Monday, April 1, 2013

No Fooling--April Mystery Agent Contest!

Thanks to all who entered and good luck!

Welcome to another Mystery Agent Contest! No April Fools allowed here--just some serious pitching for your book!

This month's mystery agent is looking for all genres of:

YA (Young Adult) Fiction
MG (Middle Grade) Fiction
And would specifically like to see:
  • Grounded YA, especially serious or darker or twisty contemporary YA
  • YA or MG fiction that touches on what it means to be a member of the LGBTQ today
  • Fantastic MG with heart and humor and fast pacing.
  • Mystery Agent is especially keen on MG at the moment, and loves stories about complicated family dynamics
Okay. Here are 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2) Entries must be for completed and unpublished manuscripts.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 75 entries.

6) The winner will receive a  FULL manuscript request!

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

Your comment/entry should look like this:


One-Sentence Pitch:

So what are you waiting for? Polish those pitches and get those entries in!


Kathleea said...


MG urban fantasy with humor

13yo witch brings back her boy crush as a zombie and now they are on the run from a covert government agency that wants to test their newfangled Zombie Activation Chip in order to start the zombie apocalypse.

Kim said...

Name: Kimberly Ann Miller
Title: Case In Point
Genre: young adult contemporary

One-Sentence Pitch: An eighteen-year-old girl who writes an anonymous column for her school paper gets death threats when she reports that a teacher is pregnant by a senior.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

The Boy in the Mirror

YA: Dark Paranormal Romance

With her imaginary(?) boyfriend at risk in a parallel dimension, 17 yo Grace must find her way through the mirror without losing her sanity.

Anonymous said...

Name: Rachel Russell
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Sixteen-year-old Catalina must make a deal with a criminal faery and stop a serial killer who likes to harvest body parts if she hopes to prove herself innocent of the murders as well as save the boy she loves.

Lucie Brooks said...

Name: Lucie Brooks
Genre: YA Contemporary

Pitch: A teenage mom and the guy who bailed must work together to cross a city under siege when domestic terrorists attack.

Stacey Trombley said...

Name: Stacey Trombley
Title: NAKED
Genre: YA contemporary

Sixteen-year-old Anna would do anything for Luis, her pimp, until they're busted and she's sent back home to the suburbs where she'll have to face her controlling parents, some seriously nasty rumors and the horrors of high school as the "town whore."

Unknown said...

NAME: Molly Pinto Madigan
TITLE: Of Blood and Roses
GENRE: YA urban fantasy

PITCH:When disillusioned music major Maggie Carter hears the voice of Thomas Lynn on the radio, she knows she has to meet him, but as she gets wrapped up in his mystery, she finds herself submerged in a strange world where words bind, where music manipulates, and where mortality hints at something more.

Unknown said...

Nancy Stewart
Lost on the Skeleton Coast
Middle Grade

Ten and eleven year old Andy and Olivia accompany their Uncle Blake to Namibia on an archaeological dig where they become stranded in the desert, are threatened by a pride of lions, trespass on diamond mine property and struggle, with the help of two San-Bushman kids, to get back to their dig site to try and save their uncle from diamond smugglers.

Anonymous said...

Name: Laurie Litwin
Genre: Contemporary MG


When Lilly Petunia Washington, an Abe Lincoln fangirl and history fanatic, finds a dusty old diary under a loose floor board, she embarks on an adventure to discover an unfound time capsule that could uncover secrets from the Civil War and link her own family to a U.S. President - that is, if she isn’t expelled first.

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

NAME: Jeanmarie Anaya
Genre: Contemporary YA

PITCH: After polishing the perfect image, high school senior Mackenzie Cloud risks forfeiting all her hard-earned social butterfly points when she falls for a friendless geek who has more enthusiasm for pi than popularity.

Corinne O said...

Corinne O'Flynn
YA Fantasy

After watching his brother murdered in his place, a 17 year old carnival worker learns he’s the only one left with the power to defeat the killer, avenge his brother, and save his world from destruction.

Anonymous said...

