Thursday, September 27, 2012

Details for the Small Press Pitch Contest and Agents Interview Questions

We’ve come to our final contest in GUTGAA this year! I can’t believe we’ve already been at this for a month. I’m so happy for those of you who’ve already gotten requests from agents! And if you haven’t yet, there is still today and tomorrow:) AND if you end up getting no requests, I can’t reiterate enough how very subjective this all is. If writing is your passion, keep at it! There a ton of agents in this world and my contest only had 12.

Speaking of those 12, I have the final two parts of their interview questions up. If you didn’t get to read part 1 go HERE and do it now. Some really good nuggets of advice there:)

Go HERE for part 2
Go HERE for part 3

Now for the rules of the GUTGAA Small Press Pitch Contest...

First and foremost, you must sign up on the GUTGAA Master List HERE if you want to join in the contest.

New Email Address
If you were around for the Agent Pitch Contest, you know the email for submitting is not my regualar email. You will be sending your query and first 150 words for the small press pitch contest to gutgaa(at)gmail(dot)com. Easy enough, right?

How to Submit Your Agent Pitch Contest Entry
There will be two entry windows: 11:00 AM EST and 4 PM EST. You will send your query and first 150 words of a COMPLETED manuscript to the email address: gutgaa(at)gmail(dot)com. Each window will close after I have 50 entries, making a final total of 100 entries. I will email you with the words "you're in" if you made it. I know you will be excited, but, so I can stay organized, please don't respond to the email. You are only allowed ONE entry and the entry can only have ONE query and ONE first 150 words. If your 150 words ends in the middle of a sentence, you may go to the end of that sentence.

Format for the Small Press Pitch Contest Entry
I’m not going to be a huge stickler on font and size of the font. I know that emails can change that without you wanting it to. BUT I am going to be a stickler on the format of your entry. I hate to do it, but if you do not follow the guidelines, I will have to pass on your entry. Also, once your entry is in, I cannot change anything on it so make sure it is exactly the way you want.

Please send me your entry single spaced, email style (meaning do not indent, please single space, and only one space between paragraphs. This makes the process so much easier for me and the blog hosts.

Email Subject Line must read:
GUTGAA Small Press Pitch Contest: YOUR NAME
(This is SOOOOO important. This is another one I will have to disqualify if it isn’t this way.)

Body of the email:
GENRE - ex: YA sci-fi  (I need it this specific for grouping purposes please)


I need the meat of your query here. Again, no "Dear Agent" or "I choose you because". Also, no word count or credentials (please see example below).  

First 150 Words:

I need the first 150 words of your completed manuscript here (please see example below).

Example entry submission:


YA sci-fi


Kali Addison turns seventeen the day nukes annihilate her dad's time machines. Her birthday presents? A dead family and the truth--time travel has nothing to do with science and everything to do with her.

Since her dad's work has turned to ash, it seems Kali is now a freaking time machine, and those responsible for ridding the world of them know she's even more. Too bad Kali doesn't. Maybe the oh-so-hot guy, who shows up every time she's catapulted into the past can help her figure things out. But knowing the truth would mean facing a life she forgot for a reason.

Now she must decide what's more important: Continuing to live in the dark, or embracing the danger of who she's always been. If she chooses wrong. Time is up. For everyone.

First 150 Words:

I hate time travel.

It's the one absolute thought I have in my head when I crane my neck to take in the massive Clandestine, in all its bland glory. The Commoners appear just as dull as the timeport with their solemn expressions and outfits the color of dirty snow.

Today, I match them.

Preparation for a journey through time doesn't allow for distractions like color or commotion. There are no windows here either. So no way to enjoy the cool spring breeze or hear the birds chirp me a happy birthday song.


I get to be serenaded by the whispers of curious onlookers wondering why I'm travelling with the rest of the public, being jostled about from line to line, until we make it to the time dock I choose.   

I guess I have that on my side. My loser friends, Sage, Greer and Flip, are letting me pick the "when" we travel to as my birthday present.

