Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Pitch Plus One Winners Are...

We are proud to announce the winners of the Pitch Plus One Contest!! We hope all of our entrants feel as though they've had a great experience and have received valuable feedback along the way. The scores were very close, but here are the five prize winning entries:

Third Place Prize


You've won a one chapter critique from Agent Melissa Nasson!

Third Place Prize: 


You've won a one chapter critique from Agent Jordy Albert!

Runner Up 


You've won a two chapter critique from Agent Danielle Barthel!

Runner Up


You've won a two chapter critique from Agent Victoria Lowes!

And the GRAND PRIZE goes to


You've won a three chapter critique from Agent Christa Heschke!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest and to all of our wonderful judges. 

Friday, March 6, 2015


Word Count: 93,000
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy


Killing never comes easy, but for eighteen-year-old Martia, exterminating those who fall in love is an uncomfortable reality of being a Deathwalker. In the kingdom of Mithos, true love is the most dangerous form of black magic, giving the wielder the power to burn through skin and bone. Those who fall prey to it must be eliminated. When war breaks out on the border and the rival nation attempts to assassinate Prince Narin, Martia’s enlisted to guard him. Their eyes meet, and her world freezes at first sight—the initial symptom of true love. She tries to fight the magic’s intoxicating spell, but Narin insists they can overcome it. When the other Deathwalkers discover her secret, Martia must decide: plunge her sword into Narin’s heart, or choose Narin and become one of the hunted. Both choices will leave Mithos without an heir and bring ruin to the kingdom.

First 250:

The streets of Yuin are no place for love.
I creep through the night, wearing black in a city of pale stone. Even after dusk, Yuin is bright, the firelight blinding me. I slink further into the shadows cast by the alley's gleaming wall, tilting away from the flickering glow. Darkness shields better than any armor.
Something clinks to my left. I reach for the polished hilt of my scimitar.
A giggling couple stumbles into the alley after a rolling wine bottle. The woman's sharp snicker drowns out the distant music of stringed vihuelas and beating hand drums. She clutches her sides, bunching up the layers in her floor-length pleated dress. Her glazed eyes rise to meet mine and the laughter squelches.
Dammit. I hate it when people see me. My lips jerk up in a jagged smile.
She grabs the man's hand and pulls him close. "It's one of them."
The man twists in my direction and pales, a whine escaping his throat. They always look at me like that, seeing a monster in the place of a girl. I wish I could shrink back.
I step forward.
The woman whimpers. "Please, don't kill us."
Both man and woman are dark-haired, dark-eyed and dark-skinned like me, like all Mithoians. An ordinary person would only see two drunken lovers. But I see more. A thin maroon aura twists around the couple, reaching out with ebony tendrils.
The aura of black magic.


YA Contemporary
52,000 Words


Melissa is in a living hell over the whispers about her vomiting mid-hookup last week. She wants revenge, and to get out of Valley Pines.

When her closeted, pot-dealing bestie Jack suggests they create an app based on school scandals, she’s game. On “Chaos” students can anonymously post rumors for points; the more points they get, the more buzz they can access.

Chaos goes viral. Then Melissa discovers Jack wants to use it to spread an illicit video of a teacher who knows he deals.  If Melissa agrees, a student’s reputation will be ruined – just like hers.

Melissa gets a conscience and pushes Jack to reconsider, but he snaps: he releases the video, blames Chaos on Melissa, and starts stalking the teacher. Melissa has to stop Jack. Or she’ll end up with handcuffs as a graduation present, looking at Valley Pines from behind bars instead of through a rearview mirror.

First Page:

In high school there are girls who are gods. They command everyone’s attention with a swish of their skirt, a pout of their lips, and a wink. My little sister Stephanie and her friends are those girls. Pay atte­­­ntion, they say. Look at me.

You don’t want to cross these girls when they’re angry. These girls will key your car, spit gum in your hair, and pour diet Coke in your locker. Only diet, they’re not like you, fatass.

