Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blind Speed Dating Contest - All the Everything!

**The SUBMISSION WINDOW is closing tonight (29th) at midnight EST! Get your entries in!**

Happy Friday!

It's here! All the information on the Blind Speed Dating contest is finally here!

So, what is the Blind Speed Dating Contest?

A super-mega-awesome contest with LOTS of writers and LOTS of agents all looking to make a connection. And there's even Bouncers! 

Blind Speed Dating Basics:

When the submission window opens, entries will be emailed to me at cupidslitconnection(at)yahoo(dot)com. The entries will then be privately divided and judged by our Bouncers. They will choose which entries make it into the agent round (a max of 40) and those entrants will be emailed on February 12th. (*You may submit an entry for more than one manuscript as long as it is completed and you follow all guidelines for each.)

Around February 13th/14th the selected (and updated) entries will be posted to the blog for the agents to start reading.

Then it gets really exciting! This is how Blind Speed Dating is played...

The agents will go undercover as Honorary Cupids. They will each have an undercover name which they will use during the contest (the 17th-20th)Not even the agents will know who's who with the undercover names. 

Then the agents go through the contest armed with arrows. They will each receive a total of 12 arrows. (Hey! That's 2 more than last year.) BUT not all at once.

They start with 4 arrows on Monday. Then 4 more on Tuesday. Then 2 on Wednesday and 2 on Thursday. Totaling 12

Each partial request (100 pages) is worth 1 arrow. (Each entry can only have 2 partial requests!) And fulls are worth 3 arrows. (Using a full steals any partials made on that entry and trumps their own partial, too. Obvs.) 

BUT here's the thing... Fulls cannot be made until the last day, which is Thursday! 

On Friday everyone is revealed (except me :), winners are posted, and arrangements are made for requests.

**Material any agent wants to see but does not win will be available one week after the first agent(s) receive the material. Please make sure you send your material to all interested agents!**

So, now you want to know about

The Amazing Honorary Cupid Line-up (THE AGENTS!!!):

Please click on each agent's links to check out their info and interests...

Woohoo! Excited to have them all as Honorary Cupids!

*This list is subject to be added to. :)

Now you're wondering

How to Submit:

There will be ONE SUBMISSION WINDOW on Monday, January 27th at 10:00 AM EST

Good news is I am not limiting the number of entries I will accept and will be open for a few days. If you want a chance, you got it. I doubt we will get too many and we have lots of Bouncers ready to read. But get yours in ASAP so it can be confirmed. 

Entries will be emailed to cupidslitconnection(at)yahoo(dot)com

What to Submit:

The entries will consist of a query and the first 250 words of your completed manuscript. 

Contest Entry Fee - There is a $10 entry fee for this contest. Your entry is not official until the fee is paid. Please do so by using the Paypal Donate button on the top right hand corner of this blog. It's pretty easy, but if you need assistance, please let me know. 

(*You may submit an entry for more than one manuscript as long as it is completed and you follow all guidelines for each.)

Now let's talk formatting…



When you submit your entry please make it very simple:

PLEASE no tabs or double spacing. I want it email style. Single spaced. One space between paragraphs. No tabs! (This is my biggest enemy!)

Just the meat of your material. No "Dear so and so" or "I chose you because..." Just the meat of the query and first 250. You may add your applicable credentials at the END of your query.

Your entry will be like this: (Yes, bolded where bolded)

Title: NAME OF YOUR BOOK (Yes, CAPS there!!!)
Genre: Genre of your book
Word Count: xx,xxx (to the nearest thousand please)


Your query formatted correctly. (per above guidelines) DO NOT include genre/word count again!

First 250:

Your first 250 formatted correctly. (per above guidelines)

*Look at Mary Elizabeth's "Surprise Agent Invasion"entry for further example.

The SUBJECT of your email should be: TITLE - Your Name (This is important for me if I need to go back and find your email!)

THANK YOU!!!!! for following these specific guidelines. Makes me very happy! 