Monday, the entries that made it in will be divided into groups of 25 and will be posted on host blogs. My blog will be one and the other hosts awesome enough to help me out are:
Tara Tyler
Juliana Brandt
Ink in the Book (Talynn)
Covert 1st Round Judge Names:
The first round of the contest will be making it past the judges that I introduced to you HERE. They will be prowling the entries under secret identities. So if you see the names below on any of the entries, pay close attention.

Lone Star
Honey Badger
Escape Artist
Mystery Science Theater Geek
Rose Cardinal
The Purple Pixie
Slave to the Muse
Jammy Dodgers
I’m Just Sayin’

I think that’s it! If you want to gab it up on Twitter, the hashtag we’ve been using and will continue to use is: #GUTGAA

See you there!

Monday, September 24, 2012

GUTGAA Agent Pitch Contest - Final Round!!

Deana Barnhart

Congrats again to the 50 Finalists who made it through to the agent round of the Gearing Up to Get an Agent Pitch Contest! Whittling down the 200 entrants was no easy task for the judges. You all deserve a big round of applause! If your interested in checking out all 200 pitches, click on any of the four host links below.  

Adult: Jaye Robin Brown
YA 1: Falling For Fiction
YA 2: Robin Weeks
YA 3: Cassie Mae

For those of you that did make the final 50, as well as those interested in watching the agent action, here's how it's going to go down this week.

- 12 agents (though I got word that a couple extra agents may be browsing the finalist's entries) will have until Friday to read through each query and first 150 words.

- Agents can make general comments on entries as well as request partials or fulls.

- There is no limit to how many requests they can make nor is there a limit to how many requests a finalist can receive.

- Only agents will be able to comment on the pitches this week. All others will be deleted.

- After Friday, anyone else is welcome to comment on the entries.

That's it! Simple really.

I will also be posting part 2 and 3 of the agent Q&A throughout the week. If you didn't get to read part 1, go HERE. The agents were dropping nuggets of wisdom left and well as spilling the beans about fun stuff too.

Also, if you're planning on entering the small press pitch contest, entry windows will open Friday. Check out the schedule in the side bar to the right for more details.

As always, feel free to chat it up on Twitter using the #GUTGAA hastag.

Finalists. Good luck!!! Let the fun begin!!!!!

Agent Pitch Finalist #1 - Night of the Living Zom-Peas



Edgar LOVES vegetables. He can't get enough of them. But when everyone, including the President of the United States, starts sending their unwanted veggies to Edgar, he realizes that too much of a good thing can be, well, too much. Edgar tries to put an end to the vegetable deliveries, finally burying them deep in some very fertile soil. Add some moonlight, a little dew and the creepiest of gardens grows. NIGHT OF THE LIVING ZOM-PEAS is The Twilight Zone meets your dinner plate! Don't be surprised, parents, if your kids want to eat more vegetables by the last page.

First 150 Words:

Edgar loved vegetables. He couldn’t get enough of them.
He was crazy about the crunch, frantic for the freshness, and swooned over the snap!
Whenever someone did not want to eat their vegetables,
peas snuck,broccoli crept and lima beans wandered onto Edgar’s plate.
It started with his sister. Then his parents.
But soon veggies came from everywhere. Teachers, neighbors,
school crossing guards, the mailman
doctors,astronauts, zookeepers,
Even the President of the United States!
One day,upon delivery of some string beans from the Queen of England, Edgar had more vegetables than he could eat!
He tried to send the vegetables back.
He hid under his bed,
He wore a disguise.
He went on vacation.
But the vegetables always found him.
He asked his pets for help, but rabbits can only eat so many veggies.
The goldfish only stared at them
and the dog quit after an unsavory batch of Brussels sprouts gave him the burps.

Agent Pitch Finalist #2 - The Artsy-Fartsy Spider

The Artsy-Fartsy Spider
Picture Book


Spencer is an artsy-fartsy spider who spins...a potter's wheel.   But because he is teased by the other spiders, Spencer is determined to prove that he can be a creepy crawling, web-spinning, fly-catching spider like everyone else.  He follows a How-To book on spinning webs.  But after failing to spin a spider-worthy web, Spencer decides to release his frustration as his artsy-fartsy self.   As a result, he spins the most intricate web designs anyone has ever seen and ends up attracting more than just the approval of his peers.  The Itsy-Bitsy Spider meets Michelangelo in THEARTSY-FARTSY SPIDER.

