F-14: Young Adult: SUN AND IRON

Genre: Fantasy Word Count: 75,000 Pitch: In an ancient Rome-like world, where people with magical abilities are slaves, a young girl fights as a gladiator. Magic runs in her veins, but it won’t help her now. Spartacus meets Snow Like Ashes. Excerpt: Chapter 1 – Aelia Sweaty hands catch my wrist, and I curse myself for taking the easy way and coming to the market. The crowd is ideal for getting lost in after bumping into my victims, and vanishing with whatever their pockets hold, but the merchants – like the one holding on to me – do tend to get nosy. A man passes me by, carrying an ugly-faced barracuda bigger than my upper body thrown over his shoulder and waves at the merchant holding on to me. I flinch as the smell of the fish reaches my nostrils. A raspy voice calls from behind, “What’s the hurry, girl?” I sigh, shooting one last look at the forest that I was going to vanish into, and pull the hood of my cape lower over my face to turn back towards the merchant. I can barely see for a second with the sun right behind him, but I narrow my eyes, so I can make out his perfectly pale face. He smiles, revealing his yellow teeth, and I tug on my hand one last time in vain. His meaty fingers hold me tight. My eyes fall on the girl standing behind him with chains on her neck and wrists. Her copper skin stained with sweat and dirt is identical to mine. One look at her reminds me why I have to hide day after day, and I pull my cape with my free hand even tighter. I painted my face and hands white, but my craft leaves something to be desired, and...

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F-15: Young Adult: FALL TO PIECES

Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 88,000 Pitch: After shattering his leg in front of college recruiters, Jacob’s dreams of a football scholarship crumble. Washed up at sixteen and numbing the pain with painkillers and whiskey, he can only see one way out. Excerpt: Fourth quarter, seven minutes left on the clock. One touchdown was all that put us ahead, but we had control of the ball. And I was determined to keep it that way. I studied the defense while running the next play in my head. Everything else faded to the background. I knew exactly what we needed to do. Eagleton had been on us like literal hornets all night, but we were managing to stay one play ahead. By then, they were anticipating us, but we had this game in the bag. Breaking the huddle, I glanced toward the stands, hoping to catch a glimpse of Megan, but she was just a speck of blue and silver on the opposite end of the field. Knowing she was there watching calmed my writhing nerves. Unfortunately, nothing could soothe the intestinal havoc of knowing that Colorado State and Arizona both had scouts out there watching this game. My stomach had been in knots ever since the rumors started flying that they were coming tonight, and all I could feel was their eyes on me. Tonight was for them, for my ticket to getting the hell out of Ridgeland. I wiped my hands on my legs and as soon as the whistle blew, I fell back to receive the snap. All around me, well-rehearsed chaos unfolded. The collision of helmets and pads reverberated through the air as I stepped into position to launch the pass. Step. Pivot. Throw. From the left – my blind side – a freight train struck, barreling full force into...

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F-16: Young Adult: A IS FOR ATHERTON

Genre: Young Adult Romance Word Count: 62,000 Pitch: Take one stolen SAT exam. Add an honors student with wicked computer skills and a bad-boy who specializes in B&E. Together, they’re perfectly wrong. But wrong may be the only way to prove they’re right. Excerpt: Lacey McNamara paused outside Atherton Academy’s chapel to adjust her beautiful honors pin. The golden “A” surrounded by a filigree oval was her favorite accessory. Not only did it symbolize academic achievement, it looked as amazing on her school uniform as it did her winter formal. It even looked good on her bikini. Breathless with anticipation, she pulled open the hand-carved oak door and stepped into a sea of red blazers. The chapel’s stone arches and stained glass looked like a miniature of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Lacey had never been to London, but based on photos, they were nearly the same. Underclassmen packed the pews, faculty filled the stage, and Lacey quivered with excitement. It was time for Mr. Cunningham, the headmaster, to kick off the school year. He would welcome the new students and let everyone know Lacey and her classmates were kings of the high-school mountain. They were Atherton’s senior class. Atherton, the preppiest prep school in New England. Mr. Cunningham took center stage. NBA-tall, his long arms barely reached the ledges of the pulpit. He leaned down and puffed into the microphone. All eyes turned toward him. The buzz of voices died down. “Welcome!” he boomed. The side door banged open. Flag bearers marched in, one carrying a flag from each country represented by the student body. Goosebumps skated down Lacey’s arms. Everything was exactly the way she’d pictured it. Everything, except for the…*chickens?* Horrified, Lacey counted as *four, six, ten, twelve, sixteen, twenty-four* chickens flapped and squawked down the...

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F-17: Young Adult: BEDTIME STORIES

Genre: Historical YA Word Count: 86,000 Pitch: A disillusioned, mixed-race teen in 1970’s Hawaii discovers a priest is abusing her best friend. The adults are in denial so she takes matters into her own hands. Excerpt: I sit in the front pew of the chapel at Saint Ignatius and consider the enormity of my stupidity. It’s difficult to concentrate while Jack’s nose blowing competes with Father Greeley’s mainland drawl. Adults act like there’s a contract. They never say it in so many words, but everybody knows the drill. Follow the rules (obey your parents, listen to your teachers and priests and cops, tell the truth, do the right thing, blah blah blah) and you’ll live happily ever after. They hold it over you from the time you can walk, the unspoken threat that your status as a good person is precarious. Your chance to graduate into the ranks of the good and successful people, those people you’re supposed to look up to, is uncertain, given whichever of your many imperfections is being corrected at the moment. In spite of the mountains of evidence that the adults are pretty imperfect, too, I followed all the rules and the orders: this was not supposed to happen. I was such a sucker. When your mom dies, everyone you know, and lots of people you don’t, feel the need to share their half-baked thoughts on mortality and life with you. While sharing these pearls, they feel free to touch you, and occasionally smear sweat, tears or even snot on you. To make sure everybody gets a shot, Jack and I stand in a row behind Father Greeley while everybody files past. We perform this time-honored tradition in the church rec room, a big space with small windows, acoustic tiles on the ceiling and linoleum on the...

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Fizzy Fangirling – An Interview with Alec Shane

Hello my darlings! Today I bring you an chat with Alec Shane, awesome person and literary agent with Writer’s House. 1. Let’s start with the basics: How long have you been an agent, and what made you dive into this wacky business in the first place? I originally moved to New York to get into finance, actually; I was familiar with that world and didn’t have any other bright ideas at the moment, so I figured I’d give it a shot. But I arrived at my apartment in Brooklyn in June of 2008, which is – almost to the exact month – when the economy collapsed and a lot of the big hedge funds went under. Knowing that what few financial institutions left weren’t hiring (and probably wouldn’t see “former stuntman with very little experience” as a huge selling point if they were), I decided to see if I could get a job doing something I loved instead. And two of the things I love most are sports and books. Since NYC has a big presence in both arenas, I started applying for both sports and book jobs. I didn’t really even know what agenting was, and I had never even heard of Writers House; I just called them because I stumbled onto the website and thought it was a pretty building. Luckily for me, Writers House was in the process of hiring interns right around the time I first reached out, and the rest is history. I started as Jodi Reamer’s assistant in 2009, and have been building my own list since 2012. 2. Because inquiring minds always want to know, what genres do you rep? Mystery, thriller, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, biography, military history, humor, sports, “guy” reads, and any type of nonfiction about an event/person...

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