Friday, July 08, 2005

A Fabulous Summer Giveaway from The Knight Agency!

Going to RWA? Check this out!

We here at The knight Agency have put on our thinking caps and brainstormed a terrific giveaway contest that will apply to anyone attending RWA (who is interested in participating!)

The rules are simple:

1) You have to be a regular blog visitor. Enough so that you can do the following.

2) Name the single most informative thing you’ve learned about the publishing and agenting process from visiting the blog, right here on this thread.

3) A drawing will be held, week after next (roughly around the 20th-21st—not a set date) to determine the winner.

4) What does the winner get? A meeting at RWA national with Deidre Knight and Pamela Harty! On Saturday, July 30th. Pamela and I will take the lucky winner to drinks there in the hotel, where we will spend time discussing your career and the projects you have on your slate.

5) Why only one winner? Please-oh-please have more than one! Well, the answer is pretty simple: can you think of any other agency giving away a special extended pitch session like this, much less in such a friendly relaxed environment? It can only be one! But the real point—to discuss what we’ve learned here on the blog—is even more fun!

6) So fire away and post your TKA “blog knowledge.”

7) Take the next number in line. (I've edited this in, so the first few entrants will have to post and claim a number) Whoever goes first, you'll end your post with #1. Then next person, #2, etc. At the end of the contest, we'll randomly select the winner with a drawing.

8) Have fun!



Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

Yeah, like I didn't already totally wish I was going to Reno. :)

Good luck, everyone! This is an incredible opportunity!

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 3:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ellen Fisher said...

Ack. I'm with Natalie... now I'm totally bummed that I'm not going to RWA. But alas, the baby is not going to let me go to Reno this year. I can just imagine myself trying to talk to Deidre and Pamela while the baby screeches, yowls, and turns red with fury. A scary thought, that. Although at least I'd have the advantage of being... memorable:-).

Seriously, good luck, everyone!!

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 4:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Robin said...

GAWD! Can I just say how BAD I want this!!!

And I'm going to Reno, so maybe I have a shot.

Seriously, what amazingly generous offer, Deidre!

Now I need to go put my thinking cap on and figure out the ONE most important thing I learned, which will be tough because I've learned so much!

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 4:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Count me in! I'll be in Reno as well. What a fabulous opportunity, Deidre.

The single most important thing? Gosh, this blog is filled with so many informative posts. For me though, it has to be the recent post about why a first time author needs an agent. A wealth of information there - and all relevant in the great agent search. The one point that stuck with me? Submitting work to editors you meet at conference. Two years on a rejection? Ay ya ya. I'm seriously wondering why I bothered to sign up for an editor appointment now. :) Once again, you've reinforcing why having an agent is the way to go.

Keep posting advice, Deidre, and we'll keep absorbing it.

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 5:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Wendy-Marie (a.k.a. Sydney Gallagher) said...

Great idea, Deidre. Don't need to dangle a carrot here. :-)

The reason I visit your blog regularly is to find out what you want. I want to know what you're looking for in a future client. Ever since reading about your RWR Spotlight, you've been at the top of my agent wish list and I was amazed to find out that you had a blog where you basically tell authors straight out what you want and don't want. You let us get to know you and your opinion on the industry. To me that is the most important function of the blog.
If I had built up some fantasy version of you in my head, your blog breaks that down and gives me the reality. And that's what will help me to improve my queries so that I may eventually have the opportunity to be represented by the person who's topped my agent wish list for so long. No other publication offering agent information gets as personal and specific as a blog.

Oh, and I really appreciated the heads up on lost queries. Mine was actually one that hadn't gotten to you. Thanks to your blog entry, I was able to send it off again. Otherwise, I may have waited months and assumed you were just too busy to reply.

Although, I'd be thrilled with a one-on-one, (and the drink part isn't too bad an offer either)I'm looking forward to the few minutes I've got guaranteed during the group pitch. I look forward to meeting you in person!


Friday, July 8, 2005 at 5:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous mhgibson said...

Do lurkers count? LOL! Nahhh...I'll just get you ladies a glass of wine at the Chick Lit Party on Wednesday. How's that? = )

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 7:05:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

I can't resist entering this contest! I'm going to Reno and would love to meet you and Pamela. I would love to meet Nephele, too, as she has my manuscript. But I don't know if she's attending.

The #1 thing I've learned is a combination of everything. And sorry if that comes across as a pat answer, but it's true. I've always believed the most important aspect of an agent/author relationship is compatability, not only in personalities but in shared visions and shared goals. Reading your posts has confirmed the importance of this aspect for me. I've learned how important communication is--regardless that I've always believed that as well, through this blog I've seen in action (the postings about lost emails, etc.) just *how* important it is. It's so easy to *misread* between the lines in communications with an agent and perhaps to make wrong assumptions along the way. This blog has taught me even more than I felt before the importance of keeping those lines of communication open, getting clarification if you're not certain, not being afraid to ask and not fearing the answer. Most of all, and this might sound trite, but your blog has humanized agents and the agenting process for me in a way I never truly understood before. The openess and frank sharing of information is an amazing resource. There's always something to learn, never just one thing.


Friday, July 8, 2005 at 8:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Dawn G said...

Wow! I'm so excited by this opportunity! I'd love to sit down with you and Pamela for longer than the few minutes I'll have with you in a group appointment.

I started visiting your blog a few weeks ago and so far have found it very informative. Just reading an agent's response to some common questions facing writers is wonderful. It's so nice to be able to ask an agent those questions.