I’m going to get revenge, because I know all of their secrets. I know everything. When you know things in high school it rattles you. You can feel it in your bones when you look at someone. It’s this shuffling sound in your ears that never goes away.

My phone bleeps. ‘1 new message’ flashes on the screen.

Anything interesting on the tangled web last night Birdie? 

Jack Stewart always calls me Birdie even though my name is Melissa. He says it’s because it’s good to have a little birdie tell you secrets.

Wait ‘til I tell you what I saw on the confessional. I text back.

Last night I was reading, an anonymous gossip site made by a couple of seniors from back when the Internet was still dial-up. Mostly it’s bullshit posts about people looking to find the latest party, or spread lies. But sometimes you hit confessional gold.


105,000 words
YA Comedic Horror

It’s barely 9:00 am, and sixteen-year-old Retta has already dealt with a mutilated cat, complaints about her grandmother filling bathtubs around town, and one signature she maybe/probably forged. Just another Wednesday. But in seventy-two hours, Retta will be on her way to basketball camp and one step closer to a life-changing scholarship. All she has to do in the meantime is manage her family’s shenanigans. Oh, and ignore those creepy green eyes in the woods. Easy, right?

(Cue dead body.)

Easy ends when her ex-con brother gets accused of murder and disappears. She has to find him before the police do. But hungry, green-eyed mutants find her instead. When the mutants start eating her neighbors, Retta’s basketball dreams take a backseat to saving her bumbling family from a full-blown attack. And mutant-fighting would be a lot easier if they didn’t try to “help.” Veronica Mars meets Shaun of the Dead.

FIRST 250:
The Uiterwyks’ cat was clearly dead, but that didn’t make it Granna’s fault or Retta’s problem.

The corpse lay curled around the garden gnome and cooked in the sun reflecting off the Uiterwyks’ trailer. It was only 8:54 a.m. and already hot. Retta wrinkled her nose. This was not how she had planned to start her day, but as a member of a family like the Holkers, she had learned not to make plans.

Guts spilled in the grass like Spaghetti Os. The mangy animal was cut in half as if someone had dropped an axe on its stomach. Only, the bloody fur was ripped ragged in a way that suggested coyote or some other hungry thing.

Certainly not Retta’s 74-year-old grandmother.

But this was the accusation Brandi Uiterwyk had flung at her over the phone when she demanded Retta come two trailers down. Now.

Brandi huffed, just as impatient in person. “It’s not like we killed our own cat—”


“—and it is the second time your grandmother has broken in here and filled the bathtub,” she finished as if one crime implied the other.

That one was not an accusation. It was a fact. Granna had been filling bathtubs all over town. Last week she broke into Trudy Gunnarson’s and filled not only the bathtub but every pot in the house. Just left them around. On the counter. In the closet. Next to the TV. But she had yet to kill any pets.

“Unless the cat drowned before something ate its lower half,” Retta said, “Granna didn’t kill your cat.”


93,000 words
YA Dark Comedy


Mashup: Tina Fey's MEAN GIRLS/Meg Cabot's MEDIATOR/Lauren Oliver's ROOMS. On the night she’s crowned queen of the junior homecoming dance, sixteen-year-old Bethany Sultry crashes into a car full of jellybeans. Now she’s not only dead, she’s a laughingstock living a nightmare. To make matters worse, her high school nemesis is claiming all the empty spots Bethany leaves behind when she dies. She takes over as co-captain of the dance team, becomes her boyfriend’s new girlfriend, and even becomes the new junior homecoming queen. Enough is enough. Bethany can’t rest in peace with that bitch wearing her bling! With the help of the boy who killed her, Bethany mounts a campaign to reclaim her former glory, and her crown. But how far will she go to defeat her rival when the price of victory is damning her own soul to hell?


