Friday, March 1, 2013

March Mystery Agent Contest Starts Now!


CONTEST CLOSED! Thanks to all who participated :)

Good morning, Writers!

You know what I love about writers? They can just fork over a one-sentence pitch just like that.
*snaps fingers*

No? Well, in that case, check out Nathan Bransford's one-line pitch talk.

Now all you need is a polished children's manuscript, either picture book, middle grade, or young adult. Oh, you have one? Perfect!

Go forth and enter (in the comments)!

Here is what our fabulous MA is on the lookout for:

Picture Books
Middle Grade
Young Adult

Specifically, our MA is seeking the following:

For MG and YA: currently seeking mysteries, historical, or contemporary with mystery elements
For PB: seeking manuscripts that have a voice, aka an author who is putting forward a sense of place, personality, and storytelling. Voice, voice, voice!

This contest is open to veterans and newbies alike - so long as you have a complete and query-ready manuscript on your hands within the genres of interest, our guest agent would love to hear from you.

Contest goes live 9 AM central time and remains open until all entry spots are filled. The first 50 entries we receive will go on to our MA. Remember, this is a one-sentence pitch. Cheating with grammar doesn't count. Meaning that you can't have 3 sentences with commas between them. The sentence needs to work.

The official contest rules:

1) Entries must be one-line pitches. The length of the pitch is up to you, but remember, it's only one sentence.

2) Entries must be for completed manuscripts. No NaNo projects, and no unfinished drafts, please!

3) Entries must be left in the comments section of today's post (please don't email us your entries!). We'll close the contest once we've reached our limit.

4) You can only enter once today (only one project). If you participated or won previous MA contests, you can enter this one as well!

4) Please include TITLE and GENRE, followed by your one-line pitch.

5) The contest will close when we receive 50 entries.

6) The winner will receive a FULL manuscript request!

7) If the rules aren't followed, your entry will be disqualified.


That's it! Now go and submit that awesome one-line pitch!!


Good luck to everyone! (It is lucky shamrock season.)
Artist at deviant art

58 comments:

  1. SHARD - YA Sci-Fi

    When 15-year-old Kaia discovers she can control one of the atomic elements, she joins The Shifters, a covert unit who fight to stop terrorists and save the world - or, at least, that's what they're told.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Name: Chris Smith and Holly Cagney
    Title: FIRE, LIGHTS AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
    Genre: YA contemporary

    Julian helps Tess hunt for their hometown’s arsonist-at-large to lure her off his trail, but as the nights wear on, sparks between them fly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marilla's Monster vine
    Picture Book

    Marilla, a shy country witch with a green thumb (and face!), needs friends like a werewolf needs a moon to howl at and when she enters her Monster Vine in the Broomview Garden Show she hopes she’ll wind up with more friends than a hairy troll has fleas, but first she’ll have to stop her out-of-control vine from wrecking the town, snatching up all the witches and trying to find friends for her.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Title: Triskeleon
    Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

    An ancient book transports awkward teen Marnie to the magical realm of Anderli, where she learns she’s a descendant of the time-manipulating Momenta and must trust in her newfound powers to reverse Anderli’s destruction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Title: Mother Earth’s Lullaby
      Genre: Picture Book

      When Mother Earth bids goodnight and casts her shafts of silver light, everyone feels safe and snug all wrapped up in nature’s hug.

      Delete
  5. SNAPPSY THE ALLIGATOR (DID NOT ASK TO BE IN THIS BOOK)
    Picture Book

    Snappsy the alligator was having a perfectly ordinary day, until the rude narrator started making stuff up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. TITLE: Beanblossom Versus Bombastic Bandits
    GENRE: MG Mystery

    If twelve-year-old Jacob Beanblossom finds hidden treasure before two grownup crooks do, he'll collect a hefty reward and start middle school being known as the boy who recovered a long-lost fortune instead of the kid who could fart on command.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Title: MIGHTY MIKE AND THE ALIEN PEZ DISPENSER
    Genre: MG Sci-fi/Adventure

    Eleven-year-old Mike can only escape bully Brutus when daydreaming of becoming super-hero Mighty Mike until he meets a little blue alien and agrees to test candies from an Alien Pez Dispenser, each of which give him a different super (or not-so-super) power.