Your point about meeting with an editor at a conference who isn't acquiring your type of work was a new point. So I'd say that is the most informative thing I've learned so far on your site. I'm sure there will be plenty more in future, too. :-)

Dawn G

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 9:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jennifer Jackson said...

This is such a great idea, Deidre! I wish I was going to RWA this year so I could "borrow" it. *g* See you in Atlanta, if not sooner!

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 9:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edie Ramer said...

This is a fabulous contest! I'm so glad I'm going to Reno.

Like Wendy-Marie, I've checked out your blog to learn more about you and any info you drop on how agents operate. What I've most learned is you're accessible, funny and loyal to your clients.

I also love it that you're excited about your own covers.

If I don't win, I hope I have a chance to say hi.


Friday, July 8, 2005 at 10:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Hi, Gang!
I *knew* this would be a fun idea! I'm so glad I decided to put this contest out there. And Jennifer Jackson? You're too funny. :)

Actually, lurkers do count. The only qualifying factor is you have to list something (or numerous things) you've learned from reading the blog. I think it helps all of us to really examine what's emerging here in our ongoing dialogue.

Then, at the end, I will enter all official contest participants into a number generator that Gena Showalter tipped me off to. Total random generator. :) That's to keep it perfectly fair.

So, I've got to add a caveat here: if you enter, please take the very next number. That means anybody who already entered today, repost just taking numbers in order. You can see where we are by looking at the last post.

Ellen, Pamela and I would have felt right at home since we both have small children. :)

Wendy, loved your post! All good things to hear, and yes, I'm glad you see I am actually human, not a freaky literary super heroine. Ack!

Thanks, guys!

Friday, July 8, 2005 at 11:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger liz said...

I've always known agents were supposed to be an author's voice in negotioations, but I especially liked the way you said it. And I quote, "The agent is your buffer, allowing Happy Talk between you and your editor." That put it in a whole new perspective for me. Most of us would rather write than confront. I also learned from the blog that TKA has a great relationship with their authors. I envy that.

I think I'm number 1 since I am the only one up this late reading blogs!

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 12:54:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Brenda Bradshaw said...

What have I learned here? Hmm...

That agents are real. They're not these scary, sadistic creatures that slither out of the bowels of hell to rain some shattered shards of glass on your heart and drizzle dread on your soul. Wow, that sounds bad.

Let's try again. I met you originally on RWC's list when you were there as a guest speaker. I had no intention of even pursuing you as an agent (that sounds bad...don't mean it like that!) but reading your emails, I saw more than a "standard form rejection letter". I saw a personality that reached out over the monotone world of the web (not everyone can do that with tone) and someone funny and someone that TRULY loves her work and her writers. I was someone ACHING for that query that made her sit up straighter and perk up and raise a delicate brow. I saw a person, not a title, not a "ticket" to publishing. And then I heard about the blog, and I knew I had to be a part of it. And not because you're an agent, but because you make me laugh. And you have guts to knowingly put yourself out there for all the desperate writers. Most "agent" blogs I've seen are anonymous ones. That takes guts.

So what have I learned? I learned Deidre Knight isn't this super woman dressed in steal and reading to stab down the pathetic writers (nothing personal, I kinda saw ALL agents that way...LOL! Scary lot, they can be!) I learned you're real, and simply someone I like.

Corny as hell, but 100% true.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 1:43:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sasha said...

What if we already have an agent but just think you guys are cool and want to have drinks with you? *ggg*

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 7:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Amie Stuart said...

LOL Sasha buy her a drink for me, too, would ya? I'm delurking but not going to Reno... but Deidre you (and Jennifer too, actually) have done a lot to restore my faith in agents and humanize the whole experience.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 12:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edie Ramer said...

Glad I decided to check out the blog again. :) I'll take number 2.


Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 12:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger moonhart said...

Dear Dee,

I think you should come to the NJ Con in October and run the same contest for those of us "right coasters" who can't make Nationals.

Please consider it.

Terri (registered for NJ already)

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 12:35:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Edie, no worries--if anyone doesn't take a number, I'm going to assign one to them.

Terri, can't do NJ this year, but wish I could! :)

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 12:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Deidre, I'll take 13. It's my favourite number. Or I'll take 3 or 8, my other two favs. Or whatever you assign is fine by me. Right now it looks like I could be 3. But I never win these random types of contests, so really just give me any number you want! Oh, yeah, I won a hamburger once. Bought a program for a basketball game and when I opened it up, someone had scrawled a number on top of the team picture in the middle. Really ticked me off. Then, at half-time, it was announced the person with that program won a gift certificate for a gourmet burger restaurant. That was over 20 years ago. I haven't won a random drawing since, LOL.


Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 1:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Cindy, you be 3. :) And you just NEVER know.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 2:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edie Ramer said...

At a lottery to buy tickets for a Springsteen concert, I once got to buy first. It wasn't free but we got great seats!

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 2:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Brenda Bradshaw said...

Crap, I forgot to do the number. I scrolled back through it, and I think I'm number 6.