First 150 Words (not including illo notes):

Spencer was not your typical spider.

Spiders crawl.  Spencer cartwheeled.

Spiders are creepy.  Spencer was cuddly.

Spiders spin webs.  Spencer spun...

...a potter's wheel.

"He’s an artsy-fartsy spider!” teased the other spiders.  “How are you supposed to catch a fly with that?"

Spencer stared hopelessly at his art pieces.

“Bet you can’t even spin a web.”

“Can too!” said Spencer.    He wanted to prove that he could  be a normal web-spinning, creepy crawling, fly-catching spider, like everyone else.

Spencer dusted off his textbook, SPIDER SENSE, and turned to Chapter One.  [Illo: Page reads: Chapter 1―Silk Spinning Skills.  Eight steps to spinning a web.]

“This makes sense, ” said Spencer.

He spun, spiraled, and wove.

“Tada! ” said Spencer.  [Illo: An unusual web with large circles built into the pattern.]

“What's that? ” The other spiders snickered.

“A web, of course.”  Spencer admired his creation.   

“Does it work? ”

Spencer hung around and waited.  A juicy mosquito danced around.

It whizzed right through Spencer's web.

“Spencer can’t catch a single fly!” The spiders laughed.  

Agent Pitch Finalist #3 - Tomboy Rules: Blossoms Are Always Prepared

Tomboy Rules: Blossoms Are Always Prepared
Chapter Book, realistic


Eight-year-old Mabel isn’t going to let a few pesky rules get in the way of an adventure, especially when she thinks camping will be her biggest one yet. She is so close to going that she can almost feel the itchy mosquito bites.  That is, if she can stay in the Blossoms troop long enough to go.

Mabel has already made two mistakes, but they really weren’t her fault. So what if she saved a spider from a shoe-squishing? She didn’t know girls aren’t supposed to like them. And she didn’t mean to ruin the cookie sale. All of those boxes of cookies just looked so tempting stored right in her room.

With her only chance at camping on the line, Mabel tries baking cookies, the girliest thing she can think of, and sets out on a sneaky delivery. But when Mabel discovers she isn’t the only intruder crashing the campout, she has to decide if she will use her tomboy talents to save the Blossomsfrom a stinky situation.

First 150 Words:

Except for maybe broccoli burps, nothing smells worse than broccoli steam. I held my breath to keep it from going up my nose while I scooped two heaping spoonfuls onto my plate.

“Mabel, are you going to eat all of that?” Mom asked with a funny look.

“Yup. Every bite,” I said. I blew the steam away before I put a forkful into my mouth, chewed just a little, and swallowed hard so I didn’t have to taste it.

“But you don’t like broccoli,” she said. She took a sip of water out of her glass. “I know what you’re up to. This is about Blossoms again isn’t it?” Mom put down her glass and rubbed her temples with her fingers.

“Why do you want to join Blossoms anyway?” Snarly asked. “It’s stupid. And it’s for girls. You’re more like a boy than a girl.” She made a cross-eyed face at me.

Agent Pitch Finalist #4 - The Only Infinite

The Only Infinite
MG sci-fi
80,000 words


In a single day and night of misfortune, the island of Atlantis disappeared into the sea… exactly as it was meant to. In the centuries since, it has spread under every continent, far beneath the reach of even the deepest drills. Today, its high speed transportation tubes crisscross the planet’s interior, and even its most basic medical drones put doctors on Earth’s surface to shame.

Twelve-year-old Lena learns this firsthand when a freak accident lands her brother in a wheelchair. The doctors can’t heal him, but a stranger named Feore can. In return, she agrees to spend a year as an exchange student at his school in Atlantis, where gadgets spice up everything from gym class to the way she brushes her teeth.

Best (and worst) of all, Lena learns her mother’s final gift, a necklace, is much more than it seems. The more she gets to know Feore, the more she worries he’d do anything to possess its secrets – maybe even arrange the accident that put her brother in a wheelchair to begin with. And, if he’d do that to lure her to Atlantis, she fears how far he’d go to keep her there. Forever.

