Monday, November 1, 2010

November Mystery Agent Contest Begins

Update: Contest closed! Thanks to everyone who entered! Check it out: the secret identity of our Mystery Agent and winners!

September 2010 rocked my socks off. The Operation Awesome blog launched with the generous help of a fabulous literary agent who read FIFTY one-line pitches and chose ONE happy winner to send her FULL MANUSCRIPT. A few others were given notable mention, and one well-prepared author even got offered representation

All of this was amazing! 

October 2010 flew by in a flurry of fun contests, writing challenges, and timely chats

Then, Operation Awesome got lucky again...

We found another incredible agent generous enough to read FIFTY one-line pitches.

And this time, our Mystery Agent (who already has an amazing list, btw) is looking for the following GENRES:

contemporary YA and MG, especially thrillers and mysteries
paranormal, sci-fi and post-apocalyptic/dystopian

What about adult fiction, some of you asked.

We asked our M.A., who said, "My adult list is smaller, but I am looking to add to it!" (italics added to inspire more squee-ing)

The Rules:

Genre is limited to to those listed above. Please include Title/Genre in the comments. 
The first 50 one-line pitches posted will be considered. You may post only one. 
Mystery Agent will choose one winner. 
The winner will have Mystery Agent's full attention when they send their full MS. YOUR FULL MS! So don’t forget, please have your manuscript ready to send before you pitch. 

We won’t have any fancy ‘you must follow us’ rules. Sure, we’d love you all to follow us, but Operation Awesome is about giving back. 

In the spirit of sharing, please spread the word. Tweet, blog, shout it from the rooftop. You can even grab one of our buttons, courtesy the amazingly talented Kristal Shaff. 

Need help with your pitch? Here are some helpful how-to links:

Query Tracker - the one sentence pitch
QueryTracker Blog - the elevator pitch
Elana Johnson - one-sentence pitching. 
Michelle McLean - how to write a logline/hook

The contest will close when the fifty entries are filled. 
(Last time that happened within the DAY.)
So hurry, and keep checking back to be sure you don't miss the chance. 
Please note that not every comment will include a pitch, so even if it looks like we're over fifty, you may as well try! When we're full up, comments will be disabled. 
Good luck!

Want to know who Mystery Agent is? Come back when the winners are announced. We’ll have an interview with the agent extraordinaire. 

On your marks, get set, go!


Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo! Good luck everyone! :D

Genre: YA Dystopian

Pitch: A genetic mutation makes seventeen-year-old Justin Talent an outcast—it also makes his anemic blood a drug that can kill his sister’s murderer.

Joana said...

Here's mine (again) :)

ARTISTIC LICENSE- YA general fiction

Seventeen-year-old Cameron Nile goes to an arts school where he can be himself, whatever that might mean, even if following through ends up being harder than the brochures for the school would like you to believe.

Anonymous said...

Here's Mine.

Genre: YA Fantasy
Title: Riding on the Tail of the Devil

Pitch:As a homeless teen, all Mathias wants is a normal life, but his chance is destroyed once he becomes a vampire and learns the reigning Queen wants him dead because his existence threatens her rule.

Anonymous said...

The Whispering City - YA paranormal

When sixteen-year-old London Howell inadvertently "creates" a person, drawing the attention of the city's ruling mage family, the House of Dering, he must decide if the answers to newly raised questions about himself and his family are worth the price of a human soul.

Rachel Harris said...


Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: 2nd Type of Girl

With Homecoming in 57 days—not that she’s counting or anything—a desperate teenager snags a fake-boyfriend and undergoes a transformation to get a boy to fall in love with her . . . or at least ask her to the dance.

Joan Mauch at said...

"Halifax" is women's fiction at 80,000 words.

Forty year old Eleanor Hurley is leading an unremarkable, some might say boring life until the day she kills a man, discovers she enjoyed it and fears she's becoming a serial killer.

Margay Leah Justice said...

What an amazing contest! Here's my pitch:

As a redeemer with the power to condemn or pardon demons, Lorelei's life is always in danger, but never more so than when she meets Azazel - and discovers that she has more at stake than her life.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Forgot to mention, in my eagerness to post, that the title of my book is A Demon's Redemption!

Jared Larson said...