Note to self: Don't try to blog when taking the migraine/bursitis medications.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 2:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

To take the total confusion out of this, here's exactly where we are. I actually went ahead and just assigned them to all who had posted and in order, so a few of you were reassigned to your actual order--make sense? I just went through and noted who had joined the contest:
Robin said... #1
Elisabeth Naughton said... #2
Wendy-Marie (a.k.a. Sydney Gallagher) said... #3
Cindy Procter-King said... #4
Dawn G said... #5
Edie Ramer said... #6
liz said... #7
Brenda Bradshaw said... #8
Cindy Procter-King said... #9

NEXT person will be #10.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 2:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Deidre, you have me in there twice. Much as I love the second chance, you'd better give me 4 OR 9, but not both. :) I'm in mourning over giving up the 3. I was married on a 3.

Hmmm, I'll take the 4. That 9 looks suspicious.

who's completely amazed by your ability to spell my last name correctly (not many people do)

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 2:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Could I be a bigger dork??

Okay, here we go again, and next person will be NINE;

Robin said... #1
Elisabeth Naughton said... #2
Wendy-Marie (a.k.a. Sydney Gallagher) said... #3
Cindy Procter-King said... #4
Dawn G said... #5
Edie Ramer said... #6
liz said... #7
Brenda Bradshaw said... #8

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 2:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Btw, you guys have made my week with all these warm, kind, and generous comments about our blog, the agency, and how I seem as an agent. I am really appreciative of all the honesty and the feedback. It's wonderful! Deidre

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 2:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Gena Showalter said...

Watch #9 be the winner LOL

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 3:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What a wonderfully eloquent post. Of course all the answers have been touching and heartfelt. But Brenda's really spoke to me since it mirrored my experience on this blog so well.

Unfortunately Reno is out for me, so I'm not entering this contest.

But I did want to respond to this question because I feel that this blog has provide an incredibly valuable service to our online writing comminuity.

IMHO-- this blog isn't just humanizing the title agent--or proving over and over again what a funny, energetic and just plain likeable woman Deidre is, but its actually mentoring a whole herd of writers. Patiently answering question after question. Educating wouldbe author's on everything from A to Z.

Because of this blog, there are alot more writers out there who are better equipted to compete in today's competative market. I bet for every writer that posts a question, there are five hundred lurkers who read the answer and go "Ahhhhhh"--light bulb moment.

Personally-- I've come way with two things. One is never to assume anything. Keep the lines of communication open. Don't be afraid to contact the agent directly--after the appropriate length of time has gone by of course.

And number two gets into what Brenda posted about. Which I won't repost on since she said it so much more eloquently than I could. So I'll just say DITTO to what Brenda said.


who visits this site at least twice a day

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 3:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Theresa, thanks and Brenda's post was incredibly eloquent. I'm telling you again--you guys have made my week! (and then some!)

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 3:41:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Michelle Leonard said...

Okay, I think that makes me #9. I do visit regularly, even if I don't always post. :)

I am going to Reno and even if I'm not lucky enough to win, I'll wave and say hi.

What have I learned from this blog? I've learned that an agent negotiates things for a first-time author that she might not have considered (foreign rights, film or audio rights). Though initially it might seem that there is little room for negotiating advances and royalties, sometimes those rights can translate into solid money later. An agent is critical in single title houses, particularly when it comes to editor's tastes. For me, I'm shooting in the dark, hoping that Editor X at House Y loves Irish medievals. In reality, she might be more interested in sexy chick lit. An agent has the contacts and the ability to say--this is the right editor for YOU. The right agent will also say--turn this offer down. It might look good now, but down the road, this could hurt your career.

Thanks for all of your advice, and great idea for a contest!

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 6:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Theresa Stevens said...

This is terrific, definitely worth delurking for. Make mine number 10?? I think it would be 10.

I remember a blog entry from, oh, at least a month ago, where you talked about query letters. You mentioned that people sometimes bury important personal details, like publishing history or prior contacts with you, at the end of the query. I'm guilty of that! And I'll never do it again, thanks to you. That post was a real eye-opener for me. Thanks for that, and for all your other great insights!

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 9:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Michelle is number nine.

So, we've only got nine participants so far? That's surprising. I thought we'd have this mass rush or something, but hey, that's me being vain. :) These are great odds for you guys so far, though I think Brenda might have used an Internet cloaking device to conceal the contest--or one of you others did it, right? :)

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 9:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Whoops! Theresa Stevens and I just posted at the same moment. She's number ten!

Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 9:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Gina Black said...

I guess that makes me number 11.

I've been trying to decide on the one thing I've learned here. The truth is, I can't pare out one item from the others.

Deidre, you have been so sharing and helpful. I've truly appreciated the postings on queries, the value of agents to new writers, what you've had to say about fees, and how willing you are to answer questions and eliminate the mystery in this business.

I enjoy the guest posters too: the explanation of high concept from Diana; the power of a single word from Gena; the inspirational post on priorities from Shelley; and Nephele's lament on the state of poetry in LA.

I always look forward to the new postings. I hope I have a chance to meet you and Pamela in Reno, but if not I'm glad I've had this opportunity to tell you what a valued resource (and fun place) the TKA blog is.


Saturday, July 9, 2005 at 10:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger TJBrown said...

Without a doubt, the most important piece of information I got from you and the blog was the heads up on lost queries. Mine was one that you wanted to see and sent a request that never made it. Even though you decided to pass on that project it made me see the importance of timely follow up.

Too bad I am not going to the conference this year. Good luck to the winner. I would love to go have drinks with you and not pitch a single thing! Though come to think of it... that might be tough:)

Have fun choosing!


Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 12:10:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

So far we have 11 people entered. Fun, fun, fun!

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 12:40:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Julie Rowe said...

Hi, I guess I'm #12

I really liked your whole post on why a writer needs an agent. You summed up around three workshops worth of info there in one blog.