First 150 words:


When the Eiffel Tower vanished, Lena Rush was in a tree house in Jupiter, Florida.  More specifically, she was in the burning wreckage of what had been a tree house before it had… well, exploded.

It was too bad, really.  She and her little brother, Zac, had only discovered the wooden shack a few months before, snared in the branches of an ancient oak.  The wobbly boards leading up to it had threatened broken bones to anyone stupid enough to try them, but she knew if she didn’t go Zac would.  And she wasn’t about to be outdone by a ten-year-old.

Together, they’d cleared out some old birds’ nests and patched the roof with duct tape.  By the end, it wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t leak.  And the window hacked into one side offered a killer view of the ocean, which set Lena’s surfer heart singing with each pulsing wave.

Agent Pitch Finalist #5 - Harold - The Kid Who Ruined My Life and Saved the Day

Harold - The Kid Who Ruined My Life and Saved the Day
MG contemporary


Harold has ruined twelve-year-old Jake’s life for the last time. So what if Harold has Asperger’s and is a genius when it comes to baseball trivia and sixth grade Algebra. Jake’s D-O-N-E.

Harold collects baseball facts like the Smithsonian collects dead things and Jake is convinced that Harold also has a talent for killing his social life.Jake’s known Harold ever since kindergarten and now that he’s in middle school he can finally be free of Harold and his obsession with the New York Yankees.  Harold’s on the accelerated track which means he’ll spend all his time in the super smart classes all the way on the second floor.

With Harold out of the way, Jake can focus on landing a spot with the undefeated Comets. The best Jake’s baseball team can do is second place and he’ll do whatever it takes to get on the number one team even if it means leaving his friends and his dad, the coach, behind. Once he’s rid ofHarold and playing shortstop for a winning team, being one of the cool kids is in his glove.

But just as Jake finally gets a seat at lunch next to the Comets’ players, which will most likely lead to a spot on their roster, the unthinkable happens. Harold gets B lunch and in the words of Yogi Berra, it’s “deja vu all over again.”

If Jake wants to play for the Comets, he’ll have to ditch Harold for good and make it stick this time. Only he might decide that winning isn’t everything and that loyal friends are hard to find. And it’s just possible that Harold’s knowledge of expert plays can help Jake and his old team beat the undefeated Comets.

First 150 Words:

On the first day of sixth grade, I cracked open the front door and looked outside. The bus stop was empty. So far, so good. I’d figured Harold’s mom would drive him this year like she did when he was in kindergarten. Harold had trouble when it came to new things. Well, that was one of his problems.

I walked toward the stop and from behind I heard, “Hey Jake! Wait up! It’s 8:03. Bus Number 6 will be here at 8:07.”

I walked faster and called over my shoulder, “Thanks for the update, Harold. I didn’t know I was so early. Tomorrow, I’ll sleep in a whole 4 minutes.”

Harold caught up with me and said, “I woke up at 6:33, but Mom said I couldn’t come out until I saw you.”

Great. Where is that bus?

“Hey, Jake, have you ever heard of Harvey Haddix?” he asked while he rummaged through his book bag.

Agent Pitch Finalist #6 - Duet With The Devil's Violin

Upper MG Magical Realism


Thirteen-year-old prodigy Miranda Harper craves the kind of perfection that goes beyond hitting all the right notes--she wants to be inside the music. Thanks to her new violin, she achieves her goal, but it's more than she bargained for. A flawless performance of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” lands her in a flying chariot piloted by a Valkyrie transporting a dead soldier.

Once she snaps back to reality, Miranda’s first instinct is to call her best friend, but she’s in England, and hallucinations aren’t the kind of thing you explain over Skype. She’s thrilled when she meets Lizzie, a new girl at school. She’d rather not share her crazy right away, but when the magic strikes again during a Halloween concert and sends her into a black and white horror movie, she spills everything, including the fact that the scratches she got during her escape came back to the real world with her.

With each trip into the music, it’s harder to return and the side effects get worse. Lizzie begs Miranda to stop, but she’s determined to prove she can control the violin and achieve perfection on her own terms. She’s willing to risk a few cuts and bruises, but when she discovers the violin could trap her forever in an alternate reality, she must decide what perfection is really worth.