Things should be open for everyone this year and simple. There will probably be some pros and cons to doing this this way as opposed to last year. We'll just roll with it. And please keep these important dates in mind:

January 27th at 10:00 AM EST - Submission window opens 
February 12th - winners of Bouncer round emailed
February 13th/14th - selected entries posted for agent round
February 17th-20th - agent round
February 21st - Winners announced, identities revealed

Whew! I think that covers it. Questions in the comments please. And if you haven't already, check out our Bouncer's Spotlights below. 

Introducing our BOUNCERS!!!…..

Simon P. Clark (MG)

Simon P. Clark is a British children's author living in NJ, USA. His debut novel, Eren, will be published in September '14 by Constable & Robinson. After getting a BA in English Simon moved to Japan for three and a half years to work as a teacher / adventurer. After wooing a great American girl by saying she looked "fetching" he moved to the States. He likes the pizza here very much. Simon is represented by Molly Ker Hawn (The Bent Agency).

MarcyKate Connolly (MG)

MarcyKate Connolly is an author and arts administrator who lives in New England with her husband and pugs and writes weird little books. She’s also a coffee addict, voracious reader, and recurring commuter. She blogs about all those things and more at, and can often be found on Twitter (@marcykate). Her work is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media, and her debut upper middle grade fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, will be published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in Winter 2015.

Erin Fletcher (YA)

I'm a young adult author from North Carolina, represented by John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. My debut novel, WHERE YOU'LL FIND ME, was published in January 2014 by Entangled Teen. My favorite things in the world are flip-flops, the beach, and coffee. My talents include figure skating and playing the piano. Someday I will learn to do both at the same time.

Helene Dunbar (YA)

Helene Dunbar usually writes features about fiddles and accordions for Irish Music Magazine, but she’s also been known to write about court cases, theater, and Native American Indian tribes. She’s amazed that she has a day job that pays her to spend time on Facebook and Twitter, and that, on a good day, gives her time to let the voices in her head out into the world to tell a story. If she had to put money on it, she’d bet that if music didn’t exist, she wouldn’t be able to write. She’s lived in two countries, six states, and is currently holed up in Nashville with her husband, daughter, two cats, and the world’s friendliest golden retriever. She is repped by the delightful Molly Jaffa of Folio. Her debut YA Contemporary, THESE GENTLE WOUNDS releases from Flux on May 8, 2014.

Jenna Lehne (YA)

Heyo! I'm Jenna Lehne, a YA writer rep'd by the fantastical Kat Rushall. My first book, SECOND HAND LACE, an adult horror, came out last year. I like popcorn flavored jelly beans, books that make me double check the doors are locked, and tea!

Dahlia Adler (YA)

I’m an Assistant Editor of mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and a YA author and blogger at every spare moment in between. (I've also been a Production Intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster, a Publicity Intern at HarperCollins, and a Fashion Intern at Maxim, so, I'm pretty into that whole publishing thing.) I’m repped by the awesometastic Lana Popovic at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, and my debut novel, BEHIND THE SCENES, will be published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on June 24, 2014. You can find me on Twitter as @MissDahlELama and blogging at The Daily DahliaYA Misfits, and B&N Book Blog.

Jessica Taylor (YA)

I'm a fashion industry professional and young adult writer represented by Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency. I adore sleepy southern settings, magical realism, unrequited love, and characters who sneak out late at night. My YA debut, INVINCIBLE WILD, is slated for fall 2015 release from Egmont USA.

Jessica Leake (Adult)

Jessica Leake is author of ARCANA (Skyhorse/Talos, October 2014), her debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. She is represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and she lives in Greenville, SC with her brilliant husband, two adorable toddlers (soon to be three--three under three, in fact, so you can see why she might be a little nutty/heavily addicted to caffeine), and two mischievous dogs. After participating in countless writing contests as a querying writer, she is ridiculously excited to be giving back and helping out on the other side of things!

