Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Speed Date 2: Deidre Knight & Pamela Harty Search for the Next TKA Superstar

Back in the day (aka 1996), when The Knight Agency first got started, president and founder Deidre Knight manned the submissions inbox, the phone and the door. Fast forward fifteen years later, and TKA has attained national prominence with an incredible list of bestselling clients. From nearly the beginning, Pamela Harty, Vice President of Sales, worked alongside her sister Deidre, helping to nurture and shape the agency. Now, the sisters are hankering for a trip down memory lane to a time when they interacted with querying writers one-on-one to find the next big TKA star. Could it be you?

Beginning Monday, March 7th, Deidre and Pamela are teaming up for Speed Date 2, a whirlwind competition to find the newest TKA client.* Just like old times, they are getting down in the trenches to scout out the cream of the crop. If you heard about or participated in our “She’s Just That Into You” competition last year, you know that Deidre ultimately selected two new clients, mega talents Leigh Evans and Erin Kelly, out of hundreds of participants. That event was so successful we’re doing it again.

This time around we’ve included a few tweaks, like an open hour-long entry period and selection of contestants by lottery. Oh, and we definitely plan to start it later than 5am Pacific Time. Sorry about that again, folks. Now if you live in Australia or some equally faraway place, please accept our apologies for the difficult wakeup call in advance. As a fun add-on, Deidre and Pamela will share tidbits about how the The Knight Agency got started in the blog posts annoucing those progressing to the next rounds.

*Please note, if the agents decide that ultimately none of the manuscripts entered meet our agency’s needs at this time, an alternate first chapter critique by Deidre or Pamela will be offered to the Grand Prize Winner in lieu of representation. A winner will also be selected to receive a first chapter critique from the first 125 entrants.

This blog post is only a preview for the contest. Comments for this blog post will be DISABLED once the contest officially begins. On Monday there will be a blog up labeled, “OFFICIAL SPEED DATE2 POST” where you will be able to throw your name into the hat. Below you’ll find the rules. So, get familiar with the contest, and come back and see us on March 7th @ 12pm Eastern Standard Time. Got a question after you read ALL of the rules? Email Contests@KnightAgency.net.

THE QUICKIE SUMMARY: Visit the “OFFICIAL SPEED DATE 2 POST” on Monday, March 7th and leave your name in the comment section from 12pm ET to 1pm ET. We will assign everyone a number who left a comment during the specified entry period and draw 125 contestants using Random.org. The 125 intial entrants will be announced on the blog by the end of the business day and asked to email the first three pages of their manuscript to Contests@KnightAgency.net. Deidre and Pamela will then join forces to whittle the 125 contestants down to 3 finalists over the following days.

At the end of the contest, we will also award a first chapter critique to one of the initial 125 entrants via random drawing who was not selected as a finalist.

THE FINE PRINT:

1. On Monday, March 7th, we will accept entries into the contest from 12pm ET to 1pm ET. Leave a comment with your name in the "OFFICIAL SPEED DATE 2 POST" during the specified time period to enter.

2. One hundred and twenty-five (125) contestants for Round 1 will be selected via random drawing from those who entered during the specified time period. The Round 1 winners’ names will be posted by the end of the business day (3/7/11) on http://www.knightagency.blogspot.com/ in the updated “OFFICIAL SPEED DATE 2 POST.”

3. The 125 contestants must send in the first three pages of their manuscript, as well as their name (as you would like to be publically identified), physical address, genre and overall word count to Contests@KnightAgency.net by 12pm ET the following day -- Tuesday, March 8th. UPDATE (3/7/2010 @ 11:24am ET): Please include your title as well. If for some reason, you don't because you did not see this update -- don't worry about it. You will not be penalized. All information, including the first three pages, should be included in the body of your email. To protect ourselves from potential viruses, we will not open attachments. Do not include a query letter.

4. On Thursday, March 10th we will email the 25 entrants advancing to Round 2 and post their names on the blog by 10am ET. They must email us their first ten pages by 9:00pm ET that same day.

5. On Monday, March 14th we will email the 15 entrants advancing to Round 3 and post their names on the blog by 10am ET. They must email us their first three chapters by 9:00pm ET that same day.

6. On Thursday, March 17th we will email the 3 finalists advancing to Round 4 and post their names on the blog by 10am ET. They must email us their full manuscript by 9:00pm ET that same day.

7. The Grand Prize Winner* of an offer of representation by The Knight Agency will be announced on Monday, March 28th.

*If it is determined at the end of the contest that the materials submitted are not on par with The Knight Agency's needs, representation will not be offered. In this case, either Deidre or Pamela will provide a final winner with a first chapter critique.

