#PitchMadness: Game On!

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Welcome to Team Lollipop Woods! It’s been a long week of reading through all the amazing pitches. Our wonderful readers have narrowed the slush, and your team hosts have chosen seventy pitches for the agent round. To meet the slush readers and hosts, go to this post here. And you can find out more about the participating agents on this post here.

For those of you not familiar with Pitch Madness, it’s a contest where agents compete in a game against their peers for pitches and you can find the rules and instructions of the game here.

I’m co-hosting with the amazing Marieke Nijkamp! Check out her site and follow her. You’ll be happy you did!

Marieke Nijkamp

Marieke Nijkamp

Website | Twitter

#1 NYT bestselling author of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS (Sourcebooks Fire) | Dreamer | Wanderer | | Secret Agent: , Barry Goldblatt Literary.


Scroll down to view all 10 picks for my blog or click on the links to each post …

Middle Grade

Young Adult


Comments are set to moderate so the agents won’t see other agents’ requests. Please no comments other than those from the agents. After the agent round, we’ll release the moderation and let you all comment on the entries.

We’ll reveal the agent requests on March 17 starting at 4:30 Eastern time. All the twitter fun will happen on the hashtag #PitchMadness, where we’ll tweet the results of the agent round.

Join us for the Twitter Pitch Party on March 23 from 8AM to 8PM Eastern time on the hashtag #PitMad. It’s open to everyone!

How do you twitter pitch? You can find all the details here.

A huge HUGE thank you to my team and to the wonderful agents!

Go to all the hosts’ blogs to read more winning pitches …

Team Ice Cream Sea – http://www.brenda-drake.com/
Team Peanut Brittle House – https://pintipdunn.wordpress.com/
Team Licorice Castle – http://sharonmjohnston.com/
Team Peppermint Forest – http://wadealbertwhite.ca/blog/
Team Candy Castle – http://samanthajoyce.com/





Age Category: Adult

Genre: Space Opera

Word Count: 131,000

Pitch: To topple an empire, Lin will do anything–even recruit its prince accused of fratricide. The plan: infiltrate a space-bound prison. The goal: be the last one standing when their alliance inevitably goes to hell.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
Most things were prettier from far away. From space, Dalcon looked like a rotten apple.

The northern continent’s major metropolises bled into each other in moldy shades of black, eating away at the planet’s battered ecosystem, scarring the rust-red earth. Lin clung to the metal exterior of the station, which orbited like a hungry fly. As she crouched in the vacuum, the subliminal hum of her suit’s life support system filled her ears, an unwelcome reminder that she didn’t have much time left.

Damn cheap thing.

She could only hope everyone inside the station was already dead.

She mulled over her options, hating them all, silently cursing Nexus for sending her on this asinine mission. She’d have done it out loud for the catharsis, but that would have taken up more of her dwindling oxygen supply.

Her commander always had plans within plans within plans, and didn’t share the full scope of them. Half out of paranoia, half because he liked it when his little surprises went right and everyone marveled. If they went wrong, nobody had to know. It was starting to grate on Lin. She would have liked some warning, for instance, that she’d spend today hiding from the police, wearing a third-rate vac suit, hoping her booby traps inside the station killed the blackcoats before they got a chance to kill her.

Exposed to space, she’d probably last thirty seconds. Inside… If everything had gone wrong, which was decidedly likely, she might last a few minutes.

Decision made, Lin gritted her teeth and started to climb.



Age Category: Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 87,000

Pitch: When sixteen-year-old Queen Janai is unfairly accused of using dark magic to kill someone, she must use her swordsmanship skills in a sparring arena to clear her name and reclaim her throne.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
The darkness below held the traitor in its midst.

With Ralel’s steadying arm around my own, we descended, my gold high heels clacking down the stone steps. The odor of mildew, urine, and feces ambushed my nostrils. It was difficult to refrain from gagging, but my desire to face the traitor kept my stomach settled.

We reached the bottom of the stairs and continued down a hallway lined with torches whose flames swayed as we passed them. My gown dragged across the floor, gathering dust and who knew what else, but I didn’t mind. I did, however, tighten my grip on the muscular biceps of my defender when a rat scrabbled by us.

“I find it amusing that someone who once wanted to become a fearsome warrior is afraid of a puny rat,” Ralel said, his tone suggesting amusement, but his face as serious as usual.

“I find it amusing that you find anything amusing,” I grumbled, giving the rat a dubious glance.

He worked hard to keep a smile off his face. “I told you this is no place for a queen.”

“You’ve made your disapproval quite clear. But it’s time for me to do this.”

“You should’ve allowed the guards to bring the prisoner to you in chains.”

“I want to see how he’s living. I want to see him suffering.”

He sighed and rubbed a hand across his close-cut hair. His skin—a deeper brown than mine—was already glistening with sweat.



Age Category: Young Adult

Genre: Diverse Thriller (Own Voices)

Word Count: 62,000

Pitch: When Indian-American teen Tanvi is framed for her classmate’s murder, she must prove her innocence and find the real killer: her cousin, Mimi. The problem: Mimi has been missing and presumed dead for five years.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
Ever since my cousin Mimi disappeared, Auntie and I followed a pattern. A routine. At three-fifteen sharp, I texted my standard message to her: School’s done. Smiley face. Home soon. It was second nature, as familiar as getting dressed or brushing my teeth. Or breathing.

After sending the text, I stuck the phone in my jeans pocket and joined the swarm of bodies in the school hallway. The stampede on Friday afternoons often reminded me of the crush at the temple we’d visited in India when I was six. I battled my way through a crowd and spotted my target down the hallway. Bright green eyes under tangled curls, and then the rest of Drake—tall and draped in a sweatshirt and jeans, and leaning against my locker.

Heat crept up my face, a common reaction around Drake. He hadn’t caught on yet, and I had to thank my dark brown skin for that. After flipping my hair to cover the telltale blush on my neck, I approached him.

He looked up from his phone. His gaze zeroed in on me and softened. An answering warmth tugged at my heart.

“I got your message,” he said. “So you’re not coming for the game?”

“Can’t. I have to stay home with Auntie.”

He lowered his eyes, but not before I caught the flash of disappointment in them. Crap. I hated letting my friends down, Drake especially, but it seemed like that was all I did lately.