    ReplyDelete
  8. AUSSIE OUTSIDER
    YA Mystery

    When sixteen-year-old Rory moves from California to a Dr. Pepper can-size island to live with her dad, someone doesn't want her there, and unless she discovers why, her new home could be six feet under the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Title: CIRQUE
    Genre: Upper MG historical fiction

    While the building French Revolution threatens her way of life and her life itself, 14-year-old Comtesse Juliette de la Marche is concerned only with finding her missing diplomat father, a quest that takes her from the center ring of London’s first circus to the edge of the guillotine’s blade.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Title: Dot Reaper

    Pitch: Lord of the Flies meets X-Men in this contemporary YA fantasy about fifteen-year-old Maxine Protega’s descent into rage and vengeance as a magical civil war rips her family and her world apart.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Title: THREE WISHES
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    Genie will need a master if she wants to keep the new body she got when she turned 17 ½; but finding Master Right isn’t easy--and she wants to make her own wishes come true.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Title: However Improbable
    Genre: YA Alt History Mystery

    Pitch: When Marigny is drawn for a contest to marry an Empire heir, she quickly falls for a rival player and must use her Sherlock senses to save him from a scheme rigged to doom them both.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Muleskinner. Upper MG historical fiction with paranormal elements.
    A twelve-year-old mule driver on the Ohio Canal is "adopted" by a mysterious dog that encourages the orphan to uncover his past, fight for his freedom, and reunite his family.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Title: TREE OF MANY COLORS
    Genre: Historical

    Ten-year-old Jimmy wants a normal life, but hard times follows him around like an old hound dog, and he steps in trouble like he steps in mud puddles, with bare feet.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Title: Savannah's Grace
    Genre: Contempt YA

    Pitch: Savannah knows her father harbors a secret; what she doesn't know is she's it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Title: Calvin’s Friend
    Genre: Picture Book (400 words)

    Tag along on Calvin the curious puppy‘s morning walk, as he and his boy spot ten backyard animals on their way to Calvin’s mystery friend’s house.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Title: Mother Earth’s Lullaby
    Genre: Picture Book

    When Mother Earth bids goodnight and casts her shafts of silver light, everyone feels safe and snug all wrapped up in nature’s hug.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Title: CHASING CHARLIE

    Genre: MG Mystery

    Twelve year old Maeve’s create-a-mystery game in a nearby cemetery turns real for her and her sisters when a series of puzzling clues leads them on a race across Long Island to dig up a millionaire’s stolen treasure.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Title: HOW NOT TO GIVE YOUR HIPPOPOTAMUS A BATH
    Genre: PB

    When it's time to give that hippopotamus a bath, don't let him do a bellyflop unless you want a suds-surfing, garden hose-tangling, pizza-chomping, still-dirty animal on the loose.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Title: A SHADOW STORY
    Genre: YA Victorian Fantasy

    Seeking a connection to a mother who died under mysterious circumstances, Victorian teen Lividia Blackwell discovers long-buried family secrets that reunite her with her guardian Boogeyman, and pit her against an evil Sandman bent on destroying her family.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lost on the Skeleton Coast
    Middle Grade
    It’s not a good idea to be lost in the Namib Desert. But that’s exactly what happens to ten and eleven year old brother and sister, Andy and Olivia, from Chicago, on a dig with their Uncle Blake (U.B.), a famous archaeologist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy, this contest is for one-sentence pitches only - please resubmit for your entry to qualify. Thank you!