In an effort to cover all of our bases...keep reading for even more details...
- International participants are welcome.
- Multiple entries are not allowed. If you enter more than one manuscript, only your first entry will be counted.
- You cannot re-enter material that Deidre has already read/reviewed in our last contest, “She’s Just That Into You.” Re-entered material will be considered void. We will not pull a new entry to fill the spot.
- Corrections are not allowed. What you send in the first time is what Deidre and Pamela will judge. No exceptions.
- Do not send more pages than we ask for at any time. If we ask for 10 pages and you send 20, your entry will be deleted without notice.
- If another Knight agent is actively considering your query, you are not eligible for the contest (active means an agent has informed you that they are considering your manuscript and would like to review more material)
- If we have previously rejected your manuscript, please do not enter this contest unless your work has undergone a substantial rewrite
- The only genres that will NOT be accepted, are those that are outlined in our submission guidelines. Here is an excerpt from our guidelines page regarding what we do not represent:


Due to the wide range of tastes and preferences that exist among The Knight Agency's six acquiring agents, we are currently looking for material in a wide spectrum of genres. Please reference the list below for the types of submissions we are NOT currently accepting.


- Screen Plays
- Short Story Collections
- Poetry Collections
- Essay Collections
- Photography
- Film Treatments
- Picture Books (although graphic novels will be accepted)
- Children's Books (although young adult and middle grade titles will be accepted)
- Biographies
- Non-fiction Historical Treatments"

- Entries should be double-spaced
- Only full manuscripts can be entered.
- Contest is open to both unpublished and published authors.
- We will use the timestamp issued by Blogger to determine who is entered into the initial lottery. We are not responsible if your comment is delayed, deleted or otherwise impaired by the Blogger interface.
-We will check our spam filters to make sure no one’s email gets caught there throughout the process of contestants sending in entries via email; however, if your email becomes otherwise delayed, deleted or falls through a black hole in cyberspace – your entry will be declared void. We are not responsible for lost entries.
- Your materials must be sent in by the deadlines outlined above. Late submissions will result in forfeiture of your entry. We are not responsible for technical problems related to email delivery.
- Everyone, and we mean EVERYONE, will receive the same generic “yay” or “nay” reply letting them know whether or not they have advanced to the next round. Please don’t ask us for any additional explanation or feedback of any kind. Deidre and Pamela are reading these entries as fast as they can while maintaining a busy schedule – so there’s no time for hand-holding.
- Do not send your entry to any other email address besides Contests@KnightAgency.net. Failure to follow this instruction will result in deletion of your entry.
- The only information that we will ever reveal about you publicly is the name you provide. The only places we will post your name is on our company blog, Twitter, and possibly in the company newsletter.
- The winner(s) must claim their prize via email to Contests@KnightAgency.net 30 days from notification of their win or the prize will be declared void. Another winner will not be chosen.
- All entrants will be opted in to The Knight Agency newsletter. The newsletter contains a link that allows you to easily opt out at any time.
If you have any further questions about this contest, please email Contests@KnightAgency.net.

Labels:

60 Comments:

Blogger The Original Drama Mama said...

Missed the last one, so this is sweet! I just put the entry time & date in my Google calendar...it's on like Donkey Kong! (anyone know what that means anyways?)

TIA ladies for all your hard work and commitment to finding and supporting fresh writing talent :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 9:31:00 AM EST  
Blogger Autumn2May said...

Sounds like fun! I'll be lurking till the post goes up! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 3:49:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jennifer Merritt said...

This is great. Thanks for doing it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 4:21:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Pamela and I are very excited. The last contest was incredible, with so many talented writers participating. I know this one will be great, too! :) Deidre

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 5:09:00 PM EST  
Anonymous R.G. Porter said...

I was in the last speed date and didn't get passed round 1. Thankfully I have a new book I can use for this one :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 5:28:00 PM EST  
Blogger Elaine AM Smith said...

This contest is open to international entries? YEAH! I can play too. :D

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 5:45:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to entering!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 9:54:00 PM EST  
Blogger Grizlee said...

Awesome, I am looking forward to entering and hopefully win the lotto! Of course I mean the name out of the hat lotto not the actual lotto... I don't want to be greedy, I just want people to have a chance to enjoy my story if at all possible... oh dear... I find myself waffling... oops.

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger Beth C. said...

I've read over the guidelines twice, so I hope I didn't miss this--but if a submission doesn't make the cut for the speed date, does that mean we cannot query that project with the Knight Agency later?

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 11:21:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

Hey Beth C.,

If you don't get past the intial lottery on Monday, you are in the clear to query our submissions coordinator, Melissa Jeglinski at Submissions(AT)KnightAgency.net. The only reason you would NOT be able to submit is if one of our agents had the chance to evaluate your project and passed.