Age Category: Young Adult

Genre: Diverse Fantasy

Word Count: 93,000

Pitch: In a world where Chinese fairytales are real, Sara, a sixteen-year-old artist, trades her brushes for a sword to save her little sister from a sorceress hell-bent on eating souls to feed her magical powers.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
I had waited five years for a message from my dead mother. Now that I had it, I wished to God I could send it back.

Huddled under the covers, I clicked my flashlight on and off to the steady beat of rain plinking against the bedroom window. Ever since I lost my parents, my nightmares would yank me out of my sleep. Then crazed and wild-eyed, I’d hunch over my sketchbook with the stub of my pencil, gouging black shapes into the paper to banish the demon dragons.

This time, when I opened my sketchbook, I found something I hadn’t drawn. Every blast of my flashlight illuminated my mother’s chop—her signature seal in Chinese characters—stamped on the bottom left corner of my sketchbook.

Grandma Apo cautioned me that our Chinese ancestors always returned in some form. Really! No amount of forewarning could prepare me for the sight of my mother’s calligraphy.

The chop bloomed like the red tide that turns the ocean the color of blood. Above it, six stacked horizontal lines, dressed in the blackest of ink, stood like a legion of soldiers in formation. Was this the written language of the dead? Simple lines and no words. Obviously, the dead were beyond the same needs as the living. I feared my only option to decipher the message was my death.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, sounding like a wounded animal.

“Saaraa!” Jaz, my five-year-old sister, cried out in her sleep.



Age Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 78,000

Pitch: To fulfill her immigrant mother’s incomplete dance legacy, Akira reluctantly allies with rival subway dancer Dawson to form a diverse crew of outcasts in hopes of winning a hip-hop dance battle.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
Dance is an electric starburst. Three deep breaths get me up from my bed every morning, but it’s dance that sustains me.

The D-train hastily skids into the station, screaming on the metal tracks. The sight of it gives me eyegasms—my stomach doing little flips in beat to the rhythm in my heart. The adrenaline rush just before I step into the train is the one purest feeling in the world, not marred by the doubt and anxiety that plagues most of my day—including the way I walk past people or how I move my jaw when I speak. When I’m dancing, nothing else matters.

Beside me, Jody fans himself. “It’s steaming here.”

I cast him a sideways look. It took me gazillion years to coax him down here to the subway.

“You sure you know Samantha Grace?” he asks for the tenth time. “I hope I didn’t get my ass down here for nothing, Akira.” Jody lives in the apartment next door to me in the Bronx and is always filming the crews who perform in the subways for his YouTube channel. All except me. Apparently, I’m not popular enough to end up on his videos.

“You’ll get your girl, bro,” I say. An introduction to Samantha Grace is my humble offering to Jody. In return, he’s going to make the tape for my Litecrew dance audition next week.

Samantha is a senior, same as me, but I’ve never talked to her. She’s the diva of Rookwood High; she wouldn’t talk to a girl from the wrong side of the track. But Jody, who is a junior, doesn’t need to know that.



Age Category: Young Adult

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Word Count: 86,000

Pitch: The Godfather meets Mean Girls in Vegas with magic. Seventeen-year-old Sierra Redstone would kill to rule her brutal clan of sorcerers. But when she infiltrates her enemies, an unlikely friendship throws her loyalties into doubt.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
I tossed my keys to the valet and strode up the casino’s palatial red steps. When I turned to look for my date, he was trailing behind me. Clearly, this was his first time in Vegas. What was his name again? Lawrence? Lee? Lucas? Probably Lucas.

“Sierra, wait.” Probably-Lucas caught up to me and offered his arm. I shifted my leather clutch to the other hand and gave him my precisely polite smile.

This was a waste of time. I should be managing the family casinos, or fighting sages, or negotiating mercenary contracts—anything but dating useless pretty boys from old money clans. But I had to keep Grandfather happy until he officially gave up on my cousin and named me the heir.

My date tried to guide me through the crowd of normals, and I gritted my teeth as my arm brushed against the protruding belly of a tourist. The whole casino reeked of stale cigarettes and sweat.

Probably-Lucas stepped beneath the imitation Chinatown gate into the Shanghai Casino. He stopped and glanced around like he was lost. The main floor was a jumble of “authentic” Eastern culture: Chinese lanterns dangled from the ceiling, Mongolian armor stood on display, and a Japanese fan hung on the wall above the Korean symbol for luck. The waitresses wore tight red cheongsam dresses with collars that came up to the neck and skirts that barely reached the thighs.

What could I say? We gave the people what they wanted.



Age Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Word Count: 46,000

Pitch: Fortunes may change for three unhappy kids who stumble on a magical abandoned carnival warehouse if they can help its ghostly owner reunite his bickering family before the property is sold to the wrong buyer.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
Four weeks had passed since the last time Justin Pennington uttered a word.

Not that he didn’t have plenty to say. But he had his reasons for staying silent.

On the Saturday before camp, Justin ran scales at the piano, staring intently at the keys. After a while, as always, his eyes shifted to his dad’s picture atop the polished lid. Abruptly, he shoved the piano bench backward. Despite the bright Milwaukee sun outside, his glum expression darkened.

He headed to the bay window and hurled his stocky frame onto its cushion. With deepening gloom, he stared out the window, pulling the curtains close around him.

On the lawn, a baseball glove lay exactly where he’d left it after his twelfth birthday last Sunday. Light through the window highlighted his solitary reflection, and he tugged at a handful of his unruly fair hair, wondering if the leaden weight in his stomach would ever go away. As he calculated the prospect of Camp Inch being any better than home, he shut his eyes. It can’t be worse.

Justin bolted upright when his mom pulled into the driveway. Sunlight on the sedan’s silver hood, dull with dust when she’d left a few hours ago, glinted off its shiny finish.

Why couldn’t she leave it the way it was? He backed away from the window, ignoring her wave. Swallowing hard, he realized the dirt covering the car had been the last evidence he’d had. Now it was gone too, just like his dad.



Age Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Word Count: 50,000

Pitch: When mummified murder victims pop up all over Victorian Dublin, girl genius Liadan’s on the case. It’ll take a devoted inspector and some werewolves to help solve it—before Liadan ends up a victim herself.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
Breakfast was oatmeal. Watery. Hateful. Oatmeal. Eating, however, was a far less unpleasant idea than being fed. They would put their hands on her. Force her to eat. Bruising pale skin and laughing. She didn’t like to be touched. The horrible click of silverware against plates and the dull murmur of the other patients echoed around her with none of the pleasantness she’d once associated with meals taken in company.