Cheers, Julie Rowe

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 2:32:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fake number 12.

The most interesting thing I learned from the Knight Agency blog is not all agents are out to pump money out of me and when there isn't any left, abandon me to rot in the rain-soaked gutter of broken dreams.

From your blog, I also learned that it works both ways. If I work hard, so will my agent. If she works hard, so should I. If neither tried, a wheel will roll to nowhere.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 6:48:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous andrea said...

I never leave comments - I just read but I am obviously inspired this is SO coolio. :) Am I # 11? if not just random generate me.
Your blog is a plethora of helpful and insight advice and comment. I also found your comments on Romancing the Blog useful. Okay getting to it - I think the stated difference in $ an agent makes was a bonus. I know you helped Shelley get a 2 book deal with Berkley for erotic romance. Reading your blog also lets me learn more about the person my potential agent is - I want to like and respect my agent. I want the agent to respect me too, but that is probably my needy, insecure side.
I would be so very excited to win and this is a wonderful opportunity The Knight Agency is offering. Thx

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 10:27:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Leanna Ellis said...

Hi, Deidre! Thanks for doing this contest. What fun. And what a great opportunity. Not sure what number I am, so I'll let you keep track of that. Someone recommended your blog to me a while back and I visit as often as I can. I think the thing I've learned the most from your blog is your enthusiasm for the business and your authors' enthusiasm for working with you. I love your guest bloggers and interviews. I've loved reading your thoughts and suggestions and news about the industry.

One thing I've learned about you and your agency is the support and enthusiasm that has developed between you and your authors. The author/agent relationship is so important. I love how supportive you are of your authors. How you don't just get contracts but you enjoy the process of getting the book in print and rejoice when it hits the shelves.

I've been away from publishing for a few years while my children were small and getting back into the groove and up to speed on industry news has been difficult. When I write all alone in the wee morning hours, it's really helped me to know others, like you and your authors, are out there doing the same thing. It's also been greatly beneficial to absorb the energy that is here on your blog.

Thanks and keep blogging!

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 11:10:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Kimberly Campbell said...

Deidre-Thanks so much for the wonderful blog site. I have learned so much from the postings. I suppose the most important thing that I have learned was from Shelley Bradley's post. I have thought so many times about giving up and after reading her post have decided that my time WILL come. I just have to be patient and keep writing. Again, Thanks.

Kimberly Campbell

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 12:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bonnie Ferguson said...

I'm not going to Reno but I agree that the blog has been so informative. There's been a lot of good info but my most recent favorite is the "why a new author needs an agent" post :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 2:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Corrina said...

What a nice outreach to your online readers. Thank you!

I've been lurking for about two months but I have to say two recents posts were the ones I found most helpful. The first was about the role of an agent in an agent's career and the second about the ethics of agency fees. It's really hard to find straight talk about what's allowable and what is not.

But, overall, I just like the insight into the day by day work of an agent. I spent seven years with Barnes & Noble bookstores, so I've seen book sales from that end. Obviously, as a writer looking to be published, I am learning that part of it. But having the agent piece of the big picture is extremely helpful.

Thanks for the blog and thanks for the contest. I tried to count the entries to save you the trouble but I'm not sure if this is #15 or #16.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 3:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous nancy kleinkopf said...

Whoa! What a great contest and I'm going to Reno! I'm a lurker who's delurking for a change. I learned of your blog a while back and I've dropped by regularly ever since. The wealth of information you pass on to writers is incredible. For me, the most informative came from: Why A New Author Needs An Agent. Thanks, Deidre, for taking time to keep us abreast of the industry.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 3:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

I'll be in Reno and would love to spend time with you and Pamela! Your recent blog on why a first timer needs an agent struck a chord with me. I want someone who knows about the industry peddling my work and me. I can't write and keep up with everything going on in the business and would love to have the knowledge of an agent to place my work in the right hands.
I've had that two year wait on a rejection from Berkley! But it wasn't a form letter thank goodness!

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 6:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cheryl Oblon said...

I'm a lurker but this is so great for those of us going to Reno! The info is very helpful here. I'd say the most informative and revealing info was that you need an agent even if you're good at negotiating. People love to say if you're okay at negotiating you can do it alone. The honesty is refreshing! We all want someone in our corner:)

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 9:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what an amazing opportunity. I'm definitely a lurker but on this, I have to participate. :)

What I've learned here: Agents are real people who are constantly thinking of new ways to help their writers. I was always a fan of the Knight Agency, but now that I've seen the personal and tireless dedication by Deidre on this Blog, I know that I never want to go it alone as a writer. I want someone in my corner who knows what's going on.

The Knight Agency is without a doubt my dream agency, so the opportunity to have insights into the wants, likes, and dislikes of the Agency is fantastic. Plus the continual sense of humor is great too. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 10:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Maire said...

Okay, I just posted as a lurker, and realized that posting anonysmously might not be the best idea. Oops. Sorry. I'm new at this blogging thing... aside from lurking.

I started my post with : Wow, what an amazing opportunity and posted at 10:55 pm

I think I'm either #21 or #22

Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 11:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Deirdre--I think you're going to need some serious Tylenol, figuring out these numbers. LOL! :D

Monday, July 11, 2005 at 6:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger cin said...


