03: THE COURTSHIP OF MALLORY RICHARDS

Title: THE COURTSHIP OF MALLORY RICHARDS Age Category: Adult Genre: Women’s lit Word Count: 86000 Pitch: Mallory is dead at twenty-five with no memory of how she died while falling in love with the man she haunts. Mallory hopes she doesn’t scare him to death. Then again, maybe she does. First 250 Word of Manuscript: “Rise and shine, pretty boy!” I shout at him and he doesn’t respond. Of course not. Almost two months have passed and I’m still dead.Evan rolls over with a sigh and slaps in the wrong direction for the alarm. I suppress a smile, as if he could see my expression. He stumbles out of bed yawning and stretching. His boxers make a tent and I laugh, feeling awkward as usual. I follow him into the bathroom, but spin to face the wall when he strips off his plaid underwear and steps into the shower. The hooks clink across the shower rod and I turn back around to wait. Evan has been naked in front of me before, but each instance felt too invasive. That’s why I look away whenever possible now. It takes a minute, but soon his ritual morning sounds begin. Evan busts out a few notes that are too sparse to make a real melody, a bird lacking a tune. I chime in with him and try to morph it into a song. Really, he’d be surprised at how good we are at this. His shower lasts longer than normal, or maybe it just feels that way to me. Time is a funny thing to judge when it’s all you have — and yet you still tend to lose track of it. The water shuts off when the bathroom is saturated with steam. Evan gropes around the wall for the navy blue towel....

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04: THE UNCANNY REJECTS

Title: The Uncanny Rejects Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Science Fiction (Superheroes) Word Count: 84,000 Pitch: Every year, Wexstrom’s College for Arch-Humans rejects countless would-be-superheroes. But when they reject Portia Howard, she rejects their rejection. Forming a team of fellow failures, she’ll prove Wexstrom’s wrong or die trying (probably the latter). First 250 Word of Manuscript: *Dear Miss Portia Howard, We would like to thank you for considering Wexstrom’s College for Arch-Humans in your search for where to hone your super-powers and refine your moral character. While we were very impressed with your accomplishments, unfortunately we are unable to offer you admission at this time. As the world’s first school to specialize in the development of super-natural abilities, we do not make our admission decisions lightly and only have done so after great time and contemplation over your application. Please do not take this denial of admission as a rejection or, even worse, as a sign that you are simply not fit to fight evil. There was a very competitive and skilled class in this year’s applicant pool. While we do not doubt your commitment and abilities, we cannot, as much as we would like to, offer every special-powered applicant a place at our establishment. Wexstrom’s College for Arch-Humans would like to wish you the best in all your future endeavors. We look forward to vanquishing villainy alongside whichever team you join in the coming years. Sincerely, Marie Glyde, Dean of Admissions Wexstrom’s College for Arch-Humans* Fun fact: the average high school student wastes over 400 sheets of paper on college applications. I’ve done the math (I’ve done the math on a lot of things). Your typical tree produces 8,335 pieces of standard paper. Wexstrom’s College for Arch-Humans accepts less than 5% of its applicants. So for every student...

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05: MIDDLE OF KNOWHERE

Title: Middle of Knowhere Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 78,000 Pitch: In this contemporary Beauty and the Beast story of summer love, a city teen discovers that falling for a poverty-stricken country boy—and the truth he’s hiding—could tear her apart. First 250 Word of Manuscript: This is what hell looks like. I stare out the window of Dad’s Ford Explorer. Along the curvy road, dilapidated double-wide trailers that look like they belong in some independent film version of a horror flick litter the sparse lawns. An old couch, unused tires, and even a rust-stained toilet lay strewn next to one particularly neglected trailer. “Please tell me no one lives there,” I mutter. Dad glances in my direction, his mouth set in a firm, disapproving line. “Now, Hailey, try to remember these people aren’t as fortunate as you and I.” His eyes grind into me, like a pestle trying to turn me into bits of shame. “They do the best they can.” I sigh and turn back to the window as another trailer comes into view, this one even more unkempt. Amazingly enough, one of the occupants is sitting on the sagging porch steps blowing a cloud of smoke into the humid summer air. The man is grease personified. Like if someone wrung him out, they’d have an entire vat of frying oil. I wrinkle my nose and look down when I make eye contact with him. Suddenly, my nails are desperate for attention. “How long until Mom joins us?” I ask, digging at one particularly bothersome cuticle. Mom’s been gone for weeks now. As a broadcast journalist, she jet sets around the world while Dad acts as homemaker extraordinaire. Not that I’m knocking my Dad’s skills. He can make a mean...