After oatmeal, an orderly—with his hand on her shoulderInsufferable lout—shoved more than led her to her appointment with Dr. Francis O’Toole, her onetime peer. The orderly deposited her without a word in the doctor’s office.

Clenching her jaw, she rubbed at the bruise on her arm. It was invisible under her sleeve, but sore enough that every time she shifted it reminded her that she’d been unsuccessful in escaping—again. Couldn’t have known that orderly would decide to slip out for a smoke. Next time, though… Next time she’d get out.

Dr. O’Toole was talking, but she wasn’t really paying attention to what he was saying. The chair she was in was dusty, the fraying fabric far more interesting than he was. Though his bright red mustache did catch her eye. Like a bird to a bit of ribbon. The curly edges flopped as he spoke. Droned, Liadan corrected. He drones. Worse than Sir Andrew, for certain. But a word caught her attention from the stream of dullness.


She blinked, bright green eyes going wide and wary, like a cat alerted to danger.



Age Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Horror

Word Count: 50,000

Pitch: ZhenYu teams up with his friend, sister, and a friendly spirit to defeat an ancient creature before it possesses his soul. Stranger Things meets Singaporean mythology.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
Zhen Yu strode past his papa’s BMW parked in the driveway, resisting the urge to punch the huge hulk of metal. The gate creaked in protest as he yanked it open and stepped out into the street outside his home. At 2 AM on a weekday, his neighborhood was a ghost town.

He kicked an abandoned Coke can down the empty road. If only Harun wasn’t sick and could’ve snuck out as usual and joined him. If only his papa would get help for his depression. If only his Nainai was still alive. If only his mama hadn’t left them… There were too many “if onlys” in his life.

He turned a corner and stopped dead in his tracks. Piles of burnt hell notes, oranges with joss sticks protruding from them, and bowls of rice littered the field in front of him. Tall, thin red candles poked out of the ground, glowing like beacons for wandering spirits.

In his anger, he had completely forgotten that it was the Hungry Ghost month. The gates of the underworld were wide open. What if a lost spirit followed him home?

A sudden breeze stirred the leaves in the trees, making them whisper like phantom voices. The moon hid behind the clouds, enveloping him in a shroud of darkness.

The skin on the back of his neck crawled. Someone watched him from the shadows. Or, worse, maybe it was a something not a someone.



Age Category: Middle Grade

Word Count: 53,000

Pitch: When the Luckiest Girl’s luck turns rotten, she must swallow her pride and play nice with the super show-off Luckiest Boy to get her good luck back and prevent the Yellowstone supervolcano’s eruption.

First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
The orange glitter storm wasn’t one of my better ideas. For one, glitter’s impossible to clean up. Days later, I found specks in the strangest places, like my toothbrush and under my toenails.

What’s worse though is that the glitter bomb tipped off my parents to what I’d been up to—trying to coax the super-powerful orange luck I was born with to return. Truthfully, I couldn’t believe it took them so long to realize what I’d been doing. You’d think painting myself orange or sleeping on a bed of orange peels would have done it. But no, it took the glitter fiasco, specifically the sparkly orange flecks in the mashed potatoes, for them to figure it out. I should have expected as much. Dad loves his potatoes.

But now they knew, and they weren’t on board. At all. That’s why it was such a big deal when I entered the corner convenience store in search of supplies for my next luck recovery project. My stomach knew it too. Forget somersaults. We’re talking backflips, cartwheels, and handsprings so big my entire middle ached.

The door’s bell chimed, and I jerked a moment before ducking and scooting into an aisle. Weaving through rows of pet food, candy bars, and beef jerky, I made my way to the lucky charm display at the end of the far row.

Packages containing four-leaf clovers, horseshoes, rabbit’s feet, wishbones, ladybugs, and number 7s littered the rack. Perfect. Everything I needed for my super-scientific plan, aka Maggie Mangan’s Luck Recovery Project 12.0, was here.

#PitchMadness 2017: Submission Window Is Now Open!



The Pitch Madness 2017 submission window is now open!

To submit your manuscript pitch into the contest, use this form on Brenda Drake’s post here.

What is Pitch Madness?

It’s a contest to win a request from one or more of the participating agents. (See who they are here.)

The submission window is open from NOW and until 11:59PM EST on February 24th. You should have plenty of time to get your submissions in. Make sure to perfect your entry. If you make an error, you may not resend. What do you need to enter? A 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. If you’ve entered this manuscript into contests before, you CAN still enter Pitch Madness.

There will be 60 finalists moving onto the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult (never before published) fiction only, novel length (no novellas) completed and polished manuscripts only. All genres (i.e. fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi, and so on) are welcome to enter. Only one entry per writer.

Each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 10 entries. We have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts and cohosts.

This year’s first round readers and teams can be found here.

The agent round will be on March 16 and 17. To see our amazing line up agents go to this post here.

All the twitter fun will happen on the hashtag #PitchMadness! Hope you’ll enter and good luck!


#PitchMadness: Agent Introductions



Pitch Madness is a contest where you can win a request from one or more amazing agents. To get all the rules, see the Pitch Madness Page.

The submission window will be open from 12:01 AM EST until 11:59PM EST on February 24. There is no limit of how many entries will be accepted. Please note: All entries sent before or after the allotted times will be deleted.

Sixty finalists move to the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult completed and polished fiction, novel length manuscripts only. No non-fiction. One entry per writer.

For details about the contest and how to enter, go to Announcing Pitch Madness 2017…Candyland Edition!

Good luck! All the twitter fun will be happening on the hashtag #PitchMadness!


And here are the 2017 Pitch Madness agents!


Lara Perkins Andrea Brown Literary

PictureTwitter | Andrea Brown Literary

Lara represents authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. She has been with Andrea Brown since 2010 and is also the agency’s Digital Manager.

In picture books, Lara is actively seeking picture book author/illustrators who bring unique perspectives to their work, particularly perspectives that have been historically underrepresented in children’s literature. She is drawn to bold art, a playful use of media and format, and kid-appealing humor.

In middle grade, Lara is drawn to fresh, unexpected fantasy and light fantasy, clever mysteries, and vivid contemporary realistic fiction, all with a strong sense of place and exceptional character development. Character-driven humor always catches her eye, and she loves friendship stories (especially friendship “break up” stories), multicultural family stories, and non-traditional family structures.