First 150 Words:

I prepared for the downbeat, bow poised over the strings of my new violin.

Miranda Harper: concertmaster. Just thinking about it made me want to jump up and dance. But I couldn’t do that, especially not at the first rehearsal. It wouldn’t be concertmaster-like.

After a year of waiting it out as principal second violinist “so I could observe and grow,” I’d finally made it. At least we played some Mozart last season. Good old Wolfgang sometimes let the second violins outshine the firsts.

Now it was my turn to shine, and we weren’t playing Mozart today.

My fingers tingled, like extra energy ran through them.

I’d been practicing this piece--a medley from Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung--for weeks. It started with “Ride of the Valkyries,” a melody everyone recognized, probably because they’d seen a fat lady singing it.

I aimed for perfection. I knew it wasn’t really possible.

Agent Pitch Finalist #7 - Rules of Rodentia

MG Fantasy
37,000 Words


It’s no mistake Tobin won Top Seed-finder for Junior Mice two seasons in a row. After all, he knows the Rules ofRodentia like the back of his paw.  So when an explosive thunderstorm damages the Great Burrow and exposes his friends and family, Tobin’s routine forest life crumbles like last autumn's leaves. As if the destruction wasn't bad enough, his home has also been invaded.

Tobin watches in horror as a giant spider scuttles into the woods with a newborn pinkling in tow— his very own baby brother. He turns to his best friend Wiley and little sister Talia. They agree if the pinkling’s to have any chance of survival, they must follow the spider, even though the Rules clearly state to run away from predators, not chase them.

Tobin ventures into a world of dangerous terrain and crafty creatures, discovering he’s hardly the only animal with agrudge against this nasty breed of spider. He finds himself in a race to save his newborn brother before a battle for woodland supremacy befalls the spider stronghold. But once Tobin sees the horrors lurking inside the spider lair, saving one pinkling will only be the beginning. Sometimes a mouse just has to break the Rules.
First 150 Words:

Crouched in perfect stillness beneath a toadstool, Tobin recalled his training. He knew the Rules like the back of his paw. It was no accident he was top Seed-finder for Junior Mice two seasons in a row.  Traveling this familiar patch of forest was simple as scratching a flea.

Tobin concentrated on the final leg of his journey home. The Great Burrow loomed just ahead. Shaped like a giant tortoise shell, the burrow possessed dozens of hidden entrances. It was very important to use different paths and different entrances back inside.

Rule #7- A predictable path provides easy pickings for a predator.

Tobin spied a route he hadn’t taken in a while.

Next, his mind ticked through the age-old checklist taught to all young mice, the second-most important rule in all of Rodentia:

Rule #2- Always survey your surroundings before setting a paw in the open.

Scan for hawks.

Done. Clear skies.

Agent Pitch Finalist #8 - Everdream

Middle Grade Fantasy


It’s been thirteen years since the Queen of Ravens cast the spell to strip all Taravel’s inhabitants of dreams. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to her, one remains who can dream unaided - Eleven, the dreamseer.

An orphan, El has been raised in a black market dream caravan, caring for the ponies who grant people the ability to dream artificially. The citizens of Taravel pay generously for a ride on the dream carousel, a chance to touch the magical, dream-inducing manes of the ponies. But when the ponies start losing their ability to spin dreams, which is the only way anyone can dream anymore, El knows she must do something.

Accompanied by Dusti, a persnickety pony, and Ryn, the pirate-poet, El sets out to break the Queen’s spell. The three companions’ adventures take them from crystal pirate ships, to cities in the sky, to underground palaces and the home of a sea witch. Along the way El realizes there’s a lot more at stake than the ponies: a rebellion is brewing, the Queen has learned of her existence, and the truth about her parents is far different than she ever imagined. And worst of all, if El doesn’t free the dreams soon, they’ll be gone forever.

First 150:

Dreams seeped through the flaps of the tent, escaping into the sky like multi-colored ghosts. It was a busy night in the caravan. Though the metallic taste of thunder sat on my tongue and dark clouds pressed down over the crowd, we were still packed. The other merchants had begun to close up for the night. But we weren’t exactly ordinary merchants.

