we have often happens behind the scenes, in email chains when we get to discuss the ups and downs of the journey!). And it also mean we hand it all over to the next class. No uber-Deb, though I’m trying to imagine what that would look like, and all I can picture is a GIANT tiara.

    3. Speaking as a “retired” deb…nope, each year functions autonomously and passes the tiaras on when the year is through.

      Also? it DEFINITELY makes up for going through this “alone” – and it makes you friends you’ll have for the rest of your life.

  2. I really enjoy following the debutantes that are selected each year. I learn so much about the business, and everyone you’ve featured is an inspiration to a hope-to-be published gal like me. Perhaps I’ll be eligible to apply in the future. My novel is in revisions and hopefully I’ll be in a position to apply to be a deb for the 2015/2016 year. I know you’ll find five more perfect authors for the upcoming year. I look forward to following each of them on their journeys to authorly success.

    1. Me, too! I think I started following the Debs in 2010 and never imagined (but always hoped) that I could be one of them!

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