In young adult, Lara is seeking transformative, page-turning, character-driven fiction in any genre: fantasy, science fiction, contemporary realistic, historical, mystery, etc. She gravitates towards an unexpected premise that makes her do a double take (example: assassin nuns!), an evocative and richly described setting, and fully realized, complex characters. She’s looking for authors who wield language intentionally, and manuscripts that she can’t put down because she’s swept up in the high stakes, the compelling voice, the original world building, and/or the character-driven humor. As a more specific wish, Lara grew up in Los Angeles and would love to find a middle grade or young adult novel set in the real, diverse LA (not Hollywood).


Heather Flaherty – The Bent Agency

Twitter | The Bent Agency

Heather Flaherty represents children’s, middle-grade, and young adult fiction and non-fiction, as well as select adult fiction and non-fiction.

From Heather: I grew up in Massachusetts, between Boston and the Cape, and worked in New York City as a playwright during college. After a lot of country-hopping in my early twenties, I began my publishing career in the editorial department at Random House UK. I then became a young adult and children’s literary scout, advising foreign publishers and Hollywood on the next big books. Now, as an agent, I’m thrilled to focus on helping authors find that same success.

I’m looking for YA fiction across the board, especially issue-related YA with humor and heart—but not depressing or mopey. I also love hard, punchy contemporary YA that doesn’t hesitate when it comes to crazy! I want to see contemporary stories with sci-fi or fantasy elements, as well as straight-up YA fantasy. I’m also a sucker for clever retellings of classic fairytales, myths, and folklore. Finally, I’m looking for really good horror and ghost stories—not gory for gory’s sake, but dark, twisted, and even lovely. The one thing I love above all else in a YA novel is a strong and specific character voice: a real person, not another “everygirl.”

As for middle-grade, I want it stark, honest, and even dark; contemporary or historical, as long as it’s accessible. Coming-of-age stories, dealing-with-difficulty stories, witness stories about adult issues seen through a child’s eyes, anything that makes you want to hold the narrator’s hand… for your own comfort, as well as theirs. These stories can have magical or fantasy elements as well.

And on the adult side, I’m looking for female-centric thrillers and commercial women’s fiction with solid storytelling and strong voices. I’m also always on the lookout for fantastic upmarket projects that bridge the gap between commercial and literary lists.


Christine Witthohn – Book Cents Literary

Book CentsTwitter | Book Cents

Christine Witthohn is a U.S. literary agent and the founder of Book Cents Literary Agency (opened in 2006), as well as the U.S. Sales and Licensing Agent for Spanish publisher, Grupo Edebé (Barcelona, Spain). She is a sponsor of the International Women’s Fiction Festival held annually in Matera, Italy and she teaches brainstorming, branding, and social media classes in various cities around the U.S., U.K., and Italy (adding France and Germany next year). She is member of AAR, RWA, MWA.


Rena Bunder RossnerDeborah Harris Agency

PictureTwitter | DHA

In general, I represent Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Thrillers, Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy. I am always looking for Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction and Picture Books. I am open to representing Non-Fiction and Cookbooks, but it would have to be the right project for me – I love Science Writing and Literary Non-Fiction.

I am desperately seeking Middle Grade! I am also very much looking for Picture Books. I am always looking for beautiful literary fiction.

I’m a poet, and I think the best novelists were poets first, so novels in verse, novels with poetic language and writing, are totally things I am always looking for.

I am very interested in representing Fantasy and Science Fiction of all types, I am always looking for Israeli and Middle Eastern Science Fiction and Fantasy, and also SciFi/Fantasy with Jewish content and themes. This includes Adult/Middle Grade/Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I also represent Young Adult contemporary novels. I would love to find a New Adult or Adult novel written about the Israeli army (LGBQT also!) I would love to represent historical fiction set in Ancient Israel, or historical fiction with Israeli/Jewish content and themes – for Adults/Middle Grade/Young Adult.

I love all types of historical fiction, in all genres. I’d love to see literary novels set in the Middle East – historical fiction, fantasy, and especially multicultural romances.


Amy Bishop Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret

Twitter | DG&B

Amy Elizabeth Bishop joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret after being a DG&B intern in the summer of 2014 and then continuing to hang around until after she graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Creative Writing. She grew up in upstate New York and has now made the traitorous switch to downstate living. Reading-wise, she is interested in both commercial and literary women’s fiction, fiction from diverse authors, historical fiction, and contemporary YA. In terms of nonfiction, she’s compelled by personal narratives, biographies, and anything with strange facts. She is also a poet and reads for The Rumpus in her spare time.

Amy wants to see more…commercial women’s fiction and romance.


Lindsay Mealing – Emerald City Literary Agency

lindsaybio.pngTwitter | Emerald City

Lindsay has been writing stories since she could first hold a pencil. It wasn’t until she sat down to edit a manuscript for the first time she realized her true love was not on the writing side of the publishing industry, but the business side. She began interning for Mandy in early 2015 and quickly realized agenting was what she wanted to do forever more.

Lindsay is a self-proclaimed nerd, loving everything science fiction and fantasy – from epic tomes to gaming. She fell head over heels with the SFF genre when she read KUSHIEL’S DART by Jacqueline Carey (she even has Phedre’s marque tattooed on her back).


Erin Harris – Folio Jr.

Twitter | Folio Jr.

From Erin: I’m an agent who loves to champion the careers of debut and established authors. I represent YA, literary and upmarket commercial fiction, and narrative non-fiction.

My life in publishing began in 2007 when I interned for the literary agent William Clark of WM Clark Associates. In 2008, I joined the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency, where I first experienced the thrill of advocating for books I believed in and writers I admired.

Early on, it became apparent to me that there was a need for agents who could think like writers. I’d studied literature at Trinity College (Hartford, CT), but I was eager to hone my creative and editorial skills. This desire led me to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at The New School. I now see myself as a kind of interpreter, an agent conversant in both the language of the writer and the language of the industry, whose job it is to help you navigate publishing’s shifting landscape.

Outside of the office, I’m an active participant in New York’s literary community. I’m a member of PEN American Center and Women’s Media Group, as well as a founder and host of H.I.P. Lit, a literary event series based in Brooklyn.


Penelope Burns – Gelfman Schneider / ICM Partners

Twitter | Gelfman Schneider

Penelope Burns is the newest member of Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners. She came to the agency as an intern after graduating from Colgate University and attending the Denver Publishing Institute in 2012. Currently, as an agency assistant, Penelope is looking to a build a list of her own. She is interested in Literary and Commercial fiction and non-fiction, as well as a variety of Young Adult and Middle Grade.