Title: I'm Here to Save Your Day– The Adventures of Bo Wolf
Genre: MG Fantasy

When you're the greatest eleven-year-old fencer of all time, you naturally bring the smackdown on a playground bully who's taken over the jungle gym, but when Bo Wolf discovers the bully's mom– the lunch lady– is plotting her diabolical revenge by poisoning the school with her irresistible gingersnaps, his horrible fears spring to life.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Kristin Nelson posted some insights into pitches gained from her recent webinar

I'll post my entry soon, just doing some last-minute tweaking!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Reposting with missing information:

Title: A Demon's Redemption
Genre: Paranormal Romance (adult)

As a redeemer with the power to condemn or pardon demons, Lorelei's life is always in danger, but never more so than when she meets Azazel - and discovers that she has more at stake than her life.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Thank you for linking to it, Angelica! There has been a lot of great advice about pitching recently! Good luck, everybody!

Angelica, hurry!

Stina said...

Title: Lost in a Heartbeat
Genre: YA thriller

After a masked stalker assaulted seventeen-year-old Calleigh, she’s forced to keep silent about what happened or else he’ll kill her BFF.

Jenna Wallace said...

Great contest! Here's my entry:

Title: The Shadow Scribe
Genre: Adult commercial

When Lara moves into an old house in the Scottish countryside and starts narrating a story in her sleep, she must find out what the story is and why she is telling it before she loses her marriage and her mind.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

No way would I miss this! Here's mine:

Title: Those Lost at Sea and Drowned
Genre: YA Paranormal/historical (1850s)

A quest for justice for her murdered friends leads Isabelle Brandt to imprisonment,
near death, and ultimately the spirit world--where she must confront a ghostly ship's crew set on revenge, endangering the souls of both the living and the dead.

Anonymous said...

Genre: Women's Fiction

Kate Dalton has just forced herself to leave longtime on-again-off-again boyfriend Jake Bailey when he's diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer, leaving her unable to decide which is more frightening: facing that he isn't The One, or that he is.

Scott said...

Title: Death of a Rabid Blog
Genre - adult: Cozy (mystery)


Peter and Joseph are inept, at best, private detectives out to solve the death of the rabid blogger and . . . not end up as dead as him, or the pigeons that started appearing on their doorstep once they started investigating the case.

Anonymous said...

Title: Spirits of the Island
Genre: YA paranormal

The Tatamoan spirits that guard the jungles of Guam are no more than scary stories to seventeen-year-old Tori Smith, until they kidnap her brother and she must face them to get him back.

Jess said...

Genre: YA Thriller
Title: Blood Tag

Sixteen-year-old Kae Ringer trains as an international operative to replace her murdered twin, and struggles to investigate secrets of her family’s past before she becomes history at the hands of an assassin determined to kill her…again.

Jennifer L. Armentrout said...

Genre: YA Paranormal
Title: Gifted

High school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand that dying sucks, and coming back from the dead, killing anything she touches, well, really blows.

Patty Blount said...

Genre: YA contemporary
Title: SEND

Daniel Clements, a former bully, hopes to escape his past by changing schools and his name only to fall in love with a girl he does not yet know is his victim’s sister.

Holly Hill said...

Genre: YA Paranormal
Title: Emerald's Keeper

Pitch: The world is getting darker, light-consuming creatures feed on the pure of heart, and fourteen-year-old Mandy is the only person that can stop them – but she must find the strength to let go.

Meradeth Houston said...

Genre: YA paranormal
Title: Colors Like Memories

Julia killed the guy she loved; it was an accident—sort of—but to save her best friend’s life she’s going to have to face what she did, and some memories are better left buried.

Bast said...

Genre: YA paranormal

Eden begins to lose touch with reality when he starts SEEING two very different ghosts: Finn, who wants to be his boyfriend, and Alice, who wants to steal his sister's body.

Valerie Kemp said...

Genre: YA Paranormal

When 16 year old Rain's best friend is murdered it's up to her and Ben, the ghost who's been watching out for her for years, to find the killer before time runs out for both of them.

John Sankovich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Sankovich said...

Title: Gifts
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rebecca must outmaneuver a lethal agent, learn how to control her telekinesis, and find her brother Alex before his gift is harnessed and he becomes her worst enemy.

Nicole Zoltack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Question ladies...

Does YA Urban Fantasy count for this?

Thanks. =)

Kell Andrews said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katrina L. Lantz said...