Karina Sumner-Smith (Adult)

Karina Sumner-Smith is a fantasy author and freelance writer represented by Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency.  Her debut novel, Radiant, will be published by Skyhorse Publishing’s new SF/F imprint Talos in October 2014.  Prior to going freelance, Karina worked for a university, a bookstore, an IT consulting firm, and a recruitment agency, and published short stories, including the Nebula Award nominated “An End to All Things.”  Though she still thinks of Toronto as her home, Karina now lives in a small, lakefront community in rural Ontario, Canada, where she may be found experimenting with strange foods, dancing in the kitchen, and making things from sparkly beads.

Kat Ellis (YA)

Kat Ellis is a young adult writer from North Wales. Her debut novel, BLACKFIN SKY, is forthcoming in 2014 from Firefly Press (UK) and Running Press Kids (USA). Kat is a keen amateur photographer and adventurer, and when she isn't writing, photographing or adventuring, you'll find her up to no good on twitter. She is represented by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency. 

Marie Langager (YA)

I'm Marie Langager and I live in Portland, OR. I love walking through foggy, creepy woods, all woods actually, and my tastes in reading include books in many different genres. I'm represented by the fantastic Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency and my debut, BEYOND OUR STARS, a YA sci-fi with a dose of romance, was published this winter by a new digital first imprint called Bloomsbury Spark!

Michelle Hauck (Adult, MG)

Bookworm and chocoholic, Michelle Hauck lives in northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. She is a co-host of the yearly query contests Query Kombat, Sun versus Snow, and Nightmare on Query Street. She writes Adult, YA, and MG fantasy and her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer's Double Edge. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

 Stephanie Diaz (Intern, YA)

Stephanie is a twenty-one-year-old author and publishing intern. She recently graduated from San Diego State University, where she wrote her debut YA novel, EXTRACTION, when she should've been making short films and listening to class lectures. EXTRACTION, the first book in a new sci-fi trilogy, will be published by St. Martin's Griffin on July 22, 2014.

Tatum Flynn (MG)

Tatum Flynn has spent the past decade telling lies for a living as a professional poker player, and hopes to spend the next one telling lies for a living as a kidlit author. Her MG Fantasy, BRIMSTONE FOR BREAKFAST, will be published by Orchard Books/Hachette in Summer 2015, with a sequel to follow. She's repped by Zoe King at The Blair Partnership. She loves Calvin & Hobbes, hates long walks on the beach, and can probably be bribed with bourbon.

Tiffany Rose (Intern)

After growing up with a strong dose of science fiction and fairy tales, Tiffany Rose mostly writes about magical girls and killers full of warped justice.  When Tiffany isn’t writing, she is either messing around with graphics, working on websites, or helping out with two indie publishers. You can follow her daily adventures @FromPawnToQueen.

Veronica Bartles (YA)

Veronica Bartles grew up in Wyoming and currently lives in New Mexico with her husband and four children, but she’ll always call Maryland “home.” When she’s not writing or lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, she enjoys creating delicious desserts, exploring new places, and recycle knitting. Veronica is represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, LLC. Her debut novel, TWELVE STEPS (Swoon Romance) will be released 25 March 2014.

Diana Gallagher (YA)

Though Diana Gallagher be but little, she is fierce. She’s also a gymnastics coach, writing professor, and country music aficionado. She holds an MFA from Stony Brook University and writes about flipping-related activity for The Couch Gymnast. Her work has also appeared in The Southampton Review and on a candy cigarette box for SmokeLong Quarterly. She’s represented by Tina Wexler of ICM Partners and her contemporary YA novel, WHAT HAPPENS IN WATER, releases in fall 2015 (Spencer Hill Contemporary).

Diana Sousa (Intern)

 I grew up among fantasy and science-fiction books, comics, classical music, video games, and more chocolate than should be allowed. In between studies and building my nerdy references repertoire, I also became a writer, delving deeper into the world of crazy.

More recently I’ve started an internship with Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, where I help with revisions, editing, and reading submissions. It’s been a great opportunity to learn, and a fresh perspective into this literary community of ours.