      Delete
  22. Title: Surprise Murmur
    Genre: PB

    A starling alights on the bow of William's boat during a paddle on the loch before flying skyward and turning into a flock of wonder.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Title: THE STORYTELLER
    Genre: MG Historical (set in early 1990s)

    Elena retreats into her imagination rather than face the fact that her father is dying of AIDS, until Ang, an elderly African American woman with her own difficult past befriends her.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Title: LILLY PETUNIA WASHINGTON PRESIDENTIAL PI
    Genre: MG Contemporary

    When Lilly Washington finds a mysterious diary circa 1870, she embarks on an adventure to discover an unfound time capsule that could uncover secrets from the Civil War - that is, if she isn’t expelled first.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Title: Seeing Shadows
    Genre: YA Mystery (with Paranormal element)

    When seventeen-year-old Skylar discovers she can see visions within shadows she wants no part of it, but when a vision reveals a classmate was murdered and that her long-time crush may be involved, she’ll have to deliberately step into some shadows to find the truth or be the next victim.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Title: KNIGHT PETER AND SPARKY
    Genre: Picture Book

    Small, short Knight Peter sets out on a quest to prove his bravery, but when he comes across a dragon, he trembles in his armor--like always.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Title: Nowhere To Hide
    Genre: YA Suspense

    When the police fail to find any evidence of the murder that Penny Haywood claims to have witnessed, strange things start happening to those people closest to her.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Title: Catstronaut
    Genre: picture book

    Upon learning that the moon is made of cheese, Ned the cat must embark on a cosmic mouse-finding mission.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Title: BROTHAS TORN
    Genre: YA Mystery

    Sixteen-year-old Dhamell is determined to prove his dad isn’t guilty of murdering his half-brother’s mom, even if he has to face a serial killer and deceive his half-brother, who doesn’t believe their father is innocent.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Title: Big Sister, Big Monster
    Genre: Picture Book

    Lucy's attempts to be the perfect big sister flop, leading to monster-sized frustration -- and turning her into the exact opposite of who she wants to be.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Title: The Protected One
    Genre: YA Steampunk Suspense

    After she witnessed her sister's murder, Macy is whisked away to the Alaskan Klondike as part of the Witness Protection Program, only to find she's been followed, and he's after more than her steam powered dog sled.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Title: The Summer I Started a Business, Solved a Mystery, and Showed Up on Cajun Pawn Stars
    Genre: MG contemporary

    Twelve-year-old Haley’s got a good thing going smuggling contraband inside Southside Gardens Nursing Home, but things take a dangerous turn when she teams up with two seniors and discovers there’s a connection between a recent bank robbery and the resident in Room 30B.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Title: Doug, The Unlikely Dancer
    Genre: Picture Book

    Six-year-old Doug practices in his bedroom, the backyard, and the grocery store for a chance to show the world he's a dancer--even if he is fat.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Drained- YA Fantasy

    Sixteen-year-old Alysse Norton wants to win a four year dance scholarship to the Seattle Performing Arts Center, but she must first battle her new math teacher, Mr. Grimly, a Goblin in human skin, who has awakened unknown fey magic deep within her genes, and is slowly sucking her life and magic away, leaving her drained and unable to dance.

    Dorine- dorwh at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. FAKING THE AURORA BOREALIS
    MG contemporary with mystery elements

    Thirteen-year-old Victoria Bracken is determined to get to the bottom of the crop circles appearing in the fields of her riding school before the bad publicity shuts her stable down and leaves her without a place to ride.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Title: THE PENDANTS
    Genre: YA historical

    Pitch: When hostile strangers invade her band’s territory, headwoman's daughter Nahia has an unexpected chance to choose her own destiny – but only if she can betray her mother and sister, and abandon her people to an uncertain fate.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Title: Liar's Bench
    Genre: Upper YA Historical

    Kentucky, 1972: 17-yr-old Mudas finds out that cockfights and whores may be today's sins, but suspects they tie into yesterday's sorrows—her mama’s
    death and the hundred-year-old lynching of her boyfriend's great-great grandmother.