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06: DAISY KINCAID AND THE TIME TRAVEL SHOPPE

Title: Daisy Kincaid and The Time Travel Shoppe Age Category: Middle Grade Genre: Mystery Word Count: 41,000 Pitch: Daisy makes an extraordinary discovery on her 13th birthday; she’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, able to visit history’s great events through a set of mystical pictures in her family’s shop. First 250 Word of Manuscript: Daisy Kincaid knew nothing of time travel. Or of stolen artifacts, secret societies, ancient tombs, or a vial that held the secret to eternal life. She was just a regular girl, leading a not terribly interesting life in Manhattan, trying her very best just to survive the 7th grade. But one day in May, two things happened that were a bit out of the ordinary. First, there was the boy. And second, was that very curious postcard. It was Saturday, her day to open the shop. The Kincaid Travel Shoppe on Greenwich Street was her family’s business (or at least her grandmother’s business since she was the only family that Daisy had). On Saturdays, Grandmother got her hair done for the week, so she trusted Daisy to unlock the big oak doors that lead into the shop’s foyer, and hang out the “Open” sign. If any customers happened to come by, Daisy knew to tell them to wait, have a cup of tea, look over the pamphlets, and their travel would be arranged when Grandmother returned. Grandmother usually gave her a list of chores to do: dust the oversized travel posters that hung in the main room; file itineraries; or clean the basement (which Daisy hated, the basement was dark and smelled of mildew, and she could have sworn the last time she’d been down there that she’d seen a mouse scurrying about). She opened the heavy curtains and was startled...

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07: ROYALLY SCREWED

Title: Royally Screwed Age Category: Adult Genre: Contemporary Romance Word Count: 99,000 Pitch: Nearly-wed surgeon Gemma catches her royal fiancé shagging her sister. Gemma can forgive Prince Cheating and embrace castle life or chuck crown and surgical gown to go *au naturel* with a lumbersexy but not-so-steady ex. First 250 Word of Manuscript: The photogs flanked Gemma’s wedding-cake-white townhouse as she stepped from her glossy-green Range Rover, stretching her legs to reach the ground. For once, the firing squad of cameras aimed their lenses at her face rather than her Burberry-coated backside. The paparazzi loved chasing Gemma Roundbottom’s tail—her world-famous, perfectly-curved, set-a-glass-on-it bum. *Roundbottom*. Junior Doctor Gemma Rowen-Batten iced a smile. She was even less likely to shake off that beastly moniker than she was to shed her press tails. Gemma held her breath as if that would freeze them in place, but they pelted her with a barrage of bright flashes. Good thing they couldn’t X-ray through her dark shades or the floppy hat she’d popped on her jethead hair, the wind weaving her long sable strands into a makeshift veil. She’d caught a flight home early to surprise Danny—although it wasn’t easy to pull one over on a prince. Nor could the sharpest surgeon in the operating theatre resuscitate the dead mobile shrouded in her trenchcoat pocket. Gemma’s sigh made London fog of the cold December air. She could do with some recharging, too. After a three-month medical mission to Africa, she was knackered. All she wanted to see was her fiancé and the inside of her eyelids. Little sparks surged up her spine at the thought of Danny’s regal charms. Gemma was rather keen on the whole royal treatment, if not the worldwide stage. She’d rather leave that to her sister. But the flashbulbs came with...

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