Just like your blog- this contest is an amazing opportunity! Speaking from newbie-dom, your blog has been the single most informative resource I have found. For one, it provides across the board help. Also, the forum allows for two-way communication, which is invaluable to a newbie who doesn’t want to step on toes by asking too many or the wrong kind of questions. Your advice and explanations have prevented many an unintentional misstep. So for that I am very grateful!!

As for the most helpful thing I’ve learned… hmm, it is probably to be sure I find an agent who fits well with my goals and needs and work style. Before, I got the impression that the goal was just to get someone to bite, kind of a take what you can get mentality prevailing, but I can see where that would be a bad thing. Not only do I admire what you’re doing with your blog, but I also really admire the way your clients get out there and support each other and promote. Your agency has a wonderful team attitude that I haven’t noticed anywhere else. That says a lot.

As for the numbers- I understood exactly what you meant at the beginning, but now am really confused. The last person had #21 or #22, but I don’t know where that came from?? I’ll put #23 just to put something – but feel free to adjust ;-)

Thanks again!!


Monday, July 11, 2005 at 1:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lorie said...

An agent, like shoes, needs to be a good fit.

Short & sweet,

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 6:28:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Susan Hamilton said...

What a great contest. The thought of winning makes the upcoming trip to Reno even more exciting and sleep disrupting.

What you said about agents....!

Better money, the right editors, getting a fast read........WOW!

Here is the condensed version of the most important thing I learned from reading your blog:

The publishing world is as dangerous as an dark street in the worst section of town, and a GOOD AGENT HAS YOUR BACK.

From--Why Should a First-Time Author Have an Agent?

I think I am number #25.

Good luck to all the other contest participants.

Susan Hamilton

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 5:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Myra Johnson said...

Hi, Deidre, what a great contest! One thing you really helped me understand is "high concept." I've been struggling with that one for some time now, but it makes so much more sense the way you explain it.

This will be my first RWA National conference, and I'm really getting excited about it!

Thanks! Myra, #26.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 6:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa, baby, I knew agents were a good thing, but I had no idea HOW good! I read (on Deidre's blog, of course) that an agent can sometimes get an overnight read from a publisher versus that same unagented ms. sitting in a slush pile for two years. YOWSA!!! WHERE DO I SIGN UP????

Thanks for this great opportunity, Deidre!

Julie Lessman (# 27)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 11:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Susan Hamilton said...


My edit gremlin had his way with me again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 11:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger StaceyI said...

I won't say I'm a lurker, since that's been said before, but I guess I'm just the type that likes to watch from the sidelines. I think I have a mild case of ISAD (internet social anxiety disorder), so maybe that's to blame :).

In any event I've learned a lot from this blog. Firstly, i've learned that agents are people with the same issues, concerns, and insecurities that plague the rest of us. Also, I've learned that agents want to find that perfect client as much as we want to find that perfect agent (surprise surprise)! They actually want us to be good, want us to show up with the manuscript or scripts that they know will be a breeze to sell.

And as everyone else has said, I've learned the importance of communication. It's so easy to be intimidated or to think that you simply need to 'wait your turn' to be rescued from the slush pile. This blog had taught me that that's not always the case and that it's alright to give a timid little "hello I'm here!" from time to time.

I have no idea what number I am. (Have the common screaming baby problem that seems to plague others and cloud my thinking and typing!)
But I am going to Reno and I'd love to have the chance to meet any one of you gracious and informative ladies!

Thanks again for running the contest,
Stacey Iglesias

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 at 12:38:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Shelley Munro said...

Wow, what a wonderful opportunity!
I've just discovered your blog, and the first post that caught my eye was the one on Why Should a First-Time Author Have an Agent?
There is so much information here...I'll be reading for a while!
Reno will be my first RWA conference. I'm looking forward to it very much.
Shelley #29

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 at 5:25:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maureen McGowan said...

Wow! This is a fantastic idea!

I think I'm #30 (a lucky number... I've just decided)

Your blog is a fabulous source of information, but if I have to pull out the most important thing... I have to say it is getting a feel for the personalities of the agents. Reading this blog has confirmed for me that the Knight Agency is an agency I want to be with. The unpublished author/agent relationship is one of the strangest I've come across... Authors are out to "hire" an agent, but the agents have all the "power" and select by whom they want to be hired. Having a blog like this helps authors feel more confident that they are targeting an agency they would want to have represent them -- if they are talented, skilled and lucky enough to be offerred representation.
Hope to win!!!! I can't wait for Reno and would love a chance to discuss my work/career with Deirdre and Pamela.

Maureen McGowan
Lucky #30

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 at 4:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Brenda Bradshaw said...

LOL Deidre! I cracked up with the "Brenda Internet cloaking device" part. OBVIOUSLY that's not the case!

I've been gone (my life makes fiction look dull), I came back, and holy crap - 58 posts and now over 30 vying for the covetted time. See? No cloaking device (dang it!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 at 11:51:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Blog! I'm going to bookmark you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 12:30:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Kelly Mortimer said...

Hey Deidre,

Great blogs! I have a question for you. I've considered being an agent, having a degrees in Contract Law and Finance. I'm a gregarious gal with some editor contacts, and am fearless. One of my law profs told me I could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo. But how do you find time to write?! Also, how do you learn? Apprentice with someone? Not easy for me as I live in So. Cal!

From reading the blogs I learned that some editors think voice is the most important thing in a writer. And that if your voice is strong enough, they may still take your manuscript and help you with the plot.

Since I have great voices and no problem with my plots, I don't see any problems! LOL!


Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 10:56:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Terry McLaughlin said...