When I die, I don’t so much go into the light as have the light suck me up like a dust bunny in a cosmic vacuum cleaner. I zoom skyward, headfirst through a translucent tunnel. A hum loud as a jet engine presses against my inner ear. Ozone pinches my nasal cavities. Veils of colored air blow through my scalp and exit cold through the soles of my bare feet. At last, I burst into a stark white room and land, muscles tensed, in crouched position. The floor is solid and warm. I am nervous as hell.

“Hi, Bethany.” My only dead friend waves at me. Her name is Moon. She’s sucking on a lollipop, the big kind with the swirls. Her hair’s done up in three ponytails. I’m pretty sure she has a glitter tattoo on her cheek but it’s hard to see against the pale blue tint of her skin.

I straighten up and ask, “Is this heaven?”

Moon shakes her head no. She pulls the lollipop from her mouth and points it at the only other living being in the room. “But Cal’s an angel.”

After the havoc I caused, being in the presence of an angel is awesome, especially when that angel smells like warm apple pie. His cheekbones are higher than mine. I want to lick one and see if it tastes like cinnamon crumb topping.

Cal narrows his eyes at me. “I’m your celestial probation officer.”

I resolve not to lick any part of him.


MG Fantasy
41,000 words


Ellis has a big problem—a rivalry that drives him crazy. He wants to finally beat Alicia, the thorn in his side, and even a small victory in their youth theater ticket sales contest will do. He concocts a plan to sell a boatload of tickets to the old folks at the Wonderland Gardens Retirement Community. His hopes crumble after he finds Alicia beat him to the punch and sold her tickets to the residents.

Things go from bad to worse when an evil spirit possessing the community’s beloved owner kidnaps Alicia. It’s searching for a new, younger body and Alicia fits the bill. Ellis can’t just sit idly by, although a tiny part of him wants to, and he joins the fight. With the aid of a talking terrier guide, Ellis leads the oddball elderly residents against the fiend and its raven minions to rescue Alicia and reclaim their home.

First Page
The air seeped from Ellis Brown’s balloon of hope and instantly ruined his once-promising Saturday morning. He could not believe what just happened. “You mean a girl has already been here?”

Mr. and Mrs. McGregor, the Wonderland Gardens Retirement Center’s hosts, sat in the lobby’s red velvet armchairs smiling. Mr. McGregor held four orange colored tickets that matched the tickets in Ellis’ hand and said, “Yes, she came by about an hour ago. Still in the building, I believe.”

Mrs. McGregor beamed. “Such an angel, blonde hair, blue eyes, and full of joy.”

Yep, that’s Alicia. What a fake. Ellis forced a smile as the anxiety bubbled in the pit of his stomach. “And I suppose she sold you those tickets to our show?”

“As a matter of fact, she did," Mr. McGregor said. “Such a sweet young lady. She did mention that a friend of hers, a boy, might stop in later, and here you are.”

Sweet? Maybe, if rattlesnake’s venom’s sweet. “She does have a way,” Ellis said.

Alicia Swanson had been a thorn in his side all throughout middle school. She beat him at everything and, to make matters worse, she had a habit of broadcasting it to everyone.

He was counting on using the retirement home's residents to beat Alicia by selling more Alice in Wonderland show tickets to them. Not anymore. Ellis felt a familiar churning in his gut as, once again, a sure victory over Alicia slipped painfully through his fingers.


63,000 words
MG mystery/sci-fi

When Bones Malone pulls a half-delirious man from the Langille River, he stumbles onto a secret: his town is ground zero for a new technology that brings people's nightmares to life.

Langille was meant to be a fresh start, away from Bones’ father. Bones only wants to look after his mom and brothers and stick to throwing fastballs instead of right hooks. (He never starts fights. Honestly. He just ends them.)

But as he and his friends uncover a plot to turn Langille into a waking nightmare, Bones lands in his biggest fight yet. He's up against powerful people who use fear as a weapon on anyone in their way—including the town's nosy new reporter, Bones' mother.

Bones might be the bravest kid around, but he'll have to face the nightmare invention and confront his deepest fear if he wants to save his town—and his own struggling family.