Name: Margaret Hicks
Title: The Shifter's Ball
Genre: YA

Modern Greek nymphs live fast and die young, but with rules; Phaedra would break them all if she chooses her human boyfriend over the life nymphs are forced to live for their survival.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Nicole Zoltack
Winter Magic
MG Fantasy

Trapped in a land ruled by the four seasons, ten-year-old Mandy and her eight-year-old brother Bobby must save Christmas when spring comes early or they'll never be able to return home.

Jennifer Kay said...

Name: Jennifer Kay
Title: The Templars: Initiation
Genre: YA Action / Secret Society / Heist

A sixteen-year-old apprentice spy takes on her mobster uncle and her own secret society to rescue her abducted father before he caves under torture and reveals her mother's dark secret.

Anonymous said...

Greg Pattridge
Contemporary MG

Successful is the least likely word to describe eleven-year-old Henderson, but if he can use his visual mind to achieve something big, and find the father he’s never met, being called half-brain won’t happen anymore.

Jen M. said...

Name: Jen Maschari
Genre: MG adventure

12 year old wanna-be rock star Matt Muldoon battles an evil witch for his soul with a little help from his quirky band and an unlikely weapon: his guitar.

Katharine said...

Name: Katharine Simmons
Genre: YA fantasy/romance

Pitch: A teenager discovers that her family's curse of disappearing at random is actually an opportunity to help others when it brings her to a Hawaiian local dealing with his brother's traumatic brain injury.

Artemis Grey said...

Name: Artemis Grey
Genre: Contemporary YA

Shy albino Ansel prefers books to people but when an injured runaway shows up in his shed, he readily offers her help, unaware that he’s befriending a missing millionaire heiress who’s father will stop at nothing to get her back in a psych ward where he thinks she belongs.

Rachel said...

Name: Rachel
Genre: YA dark contemporary

Pitch: It's Heathers meets Before I Fall in a non-linear timeline when popular Jenna falls for outcast Cass and everything starts to unravel - her parents' marriage, her friendships, maybe even her sanity...

Andrea Mack said...

Andrea Mack
Contemporary MG

Twelve-year-old Molly plans to help her mom de-stress by getting her mute 5-yr-old mute cousin to talk, but her dedication to her project could cost Molly her best friend and destroy her fragile family.

Anonymous said...

Shawn McGuire
A Soul's Desire
Contemporary YA with a Magical Edge

A teenage girl makes an unintentional wish that brings her alter ego/imaginary friend to life only to discover that the friend will do whatever it take to stay alive.

Unknown said...

Chrystal Schleyer
Young Adult

17 year old Isobel has a choice: Safety in her "flawless" city, ignoring the experiments, or digging up the secrets behind her genetic perfection.

DeenaML said...

Deena Viviani

When 11-year-old Joanie Patcherson discovers a young girl locked in the insane asylum in her Roth State Hospital Community, she decides it is her job to save her from the doctor who wants to give her a lobotomy.

Stephanie C. said...

Stephanie Cardel
YA Suspense with a Paranormal element

Seventeen-year-old Skylar is horrified to discover that she can see visions in shadows, but when they reveal a classmate was murdered, her best friend and longtime crush's possible involvement, and that she's the next target, she decides to step into some shadows to find the truth and stop the murderer before he stops her.

Anonymous said...

Rita Russell
Funny, realistic middle grade fiction

Queenie, a quirky and impulsive ten year old girl with ADHD, moves across the country from small town Ontario to glitzy West Vancouver, where she desperately wants to be popular, but her outrageous behaviour constantly lands her into BIG trouble.

Hong said...

Hong Tran
MG Fantasy with a blend of Vietnamese folklore and Western mythical creatures

When a group of evil sorcerers called the Kerai demand that eleven-year-old Linh help them conquer Earth by fetching a sacred crossbow, she refuses—until they threaten to kill her mother.

Carrie Dalby said...

Carrie Cox
MG 40,300

For freshman Mary Lou Weber, it takes her father’s old "poopy suit" and a cute guy with Asperger’s to help her find her inner strength so she can deal with her sister, who's back from college—and sharing her room—and her former best friends who scattered when they hit high school.


Hilary Harwell
MG Fantasy

12-year-old Oliver portal-hops from Clinket’s Trinkets to the peculiar land of Mim to follow a trail of stolen magical contraptions and save his kidnapped Trinket Guardian Grandfather.

The Belle in Blue said...