Long time lurker here scuttling out of my underwater cave to take a chance on a meeting. The blog item about looking for a "team mentality" in a client got me thinking--and I like to think 'bout stuff like that, so thanks.

Seeing the confusion here over the number system has reaffirmed my theory that there are numbers people and there are words people--and you're definitely not dealing with numbers people here. I hope it's not cheating to back up my theory by taking #31--which is probably wrong.


Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 1:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sharie Kohler said...

Newbie here -- never even responded to a blog before -- but I had to surface for a crack at winning this contest! I think I'm #32, correct me if I'm wrong. Whew -- the competition is getting stiff!

The blog that most impacted me? You guessed it -- Why A First Time Author Should Have An Agent. It has stopped me from submitting to editors, even when I've had multiple requests for the full manuscript through contests. No small test of will power, let me tell you. I want a career, and I realize I need an agent to help me get there.

Your blog has also provided what I thought impossible -- it allows the writer to get to know an agent before hiring him/her.
Thanks for this opportunity.

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 3:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Tanya Wade said...

Believe I'm number 33, if the person before me is indeed 32. Um, I failed math, but did swell in English, so here goes....

I think one of the most interesting things I learned from this blog is that agents don't have to be from NYC. Not that there's anything wrong with NYC, but I like how the point is brought home that it is not crucial in today's market.

I've also learned what's hot in the market, and from reading Deidre's blog, I've learned we both love the Jam.

See ya in Reno, don't call 911 unless Jim Dangle is on duty!

Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 3:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Tera Lynn Childs said...


Like Sharie, the most influential post I've read so far is "Why Should a First-Time Author Have an Agent?" It answers so many questions that an unpublished author might not even know to ask unless she already has an agent.

And the suggestion that just because I pitch to an editor at a conference and she wants to read more does not mean she is the BEST editor for me or my book goes right to the heart of the first-time publishing world. It's easy to think, "Oooh, she's interested! My work here is done." This is a business and there is so much beyond just making that first sale, but until I have it's hard to put aside perceived opportunities. Thank you for pointing out why willpower is crucial!

And, knowing that even agents get agents when they want to write only proves how important having an agent is!

Best of luck to everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 4:16:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cora Jensen said...

What a great contest! The one bit of information that struck me was the fact that Deidre Knight is using an agent for her books. This really says something about the importance and helpfulness of a good agent.
Cora Jensen
May I have #36

Friday, July 15, 2005 at 12:22:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jennette said...

Thanks for doing this - what a fantastic giveaway!

In the couple of months reading here, the most important bit of knowledge I've taken away is that a good agent is not only a knowledgeable marketing partner, but also an advocate and career strategist.

It's also a great way for us to get some specifics on what you look for in a client.

#37 (according to previous posts)

Friday, July 15, 2005 at 4:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kay said...

#38 (i think)
- the biggest thing I've learned here is to keep writing..."never surrender, never give up" - from Shelley Bradley's guest appearence here on your blog-"getting published is as much about perseverance as it is about talent"- that was quite encouraging for me -

Saturday, July 16, 2005 at 2:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jill Lawrence said...

Hi Deidre-

I'll be in Reno so I'm entering the drawing! #39

One important thing I've learned here is once you submit a partial or a full for consideration, just forget about it and move on to the next thing.

Another important lesson is to never give up and to write what you feel you should write instead of what will sell.

Crossing my fingers!

Jill Lawrence

Saturday, July 16, 2005 at 3:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Hi, Gang!
Back from vacation and I see that we have lots and lots of participants in our contest! Wow!

I will go through the numbers and be sure we have an official one assigned to each person later this week. I'm going to make closing time for entering the contest this Wednesday night at midnight, and after a lot of thought, have decided that there will also be two additional winners of a one chapter and synopsis and query critique--with abundant time granted to MOI to make the evaluation. :)

So three winners, with first prize being the drinks in Reno and the other two winners getting critiques from me. Not bad, huh?

More to come. D

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 12:54:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Leanna Ellis said...

How cool is that! Looking forward to seeing who the winners are going to be. Thanks, Deidre, for being so generous with your time and expertise.

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 9:21:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sheila Connolly said...

#40? I'll take whatever number you want to give me. This is my first RWA and I'm already thrilled.

My answer is simple: that agents are human. Not terrifying gatekeepers, not impersonal ax-wielders whose sole aim in life is to chop down quivering newbies who humbly lay their queries and their egos on the agent's desk or screen. Agents are people who care about words, and writing, and therefore writers, and keeping the industry moving forward.

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 1:57:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Mel said...


Each time I read TKA blog, I learn something new, but the one thing that has been the most educational for me was the blog entry on why a new author needs an agent. As an unpubbed author, I was never sure why I needed an agent, other than getting my manuscript read faster.

Your detailed explanation of career planning, multiple house submissions, and the difference in advance amounts was a huge eye-opener.

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 2:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger inkgrrl said...

Well jeez, wish I'd found ya sooner! Oh well, I'll be in Reno this year just gathering info so I don't make a complete dork of myself pitching next year. But I'll buy you a drink anyway ;->

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 4:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sharon James said...


Thanks for offering this opportunity.

I've found all the posts to be informative, but, as did so many others, the post on why authors need an agent was excellent. I've never doubted that an agent was a necessary partner on the publishing journey, but the examples you gave just made it so clear. I thought your example of finding the *right* editor at the right house - and how conferences don't always offer that connection - was a great insight.