I hope that answered your question! If not, let me know.

Best,

Jia

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 1:44:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Martha Ramirez said...

Awesome! Thanks for taking the time out to do this.

Can't wait to hear more about how you and Pamela started back in the day:)

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 1:49:00 PM EST  
Blogger Lindsey Edwards said...

This has to be the most exciting contest I’ve heard of in a long time. Unfortunately I cannot participate because my manuscript is not yet complete, but I wanted to spread the news to those of who can benefit from the TKA Speed Date #2 competition, so I’m posting about it on my blog! http://tinyurl.com/4nrumwa

Good luck to all the contestants!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger Janet Johnson said...

Great opportunity! Thank you for this contest. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger Will said...

Sounds interesting

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 7:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Minnette Meador said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 7:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger Minnette Meador said...

This sounds like an amazing contest and I will pass it along to my Writer's Room group on FB. Wish I had s/t to submit this year, but I'll try again next year. Thanks so much for supporting new talent. You guys are the best.

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 7:18:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Passionista said...

Fabulous idea - I will repost and pass this on to my writer friends.
xoxo

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 8:35:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question -- is this contest specifically for clients that would fit Deirdre and Pamela's lists, or would books in genres they don't handle be passed on to another appropriate agent within the agency?

Thank you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 8:39:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Original Drama Mama said...

Lindsey - my manuscript isn't finished yet either - but this contest certainly has lit a fire under my writer's rear for a big push this weekend!

Friday, March 4, 2011 at 8:13:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

Hi Anon,

For the purpose of this contest, you are welcome to submit any genre that is not included on the "Do Not Submit" list in the official rules. Deidre and Pamela, as a combined unit and our most senior agents, have the experience necessary to evaluate and represent a wide array of projects.

Ultimately, Deidre and Pamela will be the only TKA agents signing any new client as a result of this contest.

All Best,

Jia

Friday, March 4, 2011 at 8:42:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Mary E. Martin said...

So, my fingers are poised to send you my entry on March 7th of "The Fate of Pryde, the second in the Trilogy of Remembrance." I found this blog by checking your site out from Publishers Lunch.
Mary E. Martin
http://thedrawinglesson.com

Friday, March 4, 2011 at 4:35:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Stuart Gustafson said...

This is an exciting opportunity for many authors to put their best up against others. Good luck to all. I will be submitting my completed mystery tourism novel Missing in Mexico, and continuing to work on the second one set in Sydney, Australia. See you all online on Monday!

Stuart Gustafson
www.stuartgustafson.com

Friday, March 4, 2011 at 7:27:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Sam said...

I have a quick question, and I hope it doesn't sound dumb, but I need to be sure.

I submitted my first three pages to the last Speed Dating contest, but my first three pages were passed on. However, I have tweaked the book since. Can I enter this contest then, or not?

Thanks : )

Friday, March 4, 2011 at 8:36:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh well, I'm in a business meeting at the time of the first round and can't have access to a computer.
:-(

I hope Deidre does this again sometime.

Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 2:05:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super exciting!

Good luck to everyone!

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 1:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger Susan M said...

Sounds like fun. I can't wait

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 5:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger Pat Jeanne Davis said...

This is a great opportunity. I'm so glad I found out about it on Tuesday. Looking forward to participating tomorrow. Many thanks.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 6:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger frombobryan said...

Quick question: Do I need to use a particular e-mail system to submit my contest entry? I use Yahoo to send e-mail and I just want to make sure it gets there. Thanks very much. Bob

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 5:30:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Keely Done said...

So excited!

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 5:34:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jia,
Good luck with the contest today. Hope it goes smoothly.
Deidre is currently considering a partial from me. Since there's no guaranteed that submission will go any farther, am I allowed to enter this contest with a different manuscript that I think might appeal to Pamela?
Thanks for this opportunity.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 8:12:00 AM EST  
Blogger Kelly said...

My cousin recommended this Speed Dating Questions blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 8:29:00 AM EST  
Blogger Mari said...

Great opportunity for us struggling authors to get a break. Thanks!

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 8:54:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

Good Morning All! I hope everyone is ready to go. We are super excited about the contest today and can't wait to get started.

Just to answer a few of the questions that have cropped up here:

@ Sam - I would encourage you to submit through our more traditional channels for a second look. Our submissions coordinator is willing reconsider projects that have had MAJOR revisions. However, for today's purposes, the projects submitted to the December speed date should not be re-entered -- as our rules state.

@frombobryan - Yahoo will work fine.

@Anon - If Deidre has you under submission already, please wait to hear from her personally -- even if it is a different project.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 9:18:00 AM EST  
Blogger LindsayWrites said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:02:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Donald C said...