Kayti McGee (Intern)

Kayti McGee has interned for Heather Howland at Entangled for over a year now. She co-writes with NYT-bestselling author Laurelin Paige under the name Laurelin McGee. Their debut Inquire Within will be published by St Martins Press in 2015. She tweets sporadically at @KaytiIsWriting.

Ann Garvin (Adult)

Ann Garvin is an Easterner who lives in the Midwest and a fiction writer who makes a living as a scientist and educator. While working as a nurse she completed her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in exercise psychology publishing extensively in the area of exercise, mental health and media and later became a prize winning short story writer.

Decades of teaching health and studying what makes people tick proved a perfect backdrop for her novels ON MAGGIE’S WATCH & THE DOG YEAR (June 2014/Berkley Penguin). Her teaching position as an adjunct in the Masters of Fine Arts position at Southern New Hampshire University allows her to marry her love of people, story and writing and help others do the same. Ann, a natural storyteller, is a sought after speaker and educator at conferences where writing, health and human nature is discussed.


I, Cupid, will also be helping out with judging where needed. All of our Bouncers are interns or agented (AND ALSO pubbed) and were very kind to offer to help judge our Blind Speed Dating contest entries this year.

Thank you, Bouncers!

Thanks everyone! Good luck to those entering!


  1. I shall wait patiently if I must.

  2. How many entries did you have last year? I am considering entering. :)

    1. I think it was around 150.

    2. Okay great!

      Is there going to be a twitter tag associated with this contest for the entrants to follow?

  3. This is the first query/pitch contest I've seen that has charged an entry fee. May I ask, what does that fee cover, exactly?

    1. Oh really? I remember entering a few with fees back when I was entering. It's just an administrative fee.

    2. Authoress Anonymous' well-loved Baker's Dozen charges a 10 dollar entry fee for reading and administrative purposes, so it's not unprecedented.

    3. These contests are an enormous amount of work, and ten bucks is very reasonable as an entry fee. Especially compared to the $75 and up fees that are typical for many national contests and award programs.

  4. Is anything game to submit? Historicals, Adults with high heat levels, etc.?

    1. I think a few agents are interested in those genres. :)

  5. I just realized my PayPal account is linked to a different email address than the one I submitted from - is there a way I can verify my payment went through and is attached to my submissions (I submitted two manuscript)?

  6. I see everything. No worries! :)

  7. Can I enter my MS that was a Pitch Wars alternate?

  8. I don't see why not. The two contests are totally separate and I can't imagine they made you enter that contest exclusively, right?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. So with 20 bouncers, does each bouncer get to choose 2 to put towards the 40 for the agent round?

  11. Are you still accepting submissions?

  12. I'm so excited for this! :D

    Thanks for putting all of this together. We writers really do appreciate (and love entering) these awesome pitch-to-agents contests.

  13. Do you know when you will close the submission window, or is that a secret?

  14. Probably Wednesday night at midnight EST.

  15. Can I enter a self-published manuscript?

    1. That's up to you. If you think the agents will be interested, go for it. I'm not sure what most agent's stance is on this. I would mention it for sure though.

  16. Hi, when will you know if you'll be adding more agents? Will you post them before the midnight submission deadline tonight? Thanks!

    1. I haven't heard back affirmative from any others at this point but it's hard to say. Sometimes they don't get to my invite until late and jump in at the last minute.

  17. Thanks so much, Cupid. This'll be fun!

  18. I entered before I saw that it closed yesterday. Hope it's still okay. :)

  19. Nice Post.,Beware of Online Dating Scams and know the online dating statistics with the one and only Cupid dating site amorconfiavel running background criminal check.

  20. This made me realize a lot. Many people who read this know a lot about it. And who would like to know this, hurry to read it here.


  21. Melanjutkan dari artikel sebelumnya yang berjudul "Rumus Menang Full Mix Parlay & Cara Menghitung". Sekarang kami akan ajarkan rumus mix parlay bila kamu menang setengah atau kalah setengah (Baca Selengkapnya Disini...)