M.A. listed paranormal, which is similar to UF, so I say yeah.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Okay thanks Kelly and Katrina, I'll be back in a bit then =)


Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Title: FLORA
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

When sixteen year-old Dahlia Kennedy finds out who Rowan, the mysterious man she's falling for in her dreams, really is, he disappears; and she must help find him or risk both of their worlds changing forever... for the worse.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

TITLE: Blackbird
GENRE: YA Thriller/Urban Fantasy

16-year-old Taylor Keaton, spy chick in training, must complete the final mission of the elves that died saving her life, but to stop a band of sorcerers from stealing an item that could unbalance the magical world for good, she must first figure out what it is they're after!

Kimberly said...

Title: The Tyrant King
Genre: Post apocalyptic/Dystopian

In a world where kids reign, 12-year-old Reece battles a teen tyrant determined to rule Los Angeles by forcing children to perform deadly jobs once done by adults.

Thanks for the contest!

Unknown said...

Enjoy your blog.

My submission:

YA paranormal

Britt, a head-strong teen drafted by the angel field commanders to help defend her city against invading demons, must learn to cooperate with the head gargoyle protecting the city if her town is to remain free.

Steena Holmes said...

So excited the mystery agent is wanting to increase their adult line!

TITLE: Emma's Heaven
Genre: Women's Fiction

Megan Taylor has one goal - to find her missing daughter, so when she takes a picture of Emma in a crowd and no one believes her, Megan takes it upon herself to find her daughter and bring her home.

Rena Jones said...

Genre: Contemporary MG

When twelve-year-old Bobbi Allen decided she needed a vacation, she was willing to do anything to get it – lying, stealing, sneaking, and even dragging her best friend into grave danger.

L. T. Host said...

Not sure if Adult Commercial counts or not so please discount this if it doesn't, but:

James Pratchett, born in Balmer, Alabama as a black boy, returns to the town sixteen years later as a white man to enact his revenge on the men who killed his mother and made his childhood a living hell.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

It counts, L.T. :) What is your title?

Nicole L Rivera said...

Genre: YA
Title: Un-escapable

Lina Santoro fights to escape the rigidity of her lying, manipulative, former-mafia family to find the sense of home she lost at age five, but discovers a whole other world of trouble.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Genre: YA Paranormal
Title: Reaper

Quincy Amarante’s only goal in life is to be the “It” girl of Rancho Valley High and she’s determined not to let a little thing like becoming a grim reaper get in the way, even if it may cost her the most precious thing in the world: her life.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Title: Hidden in Shadows
Genre; Urban Fantasy

As assassin Lorna grows closer to finding her father’s murderer, she strives to master her newfound ability to create and hide in shadows but when she falls for a new target, Lorna must make a choice between love and revenge.

Norma Johnson-MacGregor said...

Title: VEX

Genre-YA fantasy with a techie twist

Pitch: Created to rebuild damaged and missing pathways in people with brain injuries, the virtual environment VEX carries heavy consequences for perfectly healthy sixteen-year-old Tana when she becomes addicted to it and discovers an entity living there is preparing to download itself into her weakening body, killing her and taking over her life.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theresa Milstein said...

Title: The Mist Chasers
Genre: YA Paranormal

Pitch: Sixteen-year-old Eve and her best friend Adam are the sole witnesses to a badass mist that obliterates a Walmart, launching them on a ludicrous quest to salvage the planet before it reaches the tipping point.

Elena Solodow said...

Genre: YA Paranormal
Title: The Whip-Slip

Seventeen-year-old Thea Vans hides her ability to heal or infect with a touch, but when a force inside of her steals the powers, it doesn’t escape the notice of her best friend, her classmates, or the soldiers fighting an ancient war in which Thea is a weapon of mass destruction.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Genre: Chapter Book/MG
Title: Scott and the Naughty Boy Factory

Sure, he’s a bit messy and lazy and likes to pick on his sister, but eight-year-old Scott is stunned when Daddy sends him off to the Naughty Boy Factory, where he’ll have to outwit the evil director and her robot guards in order to avoid the unthinkable—becoming a boring, well-mannered mama’s boy.

Anonymous said...

So, even though there are 51 posts, I see that there are a few people who have more than one post, so I'll post mine anyway.

Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: A Cup of Blackmail

Seventeen-year old Piper Carlino has always supported her father's dreams, including his desire to franchise their Seattle espresso cafe. By not following her instincts regarding popular jock Jake Bryant, she inadvertantly becomes a social outcast, puts her scholarship in jeopardy, plunges her father's livelihood into possible bankruptcy, and agrees to Jake's terms--be blackmailed or lose everything.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Yes, divawriter! You are officially entered. There are 12 spots remaining. The number of comments does not correlate to the number of actual entries. :)

Anonymous said...