Name: Joyce Scarbrough
Genre: YA paranormal

Being dead is all fun and games until your killer kidnaps your BFF.

STBende said...

Name: ST Bende/Jacqueline Gardner
Genre: Lower YA Norse Mythology

With her science experiment pegged as the key to saving the realm, Idunn realizes it's going to take more than a push up bra and a decent GPA to survive high school in Asgard -- it's going to take a major miracle.

Mindy Alyse Weiss said...

Mindy Alyse Weiss
Ruby Bella Brown, Super Average Girl
Humorous MG

An eleven year-old cartoonist would eat worms or kiss a gross boy like Stinky to make sure this birthday isn’t another suck-a-rama—but is forced to choose between her dream of art camp or avoiding another ditch-a-thon and helping her friend.

Unknown said...

Michelle K. Pickett
YA Contemporary

One teenaged girl, one jock boyfriend, one true love, one dark secret, which will she chose, the love that can save her or the secret that's slowly destroying her?

Rosalyn said...

Rosalyn Eves
MG Contemporary

12 year-old Sabrina wants to be queen of her school’s Arthurian Feast, but to win she must defeat her former best friend and stop pretending to be someone else—without losing her self-respect or her new friends.

Bodhi said...

Name: Anne Taylor
Genre: MG Multi-Cultural Contemporary Fantasy

When human children are stolen by an underwater enemy, four tweens from around the world, Sage, Mei, Gabe and Themba, are given the key to accessing higher brain capacities by an advanced ocean-dwelling race to save them, but they'll have to dive in and unlock their own coded powers first, or become one of them.

Larissa said...

Name: Larissa Hardesty
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Bree Miller never expected her passion for yoga would save her life, but when she's kidnapped by a man in a mask who talks about obedience and punishment, her training is the only thing keeping her sane.

Lara said...

Lara Cummings
Callie Buttons and the Amazing Jumping Spider
MG Chapter Book

Stuck with a ghastly role in the fourth grade play, eleven year old Callie not only conquers her fear of spiders, but the class bully as well.

Jennifer Swanson said...

Jennifer Swanson
MG novel - Humorous

Using cow poop, hydroponics, and a food fight of epic proportions, 12- year-old inventor Julie Beamont creates a workable invention for the town contest, but will her thieving science teacher end up getting the credit – and the $25,000?

Robin Lemke said...

Robin Lemke
Talk to the Paw
MG Contemporary

Kendra can't make all the unfair things about her family come untrue, but when her vengeful neighbor comes for her dog with a breed ban and a muzzle, she knows it's her fight to win... or lose - and she can't lose her dog.

Unknown said...

Miriam McNamara
YA historical LGBTQ

It’s 1711 and Mary Reade has passed for a boy all her life to survive; when her obsession with the handsome neighbor boy drives her to leave London and go chase pirates in the Caribbean, the secret that’s kept her alive ends up putting her life and everything she thinks she knows about herself in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

Name: Suzanne Santillan
Title: Stealing Home
Genre: MG Historical

It’s 1950 in Chavez Ravine; 10-year-old Josie Maldonado’s plans for a perfect summer are ruined by the arrival of a mysterious cousin and land developers threatening to demolish her neighborhood.

Manju Howard said...

Manju B. Howard
Upper MG Contemporary

As the cyber-bullying by her junior high menace escalates, 13-year-old Samantha isn’t safe at home either, at least not within throwing distances of her alcoholic father who will explode when Mom’s plans to divorce are exposed.

Kate Larkindale said...

Name: Kate Larkindale
Title: The Sidewalk's Regrets
Genre: YA contemporary

When Sacha's sheltered life entwines with sexy rocker Dylan's, she gives him her cutting-edge sound; he gives her his drug habit.

H. Pinski said...

Name: Hilary Sierpinski
Genre: MG e-serial

A failed government experiment to alter human DNA has been hijacked with one goal in mind—to turn its unwitting participants into BREAKERS, those with the power to bend an ancient symbol and in turn bend space-time in this LOST for middle grade immersive e-serial.

Kim said...

QUESTION - can we pitch another book if you don't fill the spots by a certain time? Thanks!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Sorry, Kim--our rules say only one entry! It might take slightly longer than when we have 50 slots, but I'm sure we'll fill up the 75! Thanks for the question.