First page:
Clouds hung low above the town of Langille, gray as wet cement. Bones hoped the rain would hold off. He was pitching that night, if he could still throw. He flexed his sore knuckles. Stupid. He should have punched Tony Spezio with his left hand.

As if she could hear his thoughts, his mother walked faster. She was three steps ahead, locked in Too Angry For Words mode, each stride radiating fury. Bones and his brothers struggled to keep pace.

“Mom, come on,” he said.

She marched on. She had not looked at him once since they left the Spezios’ house. “I said we’ll discuss it later.”

“I know I shouldn’t have punched Tony, but—”

She whirled. “Quentin Malone. The last thing I want to hear right now is an excuse.”

He winced. She only used his dreaded real name in formal situations, like the first time they met with a lawyer. Or when she was really mad.

“He was picking on Rory, Mom,” Bones said. “I was trying to stop him.”

“It’s true,” added Dylan, the youngest Malone. “Tony called Rory a little sissy. He was trying to make him wear a dress.”

Their mother froze. “He was what?”

Everyone looked at Rory, who stared at the sidewalk. Bones didn’t think his 10-year-old brother could bear to hear the story repeated.

He had tried to make peace. Honestly. He asked Tony politely to leave Rory alone. But Tony responded by calling the Malones a bunch of mama’s boys and said something crude about their mother.

Entry #4: TRACKER220

74,000 words
YA Sci fi/Thriller

Like everyone, sixteen-year-old Kaya Weiss has a brain-interfacing tracking chip, but she’s also the glitch that threatens the entire network.

With a series of thoughts and blinks, Kaya can contact anyone and search for anything on the tracker network. But the authorities monitor everyone and everything—including where Kaya goes, who she talks to, and what she searches. It’s never bothered her much, until her tracker malfunctions, and the authorities carve into her skull to reset it.

When Kaya’s tracker goes off the grid a second time, there’s no way she’ll become a lab rat again. Except a rogue operation called the Ghosts also hunts her—to exploit her faulty tracker and destroy the network. Evading the authorities requires serious tech skills the Ghosts can offer, but Kaya can’t trust them either. Accustomed to having infinite knowledge at her disposal, Kaya must rely on her intelligence to uncover the source of the glitches before either side lobotomizes her for the defective tracking chip.

First page

We were going to get caught. No question about it. Masking your tracker signal got you a date with the authorities at best, and at worst… I didn’t want to think about it. I wasn’t lucky enough to get away with this. I was never that lucky.

Troy grinned and held out the radio wave generator. “Come on, Kaya. You know you want to.”

I shook my head. A few minutes of freedom from the tracker network wasn’t worth the risk. If the authorities showed up, they’d brain probe us to check our chips for glitches.

Troy waved the box in my face. “You sure? It’s such a rush!”

I shivered despite the bonfire blazing in front of us. “No, I’m good, thanks.”

That little box was trouble. Worse than Pandora’s. My muscles tensed. At least if I refused to disrupt my tracker signal, I wouldn’t have to lie about breaking the law.

Trekking into the woods to watch everyone attempt to beat the record for longest signal disruption was insanity. Why couldn’t we hang out at the fly-in theater instead? Anything other than pursuing a one-way ticket to tracker juvie. 

But they loved the thrill of tempting fate—the ultimate game of chicken. At best, they had about five minutes of interrupted tracker signals before the network alerted the authorities.

I leaned into Harlow, and he put his arm around me. He’d never ditch me. But most of his friends wouldn’t hesitate to use me as authority bait if the agents showed up. Not if—when.

Troy glared at Harlow. “Looks like your girlfriend’s afraid of getting caught.”

Entry #3: RIVETED

68,000 words
YA Sci-Fi

As one of the mechanical race known as the boltedkindred, Johnny Rivet questions the reasons for the cold war separating him from his human friend and love, Rebecca.