Monday, July 18, 2005 at 5:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Tonda Fuller said...

Stick to it! That always seems to be the underlying sentiment in this very supportive blog.

I'd love to see you in Reno, so here's crossing my fingers.


Monday, July 18, 2005 at 5:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The biggest thing I've learned is that the first time author really needs an agent. Diana's sale story shows how important an agent and the best agent for her really makes a diffence.

:) Tiana

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 6:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tori Scott said...

Oh man! Not getting to go to Reno was already killing me. Then I quit smoking, and that's really killing me. Now I find out about this. Arrrrggghhh!

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 7:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tori Scott said...

Okay, I'm going to suck up my disappointment and say that I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog, even though I'm a shameless lurker. My life is such a zoo that I hesitate to get too involved in something,lest I not get to come back for a month or two at a time. But Deidre, I've been really impressed by your willingness to put yourself out there, to let authors ask you questions and to give them a chance to get to know you and your agency. I've also learned perseverance can play as big a part in this business as raw talent.

But don't count me for an entry, since I can't make Reno.

Pam Payne (w/a Tori Scott)

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 7:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger obiggs said...

#43 I think. I won't be in Reno, so please only count this submission if that is not required for the critique prizes.

I've never posted before, but I've certainly lurked. My favorite entry was called: Debut Authors, Editorial Work, and Agents! Oh My!

I liked this one in particular because of the statement "Truthfully, my favorite part of this job is finding brand new talent."

Words like this keep me plugging away.

Monday, July 18, 2005 at 11:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nina said...

#44 and very excited to enter!

For me as a writer early in my career, the best thing about this blog is the "insider's" insight into the industry. I'm learning so much that will help me avoid the MANY pitfalls out there.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 12:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#45 I didn't read through the rest of the comments so as not to taint my answer--if I duplicate someone's, it's pure coincidence, I swear!

What I enjoy most about reading your blog is knowing the words of wisdom come from someone who sees our little world from both sides--as an agent AND a newly pubbed writer. That gives you a unique viewpoint from which we all benefit and I appreciate your genoristy for sharing.

I guess if I had to pinpoint one thing I've learned here, it's that not all agents are (dare I say it?) elitist literary snobs. (Okay, now that I've offended most of the AAR, I'd better win this contest!)

By the way, make mine a Cadillac margarita....

:) Hope to see y'all in Reno

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 1:51:00 AM EDT  
Blogger randy said...

Oops...didn't mean to make that anonymous...I'm Randy :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 1:52:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Brooke said...

Woo Hoo, I am #46—my lucky number!

For me, one of the valuable things I’ve had reinforced is that agents and editors are truly “real” people, too. To an unpublished writer, they seem so mystical, and yet they have families and bills and gardens to be watered just like everyone else. That’s kind of a nice and reassuring thought.

See you all in Reno!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 1:55:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cheryl Mansfield said...

Hi Deidre,
I too, haven't posted to your blog before but I love reading it on a near daily basis. Thank you for taking the time to do the blog. It's been truly helpful.

My favorite bit of take away knowlege is a good agent/author relationship functions as a true team. And that you/your agency makes it's money from selling books. Period. No fees.

I like the team aspect. No one ever truly writes a good book alone.

~Cheryl Mansfield

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 9:52:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Ellen Fisher said...

So are we allowed to enter for the critique prize if we're not going to be in Reno? I'm confused... as usual:-).

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 11:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Ellen, you have to be going to Reno, but we'll probably do a different give away later in the year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 11:26:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Christine Ashworth said...

#48 Well, after I learned you HAD a blog and spent over an hour perusing it, I've learned that you're a writer with a series coming out from NAL next year (congrats!) and therefore have empathy with the writers you represent. You also emphasize the team aspect of working with your writers.

Even more important, your blog is now a part of my daily "email-blog-write" schedule - and I'm now *really* looking forward to my group appointment with you in Reno!

See you there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 12:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ellen Fisher said...

Thank you for the clarification, Deidre *sobbing on keyboard*.

I'll just keep hanging around and waiting hopefully for that other giveaway, then. You don't mind, do you??

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 1:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Darynda Jones said...

49? I have to say this is a great site and this contest is a wonderful idea Deidre.

One thing I have learned (among a plethora of others) is that an agent is willing to help you with your career, not just this one ms. you sent in. It is a long-term commitment with goals and objectives that will benefit both the writer and the agent.

I really love that!
BOL to everyone!!!

:) Darynda...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 1:20:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Skye Forbes said...

danged if i know what number i am...

I knew RWA was awesome! I just didn't know it would bring me this oppurtunity.

I was so behind on email and blogs that imagine how giddy i was when i read this! :)

Honestly- the most important thing i learned from the blog was what you posted back in April (and i only started reading a little before this) was that "In a query, you don’t need to have plot points and explain why you did such and such in your story. The ONLY purpose of a query is to get a request for more material."

My query letter was practically the length of my manuscript before i realized that it didn't have to do that.

So even if i don't win the contest, at least now i have a kick-a** query letter. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 2:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Toni Anderson said...

Coming out of lurkdom to say the best thing about this blog is being able to appreciate what an agent can do, especially for an unpublished writer
and the worst thing about this blog is being able to appreciate what an agent can do, especially for an unpublished writer :)

I'm going to Reno. But I'm definately a lurker here so if I miss the draw, that's OK, I'll just cry--LOL.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 3:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Caren said...