    ReplyDelete
  38. Title: BULLY BUSTERS: THE RUMPIE EPIDEMIC
    Genre: MG Contemporary

    Diseased nanobots are taking over the minds of the girls at Middle Brook Elementary, and it’s up to the Bully Busters to stop them.

    ReplyDelete
  39. How will 15-year old Kelly Henderstein cope with the upheaval of her post-divorce family, a desperately needed but awful hospital cafeteria job with its unexpected volunteering as the hospital mascot Chico Bear-all while trying not to clash with a young patient as angry as she is?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Title: BETTER LIVES
    Genre: YA Science Fiction

    17 year-old prep school student Marc is abducted and replaced by aliens to avert a future where he’s the president who starts WWIII.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Title: THE WITNESS
    Genre: MG horror

    Twelve-year-old Ryder's never been able to change the future he sees, but when he has visions of his mom's murder, he'll risk his life to stop it.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Title: THE RIVER REMEMBERS
    Genre: YA Supernatural Mystery

    When 16-year-old Emma’s best friend drowns, she must master her unwanted ability to manipulate emotions to find out what really happened before she's the next victim of the ruthless creature responsible.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Title: The Templars: Innitiation
    Genre: YA Action / Adventure / Heist

    When Alex's dad is abducted during her first real mission as his apprentice, she must design her own operation to rescue him.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Title: The Sky Throne
    Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

    When teenaged Zeus, the future king of the Greek gods, is attacked, in order to retaliate, he must access the power of Ouranos' Sky Throne, but doing so could kill him.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Title: The Sky Throne
    Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

    When teenaged Zeus, the future king of the Greek gods, is attacked, in order to retaliate, he must access the power of Ouranos' Sky Throne, but doing so could kill him.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Title: Nezumi's Children
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    Abandoned by the humans they once worshiped as gods, the rats of Rocco's Pet Emporium must face the oncoming disaster alone and learn to survive on their own; unfortunately, they're not the only rats in the territory, and the Wild Ones don't plan on sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Title: MOON RIVER
    Genre: YA contemporary

    A stalker, a stranger, a family secret: making out with your cousin has its pitfalls.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I had trouble adding my entry the first time--sorry if it appeared twice!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Title: The Sky Throne
    Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

    When teenaged Zeus, the future king of the Greek gods, is attacked, in order to retaliate, he must access the power of Ouranos' Sky Throne, but doing so could kill him.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Not sure if you're at 50 comments or not?

    Title: The Somewhat Manly Scrapbook of LumberStan's Big Woods Adventure
    Genre: Humorous Historical Middle Grade

    The only thing standing between twelve-year-old Stan and the 1896 river drive is his little, ornery, and bossy Granny.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Alison makes 46. Four more slots open!

    ReplyDelete
  52. title: Tori-Tess and the Hairy Mess
    Genre: PB Humorous/quirky

    When a young cowpoke aims to be the best cowgirl this side of the Mississippi, she has to do three things: Save her favorite cow, Bacon, show the head cowboy she can rope as good as any body else, and most important of all... tame her curlier than wool, wilder than a boar, longer-than-the-Oregan trail hair!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Title: Baby Bug Tries to Yawn
    Genre: PB

    Baby bug struggles to yawn even after his mama winds him down,but after he peers outside to see birds nestling in a line, squirrels stretching on a limb, and kittens yawning jagged jaws he finds their tranquil actions to be very contagious.

    Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Title: Hope Is My Name
    PB

    Carrying an armful of her jasmine garlands, Amal goes to Tahrir Square with her father, where faced with soldiers and tank cannons, she learns first hand the power of hope.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Title: Scrapbook of a Tomboy Princess
    Genre: Chapter Book

    With the help of her pink high heels (stuffed with Kleenex), her rock star wig, and her best friend Jimmy, Cozette must figure out who’s haunting the spooky house on the corner before her first ever campout or risk being stolen right out of her sleeping bag by the scary librarian found lurking on her street, or the bearded mailman caught digging in the graveyard.

    ReplyDelete