Kim said...

Thank you for quick response!

Michael Anthony said...

Mike S.
Genre: YA Fantasy

The horrors of civil war are revealed when fifteen-year-old Maxine Protega stands against family and friends in a battle over magic and the evil woven into the very fabric of it.

Sarah Floyd said...

Sarah Floyd
MG magical realism

When twelve-year-old Mandy discovers an ancient spell that makes her sprout wings, her long-absent mother shows up with superstar plans for her Winged Wonder Girl – but it means leaving her crush, who might be crushing back – and Grandpa, who loved Mandy long before the whole world knew her name.

Anonymous said...

Lori Tays Eastep
MG Paranormal

Twelve-year-old Winter Malone has used the school band room as a bedroom ever since her deadbeat mother took off for Nebraska, but she’s not the only one hiding in the hallways -- former (as in dead) teacher Mr. Hawkins must find someone to take his place as the school’s Soul before he can pass to the Other Side, and Winter’s living arrangements make her the perfect target.

Talia Hunter said...

Tania Hutley
YA Science Fiction

Desperate to escape harsh living conditions, scarred seventeen-year-old Milla steals a stranger's identity and unwittingly becomes a competitor in a deadly, high-tech gladiatorial contest.

Unknown said...

Jo Zebedee
YA sci fi

The aliens claimed Belfast for themselves, and only seventeen-year-old John can deal with them: he just has to get out of their prison first.

Holly Hill said...

Name: Holly Dodson
Genre: YA magical realism

The legend says no one spends a night in Tate’s Hell and comes out alive—but seventeen-year-old Delia Ray and her best friends are going to be the first.

Michelle McLean said...

We are going to 75 entries today so we have 24 more spots!

Ink in the Book said...

Talynn Lynn
Title: To Find A Way
Genre: YA Contemporary

In a world where emotions are outlawed, Prism will do anything to find love, even if it means buying it from the black market.

Unknown said...

Name: Don McFatridge
Genre: YA Fantasy

When fourteen-year-old Mike finds his crush, three-hundred and ninety-nine-day-older, Teagan and his nemesis, Rachel, unconscious after performing a ritual to awaken Teagan’s comatose twin sister, Mike must decide: call 911, or try rescuing the two Sleeping Beauties himself. Oh, and maybe Rachel, too.

Unknown said...

Name: Heather Senter
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

When Seventeen year old Rhi discovers that her color synaesthesia is actually a deadly power, there's only one problem: she's supposed to use it against a returning King Arthur and he’s not as nice as the storybooks say.

sheri levy said...

Sheri S Levy
Title: Dog Days of Summer
Genre: MG Contemporary
"Almost-twelve" Trina had the perfect plan on becoming the best service dog trainer ever, until their time together ends with her beach trip and causes her to wonder if her heart can be pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle and allow her to train another.

Unknown said...

Name: Kes Trester
Genre: YA mystery/suspense

17-year-old prodigy uses science, chemistry and wits to find her mentor’s killer, track a ticking time bomb and discover love.

jdspero said...

Name: Johannah Spero
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

15-year-old Sami does not know her exceptional piano skill is a result of magic running through her veins…until she meets Coach Panic and her magic potion that creates superstar athletes – but destroys artistic talent.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Please repost as a one-sentence entry or your pitch will be disqualified. Thanks!

Robert Polk said...

Name: Rob Polk
Title: Tree Roper
Genre: MG Realistic Contemporary

A broken climbing rope and suddenly one-eyed tree expert, Jimmy Parker, realizes that neither his new friendship with cute Sam Fulton, nor his hopes of cosmetic surgery, are nearly as important as his father, who now lies broken and bleeding on the roof above them.

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

Name: Jenny Kaczorowski
Title: The Extraordinary Art of Falling
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

One-Sentence Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Bria Hale knows exactly who she is – the militant vegan, purple-haired Queen of the Art Room - until she kisses the high school quarterback.

Eric Steinberg said...

Genre: YA Sci-fi

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

Cristina said...

Name: Cristina Dos Santos
Title: Revenants
Genre: YA Horror

For haunting the living in a previous life, seventeen-year-old Cora Grayson has to hunt ghosts in this life, including her best friend, or doom her soul to Hell.

Anonymous said...

Name: Margaret Alexander
Genre: YA thriller

The last person Donna expects to fall for is the first suspect in a line of killings at a school for superhuman teens.

Toni De Palma said...

Name: Toni De Palma
Title: Pieces of Me
Genre: Contemporary MG

When her mother dies, 13 y.o. Frannie is left with a box of letters, one disgruntled grandmother,two tickets to Italy and a lot of unanswered questions.

Lisa said...

Name: Lisa Rosenman
Title: Outside In
Genre: Contemporary YA

Underneath Alexis's perfect facade lies a mess of self-inflicted cuts and bruises; if she's discovered, she'll get kicked out of her elite boarding school.

Unknown said...

Name: Dionna Mann
Title: Pennies
Genre: Middle-grade

Allie Cat, 10, is on a mission to tame her temper, get rid of her double negatives, and find her momma a husband.

Liz Straw said...

Name: Liz Straw
Title: Mystery of the Fountain
Genre: MG Mystery

11 year old Jessie discovers that her mom has been dating her grade school art teacher behind her back, has her bike stolen, and discovers that someone is hiding something in the town fountain all in one day.

Jennifer said...

Name: Jennifer Clark Estes
Title: Still Life in a Graveyard
Genre: MG Mystery

Sketching in a cemetery doesn’t erase 13-year-old Tessa’s pain over her dad’s death, but it does help her deal with life in a new town, until unsettling events (and strange images that emerge in her own art) challenge her to find the truth about the town’s Great Fire -- a truth that could help some restless spirits, including herself, find peace at last.

Jenilyn Collings said...

Name: Jenilyn Collings
Genre: YA contemporary

Caitlin loves paranormal romances, but imagining her life as one gets in the way of developing real friendship and romance.

Anonymous said...

Name: L.N. Russell
Title: Discovering Faeth
Genre: YA Fantasy

After sneaking to her first high school party, Faeth learns she’s not human and that dark fae are hunting her which thrusts her into a hybrid life - forcing her to lie to her friends while exploring the magical future she must embrace.

Unknown said...

Name: Don McFatridge
Genre: YA Fantasy

When fourteen-year-old Mike finds his crush, three-hundred and ninety-nine-day-older, Teagan and his nemesis, Rachel, unconscious after performing a ritual to awaken Teagan’s comatose twin sister, Mike must decide: call 911, or try rescuing the two Sleeping Beauties—oh and maybe Rachel too.

Theresa Milstein said...

Name: Theresa Milstein
Muriel and the Misfits
Genre: MG Contemporary Fantasy

Muriel longs to find out where she belongs, leading to a mansion filled with magical aunts, but she soon finds that even magic can’t solve all of her problems—like bullies, a haunted house, and psychopathic grandparents.

Anonymous said...

Name: Amanda Sage
Title: ...In a Pear Tree
Genre: Humorous MG fantasy

After a winged turtle plummets out of the sky and hits 13-year-old Summer in the head, she is drawn into a quest to save Christmas with a Jewish elf, a snarky fairy, and a kleptomaniac reindeer, following a prophecy that resembles "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and was written by a French hen.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Ignore the comment counter! Still four spaces left!

Leah Kate Write said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angelica R. Jackson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leah Kate Write said...

Title: Jane Unwrapped
Name: Leah and Kate Rooper
Genre: YA

Dead Jane's body is donated to science and turned into the first modern day mummy, she wakes up in the Egyptian afterlife to find it's not a myth after all.

Writer Tessa said...

NAME: Tessa Devan
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.

Michelle McLean said...

2 spots left!

North said...

Name: Mark Cavner
Title: Welcome to Donnegal
Genre: MG

When Kate Kelly witnesses a carnivorous desk devouring a student, she knows there’s something weird about her new school.

Carter Higgins said...

Name: Carter Higgins
Title: A Rambler Steals Home
Genre: MG Contemporary

Derby's fractured family rolls their food truck to the Rockskippers' minor league baseball stadium each summer, but since Franklin Mattingly, the beloved head groundskeeper, has died since last season, she and Franklin's widow June need each other to lay down some new roots.

Michelle McLean said...

contest closed!