Thank you, Deirdre, for this fabulous opportunity. I've met you at M&M a couple of times, but have never pitched to you. While I appreciate the sentiments of some authors who believe it's most important to *like* your agent, I feel what's most important is having a common vision for your career with your agent.

Your blog gives us all insight into how you regard the business, how you like to work and the type of plans you have for your authors (as well as for yourself). All this is invaluable for those of us looking for representation.

I hope my number comes up, as I would love to discuss my career plans with you in Reno.

Caren Helms
#51 (I think)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 4:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

The thing I enjoyed most on this blog was the post that basically said:

"Queried me? Make sure I'm not rejected as spam when I respond! Duh!"

Of course, you didn't say duh. I just inferred it. :)

Natalie, not going to Reno, just trying to make you smile

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 11:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Shalanna Collins said...

#50 or thereabouts. I wasn't going to do the contest because I'm not going to the Reno convention (I pretty much got burned out on conventions some time ago after a disastrous experience buying various agents drinks at a hotel bar . . . film at 11), but then (after I had already given up the chance to be number 11 or so) you announced other prizes, so I'll play. (grin)

Overall, reading your blog has made me believe once again that there are actual people under the titles "editor" and "agent." After so many years of spinning my wheels, I started to think that nobody really wanted to find new talent. Not only have you said you're looking for new talent, but you've also opened up this forum for people to give you feedback. I will say, though, that the most thrilling entry for me so far was the interview with Random House editor Allison Dickens. When I read that she thinks magical chick lit (paranormal chick lit) might really take off, I found myself cleaning the screen (my diet cola went *splurt*) because it could mean that I can actually sell my "Bell, Book, and Candle Meets Love Potion #9" books. Shanna Swendson is on another writers' mailing list that I am on, and she says that her ENCHANTED, INK may be the one book that Random House will pick up and will serve as their "magical chick lit," but I am hoping that it succeeds and opens the door for me to sell. So I got both abstract and concrete benefits out of reading your blog.
--Shalanna Collins

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 2:44:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Shalanna Collins said...

*blush* Um, that's _ENCHANTED, INC._ Ya gotta admit it was a pretty logical thinko, though. (Not a typo, a thinko. Y'know, ink . . . paper . . . writing.)

Oh, Ghodz, the very idea of people getting published by Bennett Cerf's old house is making my green-eyed monster rear his ugly head. I'm taking my Pomeranian and going off to bed. (Hubby will be in here killing computergame monsters for another hour, at least.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 2:47:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Am I allowed to enter twice?

Didn't think so.

Good luck, everyone!


Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 8:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

The numbers as of right now--somehow you ladies got off a couple of numbers early on. So, most of you wound up being corrected by at least two places. I've spent time going over it, and this is it for now. :)

Robin said... #1
Elisabeth Naughton said... #2
Wendy-Marie (a.k.a. Sydney Gallagher) said... #3
Cindy Procter-King said... #4
Dawn G said... #5
Edie Ramer said... #6
liz said... #7
Brenda Bradshaw said... #8
Michelle Leonard #9
Theresa Stevens #10
Gina Black #11
Julie Rowe #12
andrea #13
Leanna Ellis #14
Kimberly Campbell #15
Corrina #16
nancy kleinkopf #17
Paty Jager #18
Cheryl Oblon #19
Maire #20
CAS (Cindy) #21
Lorie #22
Susan Hamilton #23
Myra Johnson #24
Julie Lessman #25
StaceyI #26
Shelley Munro 27
Maureen McGowan #28
Terry McLaughlin #29
Sharie Kohler #30
Tanya Wade 31
Tera Lynn Childs 32
Cora Jensen 33
Jennette 34
Kay 35
Jill Lawrence 36
Sheila Connolly 37
Mel said... 38
Franny Karkosak 39
Tonda Fuller 40
Tiana 41
Janine said... 42
Randy “the Cadillac” Margarita 43

Brooke 44
Cheryl Mansfield 45
Christine Ashworth 46
Darynda Jones 47
Skye Forbes 48
Toni 49
Caren Helms #51
Shalanna Collins (Had to delete you because it has to be people going to Reno, even for critique prize—going to do another blog-wide one in the fall!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 10:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Poppy said...

It looks like I'm #52

I think the single most informative thing I learned was that an unpublished author should try to find an agent before submitting to editors. I met an editor at a meeting, liked her, and was invited to submit a full once my WIP was completed. I found myself changing what I was writing to fit what this editor said she liked, even though I thought that maybe that publisher wasn't the best fit for my work. I did it simply because I had a "in" with that editor that I didn't want to waste. (Okay, a infinitesimally small "in", but still...) Now that my plan is to shop agents first, thanks to Deidre's comments, my writing is more true to my voice and spirit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 11:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Allison Brennan said...

My CP introduced me to your blog. The single most important thing I learned was actually from your article posted on RTB ... to sell you need to break rules, but often when you break rules you can't sell. It's about connecting with the right editor and the right book ... and the right agent will be able to do that.

I have an agent I love, but I want to win so I can give your prize to my CP who deserves it. She is a fabulous writer, witty, with a little bit of dark humor. And she breaks rules, but not so much I don't think she can't sell. She just needs the right agent who loves her voice and knows the right editor who will love her voice. She's coming to Reno.

I think this makes me #52 ... I hope I'm not too late! I've been on deadlines and blogging unfortunately went to the bottom of my priority list.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 11:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Poppy is 52
Allison 53
(since you posted simultaneously!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 11:43:00 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home