I counted people as I walked along the line snaking out of the purple and white striped tent. Sixty-two. Eight-eight. Ninety-six. When I hit one hundred I cut in.

“Sorry, but this is the cap for the night.” I watched the opposite expressions of relief and disappointment on the faces of the two people I stood between. Groans and angrier protests rose around me.

I walked back to the tent as the crowd behind lucky number one hundred dispersed into the darkness.

Agent Pitch Finalist #9 - Endangered

MG Fantasy Adventure


Maddie has a woolly spider monkey that no one else can see. After losing all her friends and getting assigned a therapist, she’s stopped trying to convince people it’s real.

Then Maddie meets worrywart Liam and his smart-aleck friend Hayden at sixth grade orientation, and is astonished that they have invisible animals, too. Liam has a tiger, Hayden has a sea turtle, and soon Maddie is introduced to an entire secret society of wildlife "Guardians", each with their own Spirit Animal. As the Guardians explain, Spirit Animals are the essences of endangered species. So when a sudden illness ravages her monkey, a horrified Maddie realizes it can only mean one thing: wild woolly spider monkeys are in serious trouble.

Catapulted into a rescue mission, Maddie and the boys travel from California to Brazil to discover what is threatening the monkeys and to put a stop to it. Faced with slash and burn deforestation, a corrupt police detective, and desperate poachers, it seems impossible that three kids and one sickly Spirit Animal could have any chance of success. But when failure means losing her beloved monkeys forever, Maddie knows that giving up just isn't an option.

First 150 Words:

Maddie lowered the baby monkey into her backpack. “Just stay still for me, please?” Maddie asked. The monkey’s tiny fingers pulled playfully on hers as she tried to coax him into the bag, which balanced cautiously on the damp wooden fence in front of the zoo’s Primate House. Maddie had one backpack strap looped over her arm to make sure it didn’t fall. “I’m excited to be back here again, too,” Maddie continued, “But if you get out—”

“Who’s she talking to, Grandma?” a little voice asked.

Maddie immediately stopped what she was doing. People can see you. Got to act normal, she told herself, though it was impossible to keep her hands from bobbing weirdly as the monkey scampered out of the bag and over them. Brazilly, no! Get back here! She bit down on her lower lip to stop herself from actually shouting after him.

Farther down the spider monkey viewing area, an old lady gave her a sideways glance.

Agent Pitch Finalist #10 - Point Blank

YA futuristic fantasy


Seventeen-year-old Norah is a Tracker, a student of a government-run high school that specializes in the extermination of Shifters—monsters that look like humans but can transform into animals. For several years, Norah trained in martial arts, weaponry, and virtual reality simulations with only one objective in mind: exterminate Seth, the phoenix Shifter who caused the fire that killed her family.

When Norah infiltrates a community of Shifters hiding in the woods, she discovers that Seth and the other Shifters are disturbingly more human than she was raised to believe. Seth is not the ruthless monster of her nightmares, but a seventeen-year-old boy just trying to deal with the fear and pressure of being the leader everyone expects him to be. Seth claims that the fire was an accident due to his inability to control his Shift, which is a far cry from what her government told her—that Seth started the fire on purpose to rally the Shifters against the humans.

Norah must quickly figure out who’s telling the truth—the boy who killed her family or the potentially corrupt government that took her in when she lost everything— before she ends up shooting point blank at the wrong side.

POINT BLANK is a YA futuristic fantasy complete at 60,000 words. It is told in the alternating points of view of Norah and Seth. Because of its dystopian and sci-fi elements, POINT BLANK will appeal to fans of LEGEND and ENDER'S GAME.

First 150 words:

The Phoenix is watching. The walls of the virtual simulation room flicker around its flames, and the legendary bird stares me down with its ruthless, scarlet eyes.

Before its image can fade away, I get out my pistol from my pocket and fire, again and again. The beast shrieks and takes flight. It swoops down towards me, and its soot-colored talons reach for my face. I go flat on my back and continue to shoot at it, aiming at its head this time.

The bird recoils from the bullets and flies past me, landing several feet away.

And then, the flames that make up the phoenix’s feathers bristle for a moment, crackling like a hungry forest fire, before absorbing the bullets. Just like it absorbed all the heat and energy from the bomb, the grenade, and the rocket that I’d used against it in previous simulations.