Thank you for this opportunity!

Donald

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:03:00 AM EST  
Blogger Melanie LeGrand said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:09:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

test comment

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:09:00 AM EST  
Blogger Melanie LeGrand said...

Pick me! Pick me! In all seriousNESS (got it right this time), thank you for the opportunity to enter this wonderful contest!!

melanielegrand@me.com

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:11:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hoping this is the right page to post. I can so see me going to the main blog page and posting a comment under, "What Not To Bare: Charlie Sheen's Long Awaited Autobiography" -- and missing out entirely. Humbly, Cheryl O'D.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:12:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

Hi Melanie and Cheryl,

I just want to be clear that this is not the right blog post to leave your contest entry. In less than two hours (at 12pm Eastern Time), we will post a totally new blog entitled, "Official Speed Date 2 Contest Post." That's where you enter. You have an hour to do so. Please make sure you leave a comment in the correct blog post at the correct time -- otherwise your entry will be void. This blog will be disabled for comments during the contest entry period.

All Best,

Jia

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:19:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jia, can you disable my laundry, too? Heh heh. Cheryl O'D.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:25:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Stuart Gustafson said...

If selected in first round of 125 (or beyond), do you want the title of the book?

Stuart Gustafson

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

Hi Stuart,

If you make the 125 today, you must send along the following information with your first three pages, as the rules state:

"The 125 contestants must send in the first three pages of their manuscript, as well as their name (as you would like to be publically identified), physical address, genre and overall word count to Contests@KnightAgency.net by 12pm ET the following day -- Tuesday, March 8th. All information, including the first three pages, should be included in the body of your email. To protect ourselves from potential viruses, we will not open attachments. Do not include a query letter."

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:20:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

You know Stuart, I just realized what you were asking me now that I've re-read the rules. Yes, please do include the title. Not sure how that was overlooked! I will update the rules. Thanks for pointing that out.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:22:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marne said...

This is so very exciting. What a great opportunity. I'm counting down the minutes now...

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:23:00 AM EST  
Blogger Andrea said...

What a wonderful opportunity! I can't wait for my chance to enter.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:28:00 AM EST  
Blogger Valerie said...

Question about the first three pages. I know that I type in a small font - is there a font size or a correct format they need to be submitted in if you're picked? Don't want to get disqualified if I accidently submit 4.

Thanks!

Val

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:32:00 AM EST  
Blogger Karyn said...

What a fun opportunity! I'm just making sure my comment works (I realize this won't be the place to enter the official comment.)

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:39:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

@ Valerie -- A standard font would be like Times New Roman, 12pt. Hit it somewhere around there, and you're good. It doesn't have to be Times -- we don't care about the typeface as long as it's legible. Please use your best judgement.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:41:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Stuart Gustafson said...

last question -- for 12 PM you mean Noon, correct?

Stuart Gustafson

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:44:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

@ Stuart - Yep

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:48:00 AM EST  
OpenID saputnam said...

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity! I can't wait to enter.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:50:00 AM EST  
Anonymous B Kinsey said...

Last-minute question!

Can not-winning entries in this event be submitted for agency consideration at a later date?

Thanks!

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:54:00 AM EST  
Blogger CONDUCT IN QUESTION said...

You will enjoy reading the "Drawing Lesson" and "The Fate of Pryde", the first and second in the "Trilogy of Remembrance
Mary E. Martin
memacom@yahoo.com

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:56:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

@ B Kinsey -- Yes, but this is a two-fold answer. If Deidre and Pamela actually READ your pages, then you need to do significant revisions before resubmitting via traditional channels. If they do not get to read your work, just send it along to our submissions coordinator, Melissa Jeglinski, at any time. Submissions@KnightAgency.net

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:57:00 AM EST  
Blogger Pamela K. Kinney said...

On posting the initial [post at Noon, besides our email, do you want a book pitch or just the book title and your email?

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:57:00 AM EST  
Anonymous B Kinsey said...

Jia - ack! That certainly makes for a tough decision. :) Thanks for clarification.

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:59:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jeanniejeanniejeannie said...

Interesting and exciting
Jeannie in Dallas

Monday, March 7, 2011 at 2:13:00 PM EST  
Anonymous James Kelly said...

Didn't get picked but loved the chance! Thanks for your commitment toward finding, encouraging, and developing new talent. Best regards! James

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 2:36:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seem to be one of the "Lucky Ducks" missing in action. I re-sent my three pages yesterday but still haven't received word that you've gotten anything.
I hope to hear from you soon.

Stephen Hayes
stephen.hayes@comcast.net

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 11:12:00 AM EST  

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