Living steeped in an atmosphere of longstanding tension, Johnny is used to being feared for his inexplicable sentience. But hostilities are threatening to erupt, and he has his own fears: the unfinished men, people with eyes like dark ink pools and paper skin masquerading as humans. These creatures burn with an irrational hatred of the boltedkindred who share their city, a crumbling alternate-1950s metropolis, and are provoking tensions between humans and robots.

No one else notices the faces the unfinished men wear aren’t fully human. No one else sees the city is literally breaking down.

Johnny and Rebecca unite to stop the cold war before it erupts into a violent inferno—but to do so they’ll have to leave their city, their families, and old lives behind.

First 250 words:
The unfinished man unfolded himself from the elevator. There was no better word for his motion.

In the dying light, I finally saw the unfinished man, saw him like I somehow hadn’t before. His eyes were malevolent puddles of ink on milky pale paper flesh. His nostrils and mouth were ragged, yawning gashes—chasms of empty blackness.

He didn’t breathe, he rustled.

Rebecca’s breathing hitched beside me, a tiny gasp catching in her throat as he moved like broken origami twitchscuttling towards us slowly, twitch crinkle scrape twitch crinkle scrape. How had I ever mistaken him for human, or even living?

Before that moment I hadn’t really seen them for what they were, creatures only masquerading as humans.

I may not have been human, but those things weren’t, either.

Was Rebecca seeing the same creature I was? Or was she still lulled by his very superficial resemblance to a person, as I once had been? Perhaps we see what we want to see, or only see what we believe possible.

“I smell rust,” he wheezed through his torn mouth. “Hello, little tick-tock.”

And as he said it, I tasted rust—hot, burning, angry rust. Never before had I experienced the sensation that followed: everything stopped. I stopped. The frantic whirl of my thoughts, my mind, my body—all ground to a halt.

One moment all circuits and gears were churning towards logic and reason; the next, every fiber of me was routed towards a single sensation of paralytic fear.


MG Fantasy

THE MIDNIGHT FLIGHT OF THE SALEM MAGI is a secret history retelling of
Paul Revere's Ride.

Ark and Swanette are under a curse most parents would wish for— they
cannot tell lies. But when witch hunters start asking questions about
the Salem witches' descendants, the twins can't risk answering and
escape to Boston in hopes of finding safe haven.

Instead, they uncover an alliance between the witch hunters and
redcoats. In exchange for the military's aid capturing magi, the witch
hunters will unleash dragons against the rebelling patriots. Although
the twins were taught to stay hidden, they know the terror of being
chased and can't abandon anyone to such a fate.

Before Lexington is attacked, Ark and Swanette must form an alliance
with Abigail Adams, Boston's witch-in-chief, to save the patriots.
Because when dragons are coming, it's one if by land, two if by sea,
and three if by air.

First 250 Words:
At dusk I’m scheduled to burn at the stake. I don't like to brag, but
I'm really good at it. This will be my third time. It’s made me
something of a celebrity around New England. While burning magi has
always attracted large crowds, I like to think I’ve taken the
spectacle to a new level.

Thanks to my reputation, the villagers have packed the town square
despite the short notice. A local baker rambles through the crowd,
hefting a food tray overhead. "Get your gingerbread cookies! It's not
a bonfire without your favorite foods."

I’d wave the baker down, but I’m chained to a stake atop a log
pyramid. Unwilling to let mere captivity get in my stomach's way, I
hop in place to rattle the chains. "Do you have any oatmeal cookies?"

The baker raises his bushy eyebrows. "Kid, no one likes oatmeal cookies."

"Well, I do."

He shakes his head. "In that case, no one but you likes oatmeal cookies."

