Monday, December 20, 2010

Speed Dating with Deidre Knight -- Final Results Post!

UPDATE: Darcy Drake is the winner of the first chapter crit. Please email contests(at) by Tuesday, Dec. 28th to claim your prize. 

Thanks to all the commenters for your well wishes to Leigh and great ideas for our next big event. After all of your feedback, we're thinking a lottery is the way to go, and it will definitely take place later in the day. No 5am wake up call for west coasters. We pinky swear. We'll reveal the details of our new contest in early 2011, which is right around the corner. Thanks for all the great feedback, and if you still want to leave a suggestion -- please do so. We're always checking the comments. :-)

We wish you a fabulous and safe holiday!

It’s the BIG day! Please join us in congratulating the newest member of The Knight Agency family – Leigh Evans. Christmas came early for this urban fantasy writer who says she began working on the manuscript for HEDI’S BOOK OF RULES last November. “To be honest, I tried to write Hedi’s story before that, and had made it to 67K,” she recalls, “Then late one night -- after a particularly painful writing day --I heard Hedi, real loud, right in my ear. She didn't sound anything like the well-mannered woman I’d been wrestling with... I tossed the 67K over my shoulder, and started over the next day."

Leigh is a member of RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter, where she heard about our speed dating contest on the group’s eloop, as well as the Toronto Romance Writers. She claims to have won only two things in her life—a book and a guinea pig—and didn’t feel terribly optimistic about making it through the first round. Lucky for us, she decided to push her pessimism aside and brave the now infamous early morning blog traffic jam that yielded hundreds of hits in less than 5 minutes. When Deidre contacted her about representation, Leigh reports her hands were trembling as she clicked open the email. “Thing is, I love Hedi Peacock,” she says, “I feel a sense of obligation to get her story right. When I read that Deidre loved her too, my eyes got wet.”

Even though Leigh took home the crown, her fellow finalists Pat O’Dea Rosen and Sofie Couch were serious competition. Both Pat and Sofie are extremely talented and are certainly at the top of Deidre’s list of up-and-coming writers to watch. :-)

Deidre would love to do another contest in the near future, perhaps involving some of our other agents as well. We’ve been bouncing around the ideas of doing a lottery-type contest, video challenge or perhaps just repeating the speed dating contest. Another option is to rerun our “Book in a Nutshell Contest,” where entrants were only allowed to send in three compelling sentences about their project. Give us some feedback. Help design the next contest by leaving your thoughts on what new challenge or rules writers would have to follow to enter, or maybe even address what tweaks you would give to some of our past contests. We’re thinking that spring, a season of new beginnings, would be the perfect time for the next big event.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED: Before you head off to the comment section, Deidre has one last present in her Santa bag. A first chapter critique for one lucky commenter. If you don’t have a first chapter handy, the prize is transferable. Wouldn’t that make a nice Christmas gift for a friend?
First Chapter Critique Rules:
1. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced tomorrow afternoon, December 21st.
2. The prize must be claimed within a week by Tuesday, December 28th.
3. The first chapter must be turned in by January 1st, 2011.
4. The critique will be returned in eight weeks or less.
5. The prize cannot be transferred more than once.

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Blogger Callie James said...

Congratulations, Leigh! What a wonderful way to start the new year!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger Patty Blount said...

OMG, what a great gift! Congrats to you and thanks to Deidre and her team for a fun contest.

I look forward to the next one and think Book in a Nutshell sounds challenging.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:21:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Katrina said...

How wonderful for Leigh! Congratulations!

I love the idea of a contest in the spring - especially since my WIP should be finished by then ;-)

Best of luck with your new agent, Leigh!


Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger Darcy Drake said...

Congrats, Leigh! What a great holiday surprise! =D

For the next contest, you mentioned spring and I instantly thought of Easter eggs. Festive and decorative activity OR intentionally hidden messages? Maybe the contest could be sending in your favorite 'hidden message,' that didn't take over the story or age it, but was a cute wink to something else. I.E. 'I was inspired by Jane Austen and my heroine's pet llama is named Mr. Collins.'

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mai said...

That's amazing news. Congrats, Leigh!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:27:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

I had so much fun with this contest! And I must tell you, all three finalists submitted fantastic manuscripts. I can't wait for all of you to read Leigh Evans once we sell her terrific manuscript--and I do mean it's wonderful. It's been a while since any writer could keep me up till almost two in the morning, especially after an arduous trip to NYC! I came in the door that night at almost midnight, showered, and then dove right back into Leigh's manuscript. And couldn't turn the light out until long after 1:30 am. THAT is the sign of a writer whose woven a spell over you!

Congrats to all three of these fine authors and women!! CONGRATS on three great books and big careers in the future.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger beck nicholas said...

Congratulations Leigh! What a Merry Christmas for you.

I thought the speed dating worked well but the Book in a Nutshell sounds scary... i *think* that's a good thing....

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:30:00 PM EST  
Anonymous martha ramirez said...

congrats! That is sooo awesome. What a Cmas gift.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jani said...

Congrats, Leigh! Really looking forward to reading it one day.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:37:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Janice Gable Bashman said...

Congrats Leigh! It's fantastic that you take the time to run this contest Deidre. Although I didn't enter, I enjoyed following what happened through your blog posts.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:38:00 PM EST  
Anonymous R.G. Porter said...

Massive congratz Leigh! I bet you are still smiling. It was a great contest and I can't wait for the next one.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:39:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Yay, Leigh! I can't wait to read Hedi's story.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:39:00 PM EST  
Blogger Evangeline Holland said...

Congrats to Leigh, Pat O’Dea, and Sofie! Even though I was knocked out in round one, I had a lot of fun watching the speed-dating unfold and it made me much, much more aware of the importance of my MS's first page! Here's to the next contest, and to my MS! Thank you to Deirdre, Jia, and the rest of the Knight Agency for their commitment to discovering new talent!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:39:00 PM EST  
Blogger Isabelle Santiago said...

Congratulations, Leigh! That's so exciting! And I agree. Book in a Nutshell sounds GREAT!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dara Young said...

So sorry I missed this contest! That three line idea sounds challenging. And of course, congratulations to Leigh!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:43:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sabrina Shields said...

Congratulations Leigh - it's very inspiring to hear you chucked the 67k. I'm 30k in and lately have been afraid to admit to myself I think I might need to start over. Or at least do some major changes to my heroine. :)

Good luck!


Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:43:00 PM EST  
Blogger Heather said...

Congratulations to Leigh! And congratulations to The Knight Agency for signing her.

A contest this spring sounds fantastic. I look forward to seeing what fun things TKA comes up with for us!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:43:00 PM EST  
Anonymous LorcaDamon said...

Congratulations Leigh and best of luck! FUTURE CONTEST: Write your synopsis into a fortune cookie your mc would read?

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Durango Writer said...

I love the idea of "book in a nutshell." Thanks for this round of speed dating and can't wait for the spring contest.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Alli Sinclair said...

Congrats to Leigh--looks like Santa arrived early this year! And congrats to the finalists! Book in a Nutshell is a great contest, and I think the Speed Dating definitely got people talking (and clicking like crazy--enough to cause a traffic jam!).

Thank you to all at TKA for organizing these contests. Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:45:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations. That is a great Christmas gift.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:50:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Trish said...

Well that's certainly a nice holiday gift! congrats, Leigh!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:52:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Heather Garrett said...

Congratulations! What a dream come true!

How about a last line contest? For me as a reader, the last line of a chapter can either make me keep reading or put the book down... #justsayin

Ps. Thank you for the extra chance to throw our hats in for a critique!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Strickland 8 said...

Interesting way to find a new client. It gives hope to those who query and wonder if they will ever have success. There are many great books out there waiting to be discovered, and the next one just might be one of ours.

Congratulations, Leigh. To the rest of us, keep writing and querying.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:57:00 PM EST  
Blogger Debra said...

FF&P Rocks! Congratulations, Leigh!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Janine said...

Loved the last contest, thought I didn't enter. And congrats to Leigh!!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger Xela said...

Congratulations to Leigh.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:10:00 PM EST  
Blogger ambuxton said...

Congratz, Leigh. For contest ideas, I think the best single sentence from a MS would be really interesting.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jess said...

I'm sad that I missed the 'Book in a Nutshell!'

Congrats, Leigh!

Happy holidays, good luck and keep writing and querying, fellow writer-friends!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mace said...

Alas, blogger did not like my last comment, which is a, "Less is more," contest - condense a story into one of the "six word stories" fashion.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger ambuxton said...

Congratz, Leigh. For contest ideas, I think the best single sentence from a MS would be really interesting.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dawn Montgomery said...

Congratulations, Leigh!!! Can't wait to see how you do. :D Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gloria Oliver said...

Congrats, Leigh! And Congrats Deidre in finding a new client!

I am assuming for the 1st Chapter drawing we just a comment?

Happy Holidays to you all!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diane Garner said...

Congrats, Leigh! Hope the bubbly is flowing.
And Happy Holidays to the entire Knight Agency.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sudam said...

This is generosity. I will love to share my first chapter. Thanks.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:20:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sam Witt said...

Congratulations, Leigh. What a great way to wind down the old year and prepare for the new.

For the next contest, it would be interesting to try some variation of the Page 69 Test (

Writers could send in a paragraph, or even just a sentence, from their 69th page for consideration.

Happy holidays, and good luck, everyone -


Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:30:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kate said...

Congrats, Leigh! What great news!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:31:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Bridget Hawthorn said...

Congratulations, Leigh! What an awesome Christmas gift!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:34:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Valerie Norris said...

So happy for Leigh! I'd like a repeat of the speed dating contest. Maybe this time I can get in!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:34:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Phylana said...

Well Happy Holidays to you Leigh! You have ended this year with a bang big enough to sail you through to the next year. Good for you.

I think the Book in a Nutshell sounds like an interesting idea. I don't know how I missed this one but I am on the look out for the next one.
Until then,

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:34:00 PM EST  
Blogger Leigh Evans said...

Thank you all!

I wish I could spin some beautiful words to express how much this meant to me, but I'm wordless with joy.

Sooner or later the words will come, but in the meantime, my deepest thanks to the very wonderful Deidre Knight.


Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger tarak said...

Congratulations, Leigh! What a wonderful way to ring out the year.

Book in a Nutshell sounds interesting in a good way!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jesse said...

I think this Xmas gift contest is a very nice thing.

Wanted to share a link to a post Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith) made today (note: he swears a bit, but it's nothing over the top. For him at least) talking about what you NEED to be a creative:

Merry Xmas.


Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger Amber Skyze said...

Congrats Leigh...what a fabulous way to start off the New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:45:00 PM EST  
Blogger Alta said...

Congrats to all three ladies that made it to the final round, and congrats to Leigh for keeping Deidre up all night!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:49:00 PM EST  
Blogger Magan said...

AHHHH. I've Fangirled out again. Anyone would be lucky to have a critique from Deidre! She's like the Barbara of the writing world (am I dating myself?) Thanks for another great contest and I'm crossing my fingers for a change.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:52:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jambrea said...

Congrats, Leigh!

This speed dating contest was a really cool idea! But I also like the Book in a Nutshell. Maybe you could combine the two. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Skye Christakos said...

I like the idea of a book in a nutshell contest, but in addition to the 3 sentence description, I think it might be worthwhile to have the writers include the very first sentence of their manuscript as well... since working to hook the reader with a nutshell often includes having a fantastic opening line.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dawn Brazil said...

Congrats Leigh! Ohh, I would love that critique.

This was a fun contest!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:02:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sharon Wray said...

Congratulations, Leigh! Best of luck to you and to Deidre. I hope there's a contract for you and Hedi around the corner!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger Ojeda.Herrera said...

Critiques are so invaluable for those of us trying to get published. Thank you for the opportunity. Regarding the next about a critique from the middle of the book? Or best heroine/hero? Heroine-in-a-nutshell!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:38:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I immediately thought of sending in the first line, but I like @Sam Witt's suggestion of a line from a particular, random page.

The video thing piqued my interest, but could be a little unfair as not everyone is great at representing themselves that way.... :-) (wipes hands nervously)

Also, the speed dating thing was cool, but I started my comment on the dot of 8 and still didn't get in! so maybe there could be some way to extend the comment period?

What an incredible dream come true for Leigh - and you certainly make her ms sound like a must-read!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:46:00 PM EST  
Blogger Monica B.W. said...

Congratulations Leigh!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 7:09:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jenn said...

Congrats Leigh! This must be some awesome Christmas present! :) Can't wait to see your book on the shelves.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 7:12:00 PM EST  
Blogger Ann said...

Congratulations Leigh!

What a great Christmas present that is. :)

It was a fun contest to participate in and watch.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 7:14:00 PM EST  
Blogger Leona said...

Congratulations! Love this contest. I like this one the best. There are so many other contests with loglines, first words, etc., that it would make this contest the same as those other ones out there.

One of the things that made this so popular was the chance to get the writing out there. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 7:42:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Tess B said...

Well done Leigh! I'm equal parts excited and jealous for you and if you. Well...maybe the jealous side is a bit stronger. Next year is going to be super exciting. Tess

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:01:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Rhonda Sermon said...

Woo hoo Leigh! Buckle up for an amazing year.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:05:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Stephanie St.Clair said...

Congratulations, Leigh! What a wonderful Christmas present. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:11:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gina Black said...

My only thought is to have your contest (if there is a time element) start later in the day, say noon your time?

And congratulations, Leigh!

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:37:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Kim Teamer said...

Congratulations! What a delightful gift.

Book in a Nutshell sparked my interest. It sounds like an incredible challenge.

Another idea is to have a contest requiring participants to submit their best opening line. (I must confess that opening lines are appealing to me as a reader. If an author can grab my attention right away, I am more than willing to delve deeper. If, however, the opening line is dry and as familiar as an old tennis shoe, well, I...). :-)

Thanks for your generous spirit and your willingness to extend this special kindness. I look forward to the coming year and to the upcoming contest.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:37:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Michelle (MG) Braden said...

A coveted prize for sure, Leigh. Way to go - Deidre is a gem and I'm sure you'll be very happy working together.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger Marissa Miranda said...

Congrats Leigh! I hope I'll see Hedi's Book on store shelves someday! =)

As for future contests, since everyone does the first paragraph or sentence of a novel, why not something to do with the last paragraph or sentence of a novel? It'd be interesting to see if people come up with memorable/meaningful final paragraphs.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:43:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Andrew Jack said...

Congratulations Leigh :)

I think a first line contest or a first paragraph contest would be great.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 8:50:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Diane H. said...

What a great opportunity - thank you.

Congrats to Leigh, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 9:13:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Kerri M. said...

Congrats Leigh! What a fantastic new chapter to open at the end of the year!

Wishing you much continued success :)

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 9:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger Amanda said...

Congrats, Leigh! How exciting for you...wish you all the best and can't wait to read your manuscript when it's in stores! ;D

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 10:56:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Original Drama Mama said...

How exciting! I wish you and Hedi the best on the next leg of the journey.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 11:02:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Jennifer M(OR) said...

Congratulations, Leigh.

Of course I like all contests:) I like the idea of a lottery one because everyone has an equal chance to win but I also like the idea of having to work for it.

Monday, December 20, 2010 at 11:30:00 PM EST  
Blogger Shoshana said...

Congratulations, Leigh! I'll be on the lookout for your book.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 12:38:00 AM EST  
Blogger d. w. fry said...

Congrats to all three ladies! And Leigh - Kudos for having the courage to jettison the 67K ... that's inspiration for the rest of us.

As to contests. How about "Show The Tell". This could take one of two tracks. One: share a scene of gripping dialogue. OR Two: showing a change in a character's behavior or demeanor within a scene.

Coming off the buzz of a total lunar eclipse, challenge us to 'spell' TKA!

Merry Christmas fellow wordsmiths and wordsmith'ettes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 3:45:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sofie Couch said...

HUGE congratulations to Leigh Evans. And allow me to extend a HUGE thank you to the hard working elves at the Knight Agency! I've never tried "speed dating" before. (Took me weeks to work up the nerve to ask my husband out on a date and even then, it had to be couched in a group invitation.) In both cases, it was totally painless and more than a little bit of a rush. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 4:59:00 AM EST  
Blogger Koko Brown said...

Another awesome contest I wish I would've heard about earlier. Congratulations to you Leigh, hope to see your book on the shelf soon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 5:54:00 AM EST  
Anonymous KD Fleming said...

Congrats Leigh. Your perseverance has paid off. I wish you much success and a fast and fabulous sale of your story.

Thanks again to Deidre and all your wonderful staff at TKA for such an exciting contest.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 9:12:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Leah!
The book sounds wonderful.
Well Done.
Tam :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 9:22:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sean said...

Congratulations to Leigh!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 9:26:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Vicki Essex said...

Congrats to Leigh!

Book in a nutshell or delivering a high-concept tagline might be fun and challenging--AND I wouldn't have to be at my computer at 8am to enter!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 9:29:00 AM EST  
Blogger I ♥ Book Gossip said...

Congrats Leigh!

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 10:17:00 AM EST  
Blogger Vicky said...

Congratulations to Leigh - you'll love TKA!

Also congratulations to my friend Pat O'Dea Rosen and to Sofie couch for making the finals in the TKA speed dating concept.

Happy Holidays to all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 10:41:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very exciting end to the year. Look forward to reading more about Leigh in the future!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 11:12:00 AM EST  
Blogger Debbie Kaufman said...

First of all, congratulations to Leigh! WooHoo!

What type of contest? Any of the suggestions work for me, but the nutshell sounds good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 11:32:00 AM EST  
Blogger Debi Murray said...

Congratulations to my friend, Leigh Evans. Winning this contest could not have happened to a more deserving person as she works so hard at her craft. I am very glad all the blood, sweat, tears, and oh yes, PAIN paid off for her and will be thrilled to read Heidi's story as soon as it is published because I am positive it will sell quickly. WTG!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 12:01:00 PM EST  
Blogger Lynne Roberts said...

Congratulations, Leigh! And thank you, Deidre!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 12:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger Joylene Butler said...

What a wonderful and inspiring story, Leigh. I'm so glad you won. Sounds like it was a lot of hard work and a little magic. Enjoy the next step. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 1:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jana Richards said...

Congratulations, Leigh! Your courage in pitching 67K worth of words certainly paid off. Best of luck.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 1:35:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats, Leigh!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 1:54:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH my goodness. This is AWESOME. Congrats. Doing the happy dance for you out here Arizona!!!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 2:19:00 PM EST  
Blogger J.K. Coi said...

OMG Congratulations Leigh!!! I'm so happy for you. What a fabulous christmas present! :)

And thanks to Deidre and the Knight Agency for giving authors this amazing opportunity.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 2:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger Susan Anne Mason said...

Congratulations, Leigh. What beautiful words to an author's ears: "You kept me up till 2 in the morning!".

Best of luck!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 3:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jess said...

Ok, I like the sentence from a random page idea. :) Or word, even. Like, 27th word on pg. 69 or something. Hehe. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 5:39:00 PM EST  
Blogger D.D.Gibson said...

congratulations Leigh on winning the contest.

Best of luck


P.S. I would love to enter a contest where I don't have to get up in the morning just to enter.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 7:04:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Rita Oberlies said...

Oops - stopping by a bit late - to wish Leigh congratulations on her fantastic achievement! Looking forward to hearing that the Knight Agency sold your story. It sounds like something I'd snatch up in the bookstore!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 8:24:00 AM EST  
Blogger Draven Ames said...

Congratulations Leigh, Pat and Sophie. You have all done amazing. Does it even feel real Leigh? I bet you are at a loss for words. Does it all feel surreal?

It takes a lot of guts for you to throw out your story. Your decisions and bravery have paid off. Another writer I know did that to his first books, and it worked out for him too. He inspired me to completely rewrite mine as well.

Nice work on getting the critique Darcy Drake. I absolutely love the idea of the Speed Dating contest.

Spring is a time of beauty and romance. As a young man, I did a scavenger hunt for a romantic occasion. Long story short, little notes and poems were put inside of books that led to other titles. At last, the manager of Barnes and Nobles brought out a dozen roses I asked them to hide in the back.

Moments like those are branded on me. I was so in love with love then.

A scavenger hunt would be very fun. Notes and poems could lead us to new titles. There could be a question we'd have to read to answer. There could be a line in the book, on a certain page, that gave us a hint for the next book. I'm unsure how that would help you find a good writer though.

If it is a contest for writers to be discovered, I always liked the idea of peer review. How about "Three, Three and Three?"

Each writer submits three chapters. They then get sent three author's first three chapters. Each author reads and writes 250 words about the chapters. They rate it 1-10.

Top 25% move on.
Do it chapter by chapter, cutting the field down until only a few remain. Go from there.

These are some really slick ideas. The next contest will be a joy. Merry Christmas everyone.

Deidre, thank you for going through the contest. I am sure this was a drain on you. I've got over 80 stories to read through for selections this month. I can't imagine your work.

Draven Ames

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 7:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger Draven Ames said...

Have you had a phone pitch contest? The writer has two minutes to sell his / her book over the phone, using the two minutes in whatever way they want. Thirty are kept.

The thirty who win the contest all write a short story, no more than 2,000 words. The theme would be selected by the agency and the stories would be public. This would show how well we write with a deadline, our voice and our creativity.

The 30 stories are then judged by the public. The top ten writers get their query and sample chapters looked at.

The agency would then select the full manuscripts they wanted to see.

Friday, December 31, 2010 at 3:25:00 AM EST  
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