The gun had been my last resort.

Agent Pitch Finalist #11 - Mad As A Hatter

YA Supernatural Thriller


When Emil Aleric was saved from Wonderland seven years ago, the night he watched his sister die, he wanted nothing more than to forget. Forget the torture, forget his sister’s screams, and most especially, forget their captor, the Hatter, who claimed to come from the future. But when 1882 arrives with aserial killer ravaging London, and leaving notes quoting Alice in Wonderland wherever he goes, Emil knows his former abductor has returned.

When his guardian, Inspector Corwin James, is put in charge of the case, it’s clear to Emil that it isn’t mere coincidence. Still, Emil tries to ignore the evidence—until his best friend falls victim to the madman. Emil always knew, deep down, that when the time came he wouldn’t be able to hide; but now, he isn’t sure he wants to.

Corwin is adamant that Emil can have nothing to do with the case; after all, he’s only fourteen. However, as they come closer to learning the truth of the murders, they find the most pivotal clues lie in Emil’s memories—suppressed for seven years, but now threatening to consume him.

Emil never really believed in time travel. But as he prepares to fight the Hatter, he realizes believing might just be the key—or else, time itself could end.

MAD AS A HATTER is a YA supernatural thriller complete at 51,000 words. The first five pages are below. Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 Words:

From the warm floor of his sitting room, Emil Aleric glared out the window. It was late afternoon, and the crisp wind had left the streets of Belgravia empty, save for a couple climbing out of a carriage, followed by a butler carrying a dozen gifts. Probably some last minute Christmas shopping.

Emil scowled. He hated happy families.

He looked away from the window, took a gulp of tea, and winced. He’d always thought that Earl Grey was some disguised form of dishwater, but every adult he knew drank it, and his mother said it was an acquired taste. He forced himself to take another sip, and looked down at the table in front of him.

One, two, three newspapers lay strewn across the mahogany table. The first newspaper, dated December 16th, 1882, was flipped to the obituaries, where a small paragraph about a girl named Daphne Bell could be found. It was only a few lines, something about her family and “may He bless her immortal soul,” or some such rubbish.

She had been the first to die.

Agent Pitch Finalist #12 - Forever Friday

YA Urban Fantasy


Friday Anderson’s life is over. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Seventeen-year-old Friday wakes up from a car accident to find her cancer mysteriously cured. Everyone calls it a miracle, but now that her mother is gone and she’s being forced to move to a tiny Montana town, it feels way more like a curse. Her only hope of moving on is earning enough money for college, so when an ad appears in the paper for a job assisting a rock band, Friday jumps at the opportunity.

Hanging out with the gorgeous guitarist certainly beats baling hay, but there’s something odd about the four young musicians, who spend more time bickering than practicing. When Friday overhears them discussing a plan to move to New York -- and take Friday with them -- she finally confronts the band members and learns the truth: they are Athanatos, immortals trapped somewhere between life and death. Not only is Friday one of them, she’s the only immortal who can kill another, making her the one weapon capable of ending the world’s oldest blood feud.

Now Friday has a choice: confront the people hunting her down and risk the lives of the mortals she loves, or run and leave anything resembling a normal life behind. Between magic rings, ancient curses, and the fact that Friday’s going to have to live with the same haircut for the rest of her life, it’s definitely going to take some time getting used to this whole “undead” thing.
Forever should just about do it.

First 150 words:

Un milagro, they called me. A miracle. I heard the nurses whisper it to each other as they passed my hospital room. I saw it on the news for three days before my story was overshadowed by celebrity gossip and political scandals. And it was the first thing the Chilean doctor said to me when my scan results came back normal.

But I didn’t believe in miracles.

“Good morning, señorita,” the nurse said as she pulled back the curtains. “You are going home today, no?”

I nodded, even though I wasn’t sure what “home” meant anymore.

“Muy bien. The doctor will be in to release you soon.”

It had already been a week since the accident, but I still felt like if I tried hard enough I could wake myself up from this nightmare. Surely the real me was sitting in a café in Paris, the place I’d dreamed of going since I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor over a year ago.