I let out a huff that turns to fog in the cold air. "I’m surrounded by

They form a crowd that stretches toward the horizon until their faces
begin to blur in the fading light. Latecomers scramble up ladders to
reach the nearby rooftops. A few have even taken the time to bring

From the audience size, every person in the region must have come to
find out if I can honestly survive being burned alive. Thank Goodness.
If everyone is watching me, no one is searching for my sister and


42,000 words
MG Science Fiction Adventure

Twelve-year-old Xavier Howell has a knack for making things go awry on a colossal scale. Like when his beetle trap experiment turned into a minefield of dung bombs. Otherwise, he's just an ordinary kid on a normal outer-world colony . . . as far as he knows.
When a mysterious black spaceship shows up and almost fries the colony to a crisp; Xavier uncovers a holographic message left by his long dead mother. She confesses to hiding a microchip in his head containing her super-secret artificial intelligence research and warns him that "The Man" (evil head of the Cornucopia Conglomerate) will do anything to get his hands on it.

With a band of eclectic sidekicks that include a quirky professor and a robot with multiple personalities, Xavier must escape the mysterious black spaceship and solve his mother's riddles—all while using his non-dorky ninja moves to dodge giant, man-eating plants.

First Page:

I thought to myself: Self, that’s not supposed to happen—just as the second dung bomb exploded.

Watching the smelly, sticky, brownish-green substance fly through the air like shrapnel, I realized I'd made a slight miscalculation somewhere. Crouched in one of the wheat fields that surrounded the colony on Kevin 5, I took a moment to review the parameters of my little beetle catching science fair experiment.

Mr. Finch, the colony's bug guy, assured me the chemical I'd used in the traps would be poisonous to the black-bellied grain beetle. The heap of cow dung covering the trays of chemicals was meant to attract said beetles (again according to the illustrious Mr. Finch)—not blowup. Perhaps I should've consulted the colony chemist, too?

The third beetle-trap-turned-dung-bomb exploded.

That's when the smell first hit me. I tried very hard not to let any more air penetrate my nose or mouth. The endeavor was unsuccessful and so I gagged … repeatedly.

"Xavier Howell!"

I cringed. I didn't recognize the voice (the colony was not that small), but its tone was certainly familiar. My reputation had preceded me. Turning around slowly, I came face to knees with one of the grain farmers. I couldn't remember the man’s name, but I might've been distracted by the fact that he was covered—from head to toe—in dung.

It was difficult to talk without first inhaling the putrid air. "Yes, sir?"

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Top Ten Entries in Pitch Plus One & the Agents Judging Them

We've made it through to the final round! Congratulations to all of you for all of your hard work and accomplishments. Connections have been made, friendships forged, and feedback assimilated. But we aren't done yet!! We have SEVEN amazing agents (also listed below) who've donated their time to judge the final round.

If your title is below then please take 24 hours to revise and send me your final entry by 9 AM tomorrow (Friday) to be posted by Saturday on the contest blog. Please send all info, including name, email, current title, genre/subgenre, word count, 150 word pitch, and 250 word first page EVEN IF you are not changing anything.

Agent Judges:

Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency:

Jordy Albert is a Literary Agent and co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. She holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with Marisa Corvisiero during her time at the L. Perkins Agency and the Corvisiero Literary Agency. She enjoys studying languages (French/Japanese), spends time teaching herself how to knit, is a HUGE fan of Doctor WhoSherlock and Supernatural (#Superwholock)!!! And loves dogs.

She is looking for stories that sink their teeth in, leave the reader wanting more, and gives her all the feels. She loves books that make her laugh out loud or tear up (or in some cases wanting to throw the book). She is interested in Middle Grade contemporary or action/adventure (think Indiana Jones, Goonies, Labyrinth and other awesome 80s movies). In YA and New Adult, she is looking for sci-fi/fantasy (romance), contemporary romance. She’s also always looking for characters with strong, authentic voices. Jordy loves an awesome kick butt hero/heroine, especially when they have to work their way out of a tight spot. While it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, she tends to shy away from novels with trigger topics, such as suicide and any type of abuse. As for adult works, Jordy is looking for smart, sexy contemporary romances that leave her breathless, and where the chemistry between the characters sizzles right off the pages. She is also looking for Historical Romances (she definitely has a soft spot for Regency). Like Brittany, Jordy is a sucker for a HEA! Some favorite authors include Sabrina Jeffries, Teresa Medeiros, Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, Lauren Layne, and Gena Showalter.