Andrea SomburgHarvey Klinger Literary Agency

Andrea SombergTwitter | Website | Harvey Klinger

A literary agent for over fifteen years, Andrea Somberg represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including projects for adult, young adult and middle grade audiences. Previously an agent at the Donald Maass Agency and Vigliano Associates, she joined Harvey Klinger Literary Agency in the spring of 2005. Her clients’ books have been NYTimes and USABestsellers, as well as nominated for The Governor General’s Award, the Lambda Award, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Andrea also teaches courses for MediaBistro and Writers Digest, on topics such as nonfiction, memoir, mystery and thrillers, fantasy and sf. Her client list is quite full, however she is always actively looking to take on new authors who write in the following categories: Fiction: literary, commercial, book club fiction, romance, thrillers, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, new adult, middle grade. Nonfiction: memoir, narrative, popular science, pop-culture, humor, how-to, parenting, self-help, lifestyle, travel, interior design, crafts, cookbooks, business, sports, diet, health & fitness.


Stefanie Lieberman – Janklow & Nesbit Associates

Stefanie LiebermanTwitter | Janklow & Nesbit

Senior Counsel, Literary Agent

Stefanie seeks to represent authors who write upmarket commercial fiction, and she would likewise welcome young adult and romance submissions that feel fresh to the reader. She is particularly energized by manuscripts that feature strong female characters and voices that sparkle off the page.
Stefanie joined the agency’s Legal & Business Affairs Department as Senior Counsel in 2005.


Liza Flessig & Ginger Harris-DontzinLiza Royce Agency

Ginger-Harris-and-Liza-FleissigTwitter | Liza Royce Agency

Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. Their goal was, and remains, to represent authors in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele.

From picture books through adult projects, fiction and non-fiction, LRA welcomes strong voices and plot driven works. Their inaugural books became available in stores January 2013. Their first was an Edgar nominee, another was an Indie Next Pick, and two others were optioned for film. LRA’s success began right out of the gate.

Here’s to more great books!


Kathleen Ortiz – New Leaf Literary

Twitter | New Leaf

As the Director of Foreign Rights at New Leaf, Kathleen regularly attends book trade shows around the world to sell titles to translation publishers and looks for new medium opportunities for our clients’ books. She is also a Literary Agent actively seeking to sign more authors and illustrators, specifically fresh, new voices in YA and animator/illustrator talent. In YA she gravitates more toward beautiful and exceptional world building as well as contemporary stories whose main characters stay with the reader far beyond the pages. She would love to see a beautifully written YA set within other cultures and experiences. On the illustration side, she loves animator/illustrators and their unique way of storytelling. Kathleen is not currently seeking middle grade, screenplays, or adult projects not listed above.


JL Stermer – New Leaf Literary

Facebook | New Leaf

JL is adding to her non-fiction list in both YA and adult categories with smart pop-culture, comedy/satire, fashion, health & wellness, self-help, and memoir. She’s also growing her fiction list (a bit more selectively) and is looking for adult and some YA coming-of-age, humor, dark and edgy stories, and new and original voices in commercial and upmarket. She also thinks graphic novels are really cool.

JL is looking for voices that reflect the world as it changes, stories that share the human experience of life, love, growth, and achievement. And they don’t have to all be serious–having fun is important! Some of her favorite reads include: The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll,Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood by Janet Mock, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, French Milk by Lucy Knisley, Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis, and Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton.

A born and bred New Yorker, JL has lived in Manhattan her whole life and is a lover of all things arts & culture, people watching, and doughnuts.


Jaida Temperly – New Leaf Literary

Twitter | New Leaf

Jaida’s primary focus is Adult Fiction, with a special affinity for literary fiction, magical realism, historical fiction, upmarket fiction, horror, and speculative. Jaida also loves stories that shed light on marginalized experiences and question the “status-quo”, as well as titles that include #OwnVoices themes, international settings, political commentary, conspiracy theories, and alternate histories. Some of her all-time favorite Adult Fiction titles include: THE VEGETARIAN by Han Kang, THE SELL OUT by Paul Beatty, THE DINNER by Herman Koch, JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL by Susanna Clarke, and A THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon.

Prior to joining New Leaf Literary, Jaida studied Biology at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and briefly attended medical school, before moving to NYC and interning at Writers House. She loves art history, traveling, logic puzzles, secret societies, antiques, and numerous other topics that come in handy for Trivia Night and crossword puzzles.

Suzie Townsend – New Leaf Literary

#NoDAPL TownsendTwitter | New Leaf

Prior to joining New Leaf, Suzie graduated film school, earned her Masters of Education, taught high school English, and coached a swim team. In her spare time, she read everything she could, which prompted her move to publishing. She got her start as an intern at FinePrint Literary Management where she was hired as an assistant before making the move to literary agent. She’s been part of the team at New Leaf Literary & Media since its inception in 2012.

Suzie represents all brands of children’s and adult fiction. She loves women’s fiction, all subgenres of romance, fantasy, and crime fiction. On the children’s side, she particularly loves YA and MG. Suzie loves strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres, and she’s always looking for unique new voices in stories.


Peter Knapp – Park Literary & Media

Peter KnappTwitter | Park Literary

Fueled by the thrill of reading a new story for the first time, Peter works creatively with clients and the PLM team on marketing, branding initiatives and promotions to get great books into the hands of readers. Before joining PLM, he was a story editor at a book-scouting agency working with film clients, and he continues to look for new ways to partner with Hollywood on adaptations and multimedia properties. Find him re-watching Studio Ghibli movies, playing board games with friends, or right here to submit a new fiction query—he’s ready to add more authors to his growing client list!


Abigail Koons – Park Literary & Media

Image result for abigail koonsTwitter | Park Literary

Always eager to travel the world, meet new people and learn about other cultures, Abigail began her career working for the multinational corporation, EF Education. After realizing that books were her passion, she joined the foreign rights department at the Nicholas Ellison Agency where her prior experience in international business combined with her outgoing, adventurous nature proved invaluable to building relationships with co-agents and publishers. After joining PLM in 2005, Abigail expanded her roster of clients and today, in addition to her role as the Executive Director of International Rights, she represents both emerging and established authors, including Emily Anthes, Catherine McKenzie, Emily Voigt, Martin Michaud and Diana Yen. Although her projects—and tastes—run the gamut from popular science and narrative nonfiction to commercial fiction and thrillers, all her clients’ work share elements of adventure, surprise and the unexpected.


Blair Wilson – Park Literary & Media

Blair WilsonTwitter | Park Literary

A contract master, Blair works alongside our co-agents to negotiate publishing agreements outside of the United States with a focus on Eastern Europe, South Korea and the Baltic states. After a day of executing foreign taxes for authors or assisting with submissions, you might just find this North Carolina native teaching textile arts classes at the American Folk Art Museum and Textile Arts Center in New York City. This creative studied Victorian Literature but has truly fallen in love with the voices of new and emerging authors, making PLM a perfect fit for her. She is actively building her own list of clients in the areas of middle grade and young adult fiction and adult non-fiction with a focus on D.I.Y., lifestyle, pop culture, pets, and books dealing with issues of sexuality, identity and culture.


Eric Smith – PS Literary, Associate Agent

EricSmithTwitter | Website | PS Literary

Eric Smith is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary, with a love for young adult books, sci-fi, fantasy, and literary fiction. He began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received. Which is a lot. If you would like to send a query to Eric, please click or tap here to review our Submission Guidelines.


Thao Le Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Thao Le

Twitter | Sandra Dijkstra Literary

Thao Le is a literary agent at the Dijkstra Agency since 2011. She also handles the agency’s financials and select contracts.

Thao is looking for: Young Adult, Middle Grade, Picture Books by author/illustrators, Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, and is selectively open to Romance.

In the Adult and YA Sci-fi/Fantasy realms, she enjoys stories rooted in mythology, fairytales, and legends with atmospheric settings and strong world building. Particularly stories that are inclusive and multicultural. She’s also a fan of magic realism.

In contemporary YA, she’s seeking witty, heartfelt writing with an authentic teen voice. Especially stories about family and friendships. Think Stephanie Perkins, Jenny Han, or Sarah Dessen.

And in Middle Grade, she’s looking for fantastic adventures and clever protagonists the likes of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, and Soman Chainani’s School of Good and Evil.

In the picture book arena, she is only currently taking on author/illustrators, however she’s a fan of Jon Klassen, Kate Beaton, Cale Atkinson, and Liz Climo and would like to add projects in the same vein to her list.

In Romance, she’s drawn to heroes/heroines who turn stereotypes and tropes on their heads (such as heroines in typically male roles and sensitive heroes who aren’t necessarily alpha, but just as swoonworthy). She enjoys historical romance the likes of Julia Quinn, Courtney Milan, and Eloisa James, speculative romance similar to Gail Carrier’s Parasol Protectorate series, and contemporary romance that is as addictive as Sonali Dev’s Bollywood series.

In general, she loves beautiful literary writing with a commercial hook. She is most excited to add more writers of diversity (including, but not limited to, all ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental and physical health, and socioeconomic status) to her client list.

Saba Sulaiman – Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC

sabaTwitter | Talcott Notch

From Saba: I was drawn into the world of literature by default when my sister’s growing collection of books in our tiny room began to overflow onto my bed. Bewildered by her fascination with these musty, decaying volumes, I decided to experience them for myself—and instantly fell in love. Born to Pakistani expatriates in Sri Lanka, and knowing how to express myself only in English for the first fifteen years of my life, I found comfort in reading about other culturally displaced people, unable to communicate in their native tongues, and hesitant to assert themselves in environments where there were few examples of people like them. Moving to Pakistan and absorbing what it meant to be an educated woman in a traditional Islamic society contributed greatly to my desire to learn more about similar narratives, especially from other women. In an effort to understand how it felt to be surrounded by other ambitious women with the desire to shatter patriarchal restrictions, I enrolled as an undergraduate at Wellesley College. And the rest, as they say, is history

After double majoring in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies at Wellesley, I studied modern Persian Literature at the University of Chicago, where I got involved with editing our department’s academic journal. And it finally hit me—working closely with writers to hone their craft; seeing a piece of writing from its inception through to its eventual publication; and advocating for what I believed was stellar prose worthy of recognition—this was my calling. So I interned at various newspaper and magazine publications, worked as an editorial intern at Sourcebooks, and then wound up at Talcott Notch, where I’m excited to begin my career as a literary agent.

I’m currently open to the following genres:

Adult: up-market literary and commercial fiction, romance (all subgenres except paranormal), character-driven psychological thrillers, cozy mysteries, and memoir.

Young Adult: all subgenres except paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi. I’m particularly interested in contemporary realistic YA — anything with heart, humor, and personality. But if you’ve got a fast-paced, chilling mystery, I’m all ears.

Middle Grade: anything that’s smart, accessible and written with flair. Whether it’s quirky and funny, or just plain sweet and heartwarming — it’s no big secret that this is my favorite category. Also, I’d love anything Roald Dahl-esque.


Lauren Spieller Triada US Literary Agency

sunglasses pictureTwitter | Website | Triada US

Literary Agent Assistant Lauren Spieller comes to TriadaUS with a background in literary scouting and editorial consulting. She has a sharp editorial eye, and is passionate about author advocacy. Lauren is seeking Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, as well as select Adult fiction and non-fiction. Whatever the age category or genre, Lauren is passionate about finding diverse and underrepresented voices.

In MG, she’s drawn to heartfelt contemporaries, contemporary fantasy and magical realism, and exciting adventures. Some of her recent favorites are Rules for Stealing Stars, George, The Thing About Jellyfish, Wonder, Hour of the Bees, and Rooftoppers. In YA, she’d love to find authentic teen voices in any and all genres. She is especially fond of fantasy, magical realism, and space operas; contemporary stories with a hook; and anything with a feminist bent. A few favorites include Dumplin’, Scorpio Races, An Ember in the Ashes, OCD Love Story, Six of Crows, The Raven Boys, and Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

In Adult, Lauren is seeking commercial fiction, particularly female-driven psychological thrillers (a la Lauren Beukes and Gillian Flynn), and immersive literary fantasies, such as The Night Circus, The Miniaturist, and A Darker Shade of Magic. She is also interested in female-driven Upmarket General Fiction, especially if it’s funny or has a touch of magical realism (note that she is NOT looking for Romance), and unique non-fiction with an existing platform. She’s particularly hungry for counter culture books, cocktail books with a twist/theme, or narrative nonfiction with a unique hook (if you’re the next Lindsey West, Roxanne Gay, or Lauren Duca, she wants to hear from you).


Thank you to our Pitch Madness 2017 agents! We hope you all find some manuscripts to love!


Here’s the schedule for Pitch Madness …

February 24: Pitch Madness submission window opens for 24 hours

February 24 – March 5: Pitch Madness Slush Readers sort the entries

March 6: Pitch Madness Draft – Hosts pick their top entries

March 6 – 14: Hosts coach their teams

March 16 – 17: Agent Round

March 23: #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party (Even if you made it in, didn’t make it in, or didn’t enter Pitch Madness, #PitMad is open to everyone!)

#PitchMadness Announcement Post


The Pitch Madness submission window will be open for 24 hours on February 24!

What is Pitch Madness? It’s a contest held every March, where writers enter for a chance to win requests from the participating agents. Writers submit a 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of their completed manuscript on submission day. Then a team of readers choose the top sixty (60) entries to go onto the agent round. Though Pitch Madness has a game theme, the next contest will transition to more of a critique based contest with agents simply requesting in the comments of the entries’ posts instead of having the agents play for requests. Also, hosts will coach our team members, helping them polish their entries and first pages.

We’ll have an agent introduction post up next week.

The submission window will be open from 12:01 AM EST on February 24 until 11:59PM EST. You should have plenty of time to get your submissions in. There is no limit of how many entries will be accepted. Please note: All entries sent before or after the allotted times will be deleted.

There will be 60 finalists moving onto the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult completed fiction, novel length (no novellas) completed and polished manuscripts only. This time around we will not accept non-fiction. Only one entry per writer this round.

What do you need to enter? A 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. I will post formatting instructions before the submission window opens. There will be a form on the submission post to enter your pitch into.

Pitch Madness will be on six blogs and each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 10 entries.

We’ll have a small team of first readers ranking the entries for the host round.

All the twitter fun will be happening on the hashtag #PitchMadness!



Meet our first round readers …


Jami Nord

Jami Nord

Website | Twitter

Phone monkey, former Lit Agent intern, freelance editor for , & writer under a pen name. Bi, pagan, nerdy, & liberal. I don’t bite, promise.


Kerbie Addis

Kerbie Addis


Writer. Feminist. Slytherin. Bacon mage. Future librarian. Lit agent intern. Army wife. Lover of dark stories & dark lipstick. co-mentor.


Mary Ann Marlowe

Mary Anne Marlowe

Website | Twitter

Author of SOME KIND OF MAGIC Feb ’17 * Repped by at * Mentor, Whovian, & Sassenach


Samantha Joyce

Samantha Joyce

Website | Twitter

Author of the LOVE IN DISGUISE series. FLIRTING WITH FAME and DEALING IN DECEPTION out now from Pocket Star! Repped by of ABLA. Broadway Geek Girl.



Here are the links to the host blogs and their co-hosts for the contest …


Image result for ice cream sea candylandTeam Ice Cream Sea hosted on Brenda Drake’s blog

Brenda Drake

Brenda Drake


NYT bestselling author of YA fiction. Latest, THIEF OF LIES & CURSING FATE. Next, GUARDIAN OF SECRETS 2/7/17. Rep’d by & Creator


Monica M. Hoffman 🍸

Monica Hoffman

Website | Twitter

YA Spec-Fic Rom Writer | Trekkie, Dr. Who, & Star Wars fan | Music is my blood | SCBWI Member | Mentor | Rep’d by &



Related imageTeam Gumdrop Mountains hosted on Heather Cashman’s blog

Heather Cashman

Heather Cashman


All things wordy, generally nerdy. Editor at . Agent intern. member. Assistant to


Nikki Roberti

Nikki Roberti

Website | Twitter

YA Contemp author rep’d by of , ‘s assistant, Mentor, Query Editor, Awarded Playwright



Image result for peanut brittle house from candy landTeam Peanut Brittle House hosted on Pintip Dunn’s blog

Pintip Dunn

Pintip Dunn

Website | Twitter

New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. RWA RITA® winner for Best First Book. The FORGET TOMORROW series; THE DARKEST LIE; GIRL ON THE VERGE (Jun 27).


Darcy Woods

Darcy Woods

Website | Twitter

Counts laughter as exercise. Lives to swoon. Award-winning YA author of SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS (Random House/Crown). Repped by .



Image result for Lollipop WoodsLollipop Woods hosted by Rebecca Coffindaffer’s blog


Rebecca Coffindaffer

Website | Twitter

Author, shipper trash, all-around nerd. Freelance copy editor at . Making my own fun since 1983. Repped by .



Marieke Nijkamp

Marieke Nijkamp

Website | Twitter

#1 NYT bestselling author of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS (Sourcebooks Fire) | Dreamer | Wanderer | | Secret Agent: , Barry Goldblatt Literary.




Image result for licorice castle candylandTeam Licorice Castle hosted on Sharon Johnston’s blog

Sharon M Johnston

Sharon Johnston

Website | Twitter

DIVIDED & SHATTERED: Open Heart Novels out now with mentor.



Jeyn Roberts

Jeyn Roberts

Website | Twitter

Author of the Dark Inside trilogy, The Bodies We Wear and When They Fade. Vancouverite. Animal lover. Destroying words in a coffee shop near you.




yTeam Peppermint Forest hosted on Wade Albert White’s blog …

Wade Albert White

Wade Albert White

Website | Twitter

Author of THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE series. Mentor. Member of . Also, I own one pretend cat and one real one.



Timanda Wertz

Timenda Wertz

Blog | Twitter

Middle Sschool science teacher, SF/F geek, Ravenclaw, equal parts football & Broadway fan, Pitch Wars MG co-mentor, represented by Elizabeth Kaplan of Kaplan Literary



Here’s the schedule for Pitch Madness …

February 24: Pitch Madness submission window opens for 24 hours

February 24 – March 5: Pitch Madness Slush Readers sort the entries

March 6: Pitch Madness Draft – Hosts pick their top entries

March 6 – 14: Hosts coach their teams

March 16 – 17: Agent Round

March 23: #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party (Even if you made it in, didn’t make it in, or didn’t enter Pitch Madness, #PitMad is open to everyone!)


That’s it for now. Look for our agent announcement post next week and join us on Februrary 24 when the submission window opens!











Here’s the Thing: Not Everyone Finds It “Easier Than Ever” to Make a Living as a Writer

Can I just take a minute to discuss the statement that I often see that “it’s easier than ever to make a living as a writer”? I saw it pop up again this morning and am still mulling it over. Because, let’s be honest — nine times out of 10, that statement is referring to self-publishing. And I’m beyond a fan of self-publishing — I think it’s great — but to put it out there like, “Well, there’s self-pubbing, so you can just do that and make a living” is so very very flawed.

Self-publishing is awesome and has given a lot more writers the opportunity to write full time, but it is absolutely 100% not the solution for everyone please stop. Consider:

  • That not everyone writes in genres that thrive in self-publishing at the moment, which mostly favors adult markets with a lot of commercial flair
  • That not everyone can handle the entrepreneurial and marketing elements you need to manage to find success; in fact, for some that shit is a total muse-crusher and would result in them being mentally and emotionally worse off
  • That not everyone has the extra money in the bank that it takes to put out a decent quality book — by which I mean, some proofreading, a not totally shitty cover, etc.; I’m talking basics here. A lot of writers have budgets scraped so thin that even $50 upfront for their cousin’s friend to do a cover on MS Paint means less food in the pantry or no money for transportation
  • That not everyone even wants the self-publishing life and tossing this reasoning at them isn’t at all helpful because your goals are not their fucking goals

So while, yes, it might be easier than ever for you or your buddy Joe to put your super-awesome books out yourselves and make a living, before you throw that sentiment out at someone who’s talking about the difficulties of making ends meet as an author…just stop. Tuck this particular privilege back into your pocket and keep walking.

#PitchMadness Mario Kart Edition: GAME ON!

Bowsers Castle

Welcome to Team Bowser’s Castle! It’s been a long week of reading through all the amazing pitches. Our wonderful readers have narrowed the slush, and your game hosts have chosen sixty-four pitches for the game. To meet the slush readers, go to this post here. And you can find out more about the amazing agents playing the game on this post here.

thunder cloudFor those of you not familiar with Pitch Madness, it’s a contest where agents compete in a game against their peers for pitches and you can find the rules and instructions of the game here.

For this Pitch Madness game, we’re playing Mario Kart. bob-omb

See below for all 16 picks for my blog or click on the links to each post on the right.




gold coinGo to all the hosts’ blogs to read more winning pitches…

Rainbow-road-n64Rainbow Road on Summer Heacock’s site




Bowsers CastleBowser’s Castle on Rebecca Coffindaffer’s site




moo moo meadowsMoo Moo Meadows on Sharon Johnston’s site



Yoshi Falls on Brenda Drake’s siteYoshi_Falls_Overview_-_Mario_Kart_Wii




Comments are set to moderation so the agents won’t see their competitors’ bids. Please no comments other than those from the agents. After the game, we’ll release the moderation and let you all comment on the entries.

donkey kongWe’ll reveal the agent requests on March 11 at 12:00PM (that’s noon) EST.

Please note: We will email submission details for all requests by the agents. After the contest, agents will make requests to us for the pitches they loved and did not win.

All the twitter fun will happen on the hashtag #PitchMadness! mario and bowser

bullet billCongratulations to those who’ve made it into the game! For those who haven’t made it (and whoever else wants to join us), we are hosting a Twitter Pitch Party on March 17 from 8AM to 8PMEST on the hashtag #PitMad.

How do you twitter pitch? You can find all the details here.


Age Category: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 74,000

Pitch: When four teens’ nightmares force elemental powers to emerge, the search for answers takes them to Paris, where the truth of their connection and a dark mage threaten to destroy the City of Lights.

First 250 Words:
My world boiled down to a dizzying wash of green and grey, throat-coating cigarette smoke, and nauseating country music. Harsh light from the overcast clouds struck my eyes, leaving me squinting, and the music and driver’s off key singing made me wish for headphones. But both my sunglasses and headphones were broken. Some bloody git stepped on them during the flight from Bermuda. Given that I didn’t have American money yet, replacing them would have to wait until I reached the court-determined destination. As far as days went, this one left much room for improvement. Doubly so considering it was my seventeenth birthday.

I rolled down the back windows, desperate for some clear air. Sticky, humid air assaulted me and the cabbie shouted, his thick Southern drawl making it hard to understand what he meant. Whatever he’d said, the driver’s tone wasn’t unkind, simply matter-of-fact. He rolled the windows up as we turned onto a street and then slowed to a stop in front of two-story, red brick house. Gooseflesh prickled over my arms and neck, and a shaky breath escaped me. Movement from a window captured my attention. The front door opened and two people walked out. I squinted, trying to place them, and then glanced at the moustachioed driver, his gaze meeting mine in the rear-view mirror questions written all over my face.

Who are they?

A man—tall, with dark skin, and a build that comes only from the military—wore a pair of dress slacks, and a button up shirt that hugged his body.


Age Category: Young Adult
Genre: Magical Realism
Word Count: 91,000

Pitch: Xochi loves her fairytale job: live-in companion for tween genius Pallas. She’s trying not to screw things up, but the polyamorous tribe of musicians that share the family’s San Francisco Victorian are hard to resist.

First 250 Words:
On the night of the Vernal Equinox the sky was clear, the moon nearly full. Arching above an ancient Hawthorne, the tower of the white Victorian rose like a sister moon to meet the last hours of night. Defeated revelers straggled down the hill toward Haight Street, mascara-smeared and nearly sober. Xochi’s taxi swerved to miss them, turning up the steep drive to deposit her at the garden gate.

Ambient music leaked from an upstairs window, the soundtrack to the after-party’s demise. Xochi shivered, bare arms sticky with spilled beer and sweat and unlocked the back door. Sometime in the past few weeks, she’d learned this part of the house well enough to navigate in the dark. Laughter trilled up from the basement studio. The after-after party? Xochi wasn’t even tempted. All she wanted now was a hot shower and clean sheets. She trudged up the servant’s staircase, legs aching as she climbed the final flight.

The attic door was unlocked. Pallas sat hunched in the window seat, feet tucked under her long white nightgown, a cigarette in one hand, a teacup in the other. A real live smoking twelve-year-old.

“Pallas?” Xochi switched on the light. She felt the anger in the room now, goading her to react. “What’s up?”

“What does it look like?” Pallas dropped the butt of the clove cigarette into the gilded teacup. It hissed when it hit the liquid inside.

“Are you OK?” Xochi kept her tone neutral, careful not to look Pallas in the eye. Like a moose, she thought. Or a bear.