Delivering Danger

Thirteen year old Charlie only cares about his own survival until he's trapped on an unmanned spaceship holding a life-saving vaccine, surrounded by thieves eager to steal it, and haunted by the memory of the young child he abandoned back in the slums of Earth.
--Becca R.

Donea Lee said...

Genre: YA
Title: The Glass Prince

17-year-old Clara Knight thinks spending the summer in faraway New York with estranged Grandma equals Broadway shows and shopping, but what she gets instead is a family curse, stalked by an immortal Prince, and Grandma plotting against her with her new best friend/"bad guy".

Thanks for the opportunity - I hope I'm one of the 50!! :)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

You're in, Donea!

Anonymous said...

I am changing since my usual pitch with query does not include names.

Title: Parallel Earth
Genre: MG- Science Fiction

After being accidentally transported to a wacky dimension, twins Haley and Wyatt Parker seek a way home, but are hunted by aliens that need human bones cells for survival.

Anonymous said...

Genre: YA

Trapped in the clutches of an invisible foe that is slowly taking over her mind, Keira is thrust into a world full of hours of hand-washing and over-the-top perfectionism that are driven by her new mental disorder’s harness on her debilitating fear of Leukemia, and when the boy she loves contracts Leukemia and becomes something her mind will never let her see again, Keira must ultimately make a decision that threatens her grip on reality and puts her very mental state at stake.

Christina Mercer said...

Genre: YA Fantasy
Title: Arrow of the Mist

When the enchanted roots of a blackthorn tree attack woodsmen in the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona, Lia—a 15-year-old tree mage—must decipher a 13-part elixir and defeat the demon shade causing the tree’s attacks.

Hope I made it in the 50!

Monica said...

Genre: YA mystery
Title: The Corpse of Cooper McCay

When Cass's secret boyfriend is murdered, she and her best friend infiltrate the popular group to find the killer by uncovering lies, while protecting her own.

Monica Ropal

Unknown said...

Genre: YA mystery
Title: Smells Like Money

After a nearby hog farm is blown up in the middle of the night, wanna-be-journalist Nic dives in to her investigation with little thought for the consequences to her own family.

Sage said...

Title: Hero/Villain
Genre: YA urban fantasy

Pitch: Evie Dark and Ace Starr might be as different as night and day--after all, Evie's a shapeshifting superhero, and Ace is an invisible supervillain--but they do share two things: an obsession with each other and a body.

Anonymous said...

Title: Chimeras
Genre: Thriller

When LAPD Detective Track Presius starts investigating a series of murders revolving around the genetic corporation Chromo, he finds only one clue: a scent; led by his extraordinary sense of smell, Track is soon on the trail of the assassin, until he finds the very scent he's after on the woman he's fallen in love with.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

If you post anonymously, please be sure to include a name in your comment so we can differentiate between multiple anonymous posts.

Also, one pitch per person, please. Thanks, everybody!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my OpenID isn't working... but you can differentiate based on the title, right? Thanks!

Unknown said...

Title: LOOP
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

When jaded time-traveler Bree encounters a boy from the distant past who claims to be both crazy for her and on a mission to protect her, she realizes that her worst enemy may be none other than her future self.

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting the contest! Looks like fun, and I love reading everyone's pitches. :)

Ara Burklund said...

Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: O. M. G.

A college-bound seventeen-year-old struggles to reconcile her faith with her scientific beliefs when faced with an unplanned pregnancy on the eve of her high school graduation.

RAD - Dot Painter said...

Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Title: The Lion Within

At fifteen, while living in Africa with her father, Renna is attacked by an unnatural lion and discovers she is left with unnatural powers of her own: lion-like abilities that boost her strength, speed, healing, and senses. Her
father does his best to hide Renna's freakish new skills, but after his death she is left to navigate the wilds of a Wisconsin high school on her own--and discovers she must lie, kill, and even die in order to tame the wild cat inside

Not sure if I made the 50.
Rachel Dillon

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Yes, everyone who has commented so far is officially entered. There is room for ONE MORE pitch. :) This has been fun. Thank you, everybody!

lexcade said...

if this still applies:
Genre: Science Fiction
Title: Duality

An amnesiac must tame her new panther DNA and discover the truth behind her mutation before the Project that created her terminates her.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Yes! Thank you! Comments are now closed!