Danielle Barthel of New Leaf Literary:

Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She worked as a full-time assistant for three years, and continues to help keep the New Leaf offices running smoothly in her role of Coordinator of Team and Client Services.
In her downtime, she can be found with a cup of tea, a bar of chocolate, or really good book...sometimes all together.
Follow Danielle on twitter!

Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary:

Sarah Davies founded the Greenhouse and is head of the agency.  She created the business after moving to the USA from England in 2007, following a long career as a senior UK children’s publisher.
As a publisher, Sarah worked with many high-profile writers on both sides of the Atlantic. As an agent she has shepherded many debut authors to success. She has considerable experience in contract negotiation, marketing and rights, as well as a strong understanding of digital developments. Excellent publishing contacts in both the USA and Britain, and homes in both countries, have given her an unusually transatlantic view of the children’s books industry, from both sides of the desk.
A member of AAR and SCBWI, Sarah is an experienced speaker on children’s books and creative writing and attends many writers’ and book-trade events throughout the year. She says, ‘Everything you need to know about Greenhouse is embodied in its name.'
Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis:

Christa Heschke graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children's Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively looking for picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects.

She is a fan of young adult novels with a romantic angle, and strong, quirky protagonists. Within YA, Christa is especially interested in contemporary fiction, horror and thrillers/mysteries. As for middle grade, Christa enjoys contemporary, humor, adventure, mystery and magical realism for boys and girls. For picture books, she’s drawn to cute, funny, character driven stories within fiction and is open to non-fiction with a unique hook.

Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency:

Victoria was born and raised in Queens, New York and graduated from the City University of New York, Queens College. Before joining the Bent Agency, she completed internships at Serendipity Literary and the Carol Mann Agency. In her spare time she can be found teaching dance classes for young students or watching re-runs of The Office. She loves books that teach her something, whether it be about a culture she doesn’t know, event in history or about the dynamics of a tumultuous young romance. She wants to root for your characters -- connect with them and the problems they face. She’s looking for characters as complex and interesting as those she meets in real life.

Melissa Nasson of RPC:

Melissa Nasson is an associate agent with Rubin Pfeffer Content. She is also an attorney and contracts director at Beacon Press, an independent publisher of non-fiction. Melissa is currently accepting submissions, and she is actively seeking MG, YA, and NA fiction in all genres (though she has a soft spot for fantasy and sci-fi). She will also consider fiction intended for the adult market, particularly edgy speculative fiction and gothic/horror novels. She is not considering non-fiction at this time.

Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown:

Kelly Sonnack is a Literary Agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, living in San Diego. She works with illustrators and writers of all areas within children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels). Some of the YA and middle grade novels she represents include Steve Watkins’ Golden Kite Winner DOWN SAND MOUNTAIN (Candlewick); Sharon Cameron’s debut novel THE DARK UNWINDING and her upcoming novel ROOK (both Scholastic); and Gordon McAlpine’s middle grade trilogy THE MISADVENTURES OF EDGAR AND ALLAN POE (Viking/Penguin), with illustrations by Sam Zuppardi. Picture books she represents include Bridget Heos and Joy Ang’s MUSTACHE BABY (Clarion/HMH); Diane Adams’ TWO HANDS TO LOVE YOU (Chronicle); Jessica Young’s MY BLUE IS HAPPY (Candlewick); Elizabeth Rusch’s ERUPTION! THE SCIENCE OF SAVING LIVES (Houghton Mifflin/HMH); and Sam Zuppardi’s THE NOWHERE BOX (Candlewick). She is a frequent speaker at conferences, including SCBWI’s national and regional conferences, is on the advisory board for University of California San Diego’s Writing and Illustrating for Children Certificate, and can be found talking about all things children’s books on Facebook (agentsonnack) and Twitter (@KSonnack). You can also learn more about her at or at her agency’s website,

Top Ten Entries: