Writing Heroes: Operation Awesome

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! 


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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8 years ago
Deb Marshall
8 years ago

Just recently started following and I heart them! Thanks for the feature!

8 years ago

Definitely worthy of exalted hero status. 🙂

Andrea Mack
8 years ago

I check in regularly with the Operation Awesome blog – it’s fantastic! They definitely deserve this shout out.

Traci Kenworth
8 years ago

I’ve just recently stumbled upon Operation Awesome and I’m truly impressed. Much luck to these ladies and thanks Angela and Becca for sharing!!

Carrie Butler
8 years ago

Wow! I had not heard of Operation Awesome. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Kelly Andrews
8 years ago

Aw, how sweet! Thank you! You are one of my blog heroes too!

Becca Puglisi
8 years ago

Woot! Glad to see I’m not alone in my OA love, and happy to introduce so many people to this excellent group of women.

Diane Fordham
8 years ago

What can I say? Wow! Awesome post. Thank you 🙂

Michelle McLean
8 years ago

So I come home from a long day at the dentist with my son, with plans to schedule an even longer day with my daughter, and see this wonderful post 🙂 Thank you so much for all the love! Absolutely made a miserable Monday fantastic 🙂

And thank you for the 1000 word crit!! I think we can find something fun to do with that 😀

Nicole Zoltack
8 years ago

I love the ladies at Operation Awesome!

Jennifer Jensen
8 years ago

I haven’t heard of the Operation Awesome ladies, either, but I’m heading there now!

Susan Flett Swiderski
8 years ago

Wow! They sound fantabulous. Thank you so much for the heads up.

Tina Moss
8 years ago

I too <3 Operation Awesome. They are an amazing group of writers who truly give back to the community. Great pick!

Ava Jae
8 years ago

I haven’t seen their blog before you featured them, but now I have! The Mystery Agent feature sounds particularly unique and fantastic. Another great choice!

Laura Pauling
8 years ago

I agree! A terrific choice.

Kristal Shaff
8 years ago


Thank you so much for the plug and the wonderful words!

Can’t wait to discuss with the gals and figure out how to use our 1,000 word critique!

Stacy Green
8 years ago

Wow! I’ve never heard of these ladies, so thanks so much for cluing me in. Sounds like a great place and perfect crew for this feature!

Michelle Gregory
8 years ago

Kristal has been a writing friend since 2006 and is also one of my crit partners. great lady and great writer.

Matthew MacNish
8 years ago

I know and love them all. Another great group completely worthy of this feature.

8 years ago

I do not know them, but I’m about to meet them….

(And thanks for posting this!)

Natalie Aguirre
8 years ago

They sound like an awesome blog. I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for sharing about them.

Lynda R Young
8 years ago

This is a great tribute to Operation Awesome. I’ve been a long time follower, if a quiet one. And you are right their reviews are brilliant.

Aldrea Alien
8 years ago

How did I not hear of their blog sooner?
Well now, this post has been just wonderful.

Catrina Barton
8 years ago

This is well… Awesome! XD

Wonderful post that offers insight to the world of agents. Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