It's here! It's finally here! Can you believe it? How exciting. This week, it's going to be crazy and fun and educational because you are going to have the opportunity to sit on these critique sessions. There will be FOUR secret judges stalking Ink in the Book and 3 other blogs judging query letters and the first 150 words of their manuscripts. The break down of each category is: Ya Contempory and Historical YA Other Adult NA/MG From each category there will be the following winners for the first round. If a query is chosen as a winner, they get to move to the second round. In that round, the judges with the editors of the small presses!!! So, the number of winners from each group will be as follows: Adult- 8 YA Other- 9 YA Contemporary and Historical- 5 NA/MG- 3 Why an uneven amount of winners? Because of the amount of entries for each group, it seemed more fair to select a higher number of winners, if that group had more entries. So Deana broke the
BIRTHRIGHT YA/NA Space Opera/Paranormal Romance/Fantasy 85,000 QUERY: When her power-hungry sister discovers Olwen Pendragon, President of The Unified Zemele States is a Selchie (half-human/half-seal) she causes Olwen to lose not only her position but the trust in the citizens of the seven planet system. Exiled, she takes a job as a translator on a spaceship bound for the outer planets. Olwen is intrigued by the co-pilot, Kerrick, who is a Were (wolf) despite her seal senses telling her he is dangerous. While plotting her own return to power Olwen must dodge the murderous reach of Anna. The theft of Olwen’s seal skin could prove to be Anna’s deadliest threat. FIRST 150 WORDS: Olwen slid off the boulder snout first, her primal need to return to the ocean finally satiated. She ducked her head under the waves coming up to the surface with a snort. She gazed around seeing the seals, looking back at the shore she spotted a human walking with their head down as if sea
LET MY LIFE BE PROOF NEW ADULT CONTEMPORARY 70,000 words At nineteen, prodigy Emme Sawyer flew through her undergrad work and was well on her way to becoming a doctor when the money ran out. Drawn in by the promise of a free education, she joins the Navy. Earning the title of Hospital Corpsman, Emme deploys to Afghanistan. With the front lines blurred, Emme fights side by side with the Marines. Ignoring the danger she runs into the fire fight to treat the wounded. Soon it becomes apparent that sometimes being smart isn’t enough and bullets don’t care if you’re a girl. Emme begins to struggle with the brutality she sees and shuts down her emotions. That is until she begins to have feelings for her commanding officer. Feelings she doesn’t want and isn’t supposed to have for a member of her team. When her commanding officer reciprocates, Emme learns that you can’t choose when and where love finds you. After Emme is shipped home, her life begins to crumble.
Sorry's Not Enough Contemporary New Adult 97,000 Query: If emotional wall-building were an art form, Charlotte would be a grand master. In order to hide emotional scars from the past, she builds an impenetrable fortress of attitude. At least she thinks it's impenetrable, until a summer writing workshop brings Steven into her life. With his obnoxious ego and stupid good looks, he's somehow immune to her Stay the Hell Away from Me pheromones. What's even more bizarre is for the first time, Charlotte can't quite bring herself to mind. But the unexpected romance screeches to a halt when Charlotte and Steven walk into the same classroom at the start of the school year and find themselves on opposite sides of the desk. Steven's quick with the apologies, but sorry doesn't seem to cut it when you've just found yourself cast as a modern day Lolita, you know? Trying to avoid the pull of forbidden love isn't how Charlotte had hoped their r
Heirs of War New Adult Fantasy 146,000 Query: Prophecies are no different from horoscopes in the back of Cosmo , as Zelene would say. She likes to remind people that Y2K came and went without the world ending, and, yes, the world will continue to spin after the Mayan calendar ends. She does not realize she is part of an ancient prophesy of five girls born into a powerful bloodline that would bring about the end of a generations-long power struggle among worlds. She is not even aware of worlds beyond this one. Zelene learns of the destiny the prophecy demands of her and the family she was separated from as an infant when she is ripped from the world she has known her whole life and dragged back to the one of her birth. She is reunited one by one with the other three girls but finds that her twin sister is notably absent. Ariana has been captured by enemies intent on sacrificing her in order to gain her powers and Zelene can’t help but shudder at how easily she coul
IMMORTAL DILEMMA New Adult Paranormal Urban Fantasy 78,000 words Query: Tristan Trevosier had it all. He was the son of two pop culture icons. He was the only thing that could save a struggling Las Vegas real estate empire, but the life he knew had to be taken from him to do it. Now Tristan is big business in his own right. His band, Immortal Dilemma, is in residence on the Las Vegas Strip and his vampire reality show is on constant repeat. His new found fame only feeds his penchant for excess and indiscretion now that there are no mortal consequences. Eighteen year old hippie island girl Callie has no reason to question why everyone in her family tried to keep her away from her first love, Tristan. She’s used to being overprotected. Despite their objections, Callie has enrolled at Las Vegas State to reconnect with him. Blade had a taste of the vampire rock scene and wanted nothing to do with it. He is everything that Callie wishes Tristan was and she b
TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: TEMPLE FALLS GENRE: MG Fantasy WORD COUNT: 50,000 Query : Banished from the palace after her father's death, fourteen year old Nara is no longer a princess. Now her egomaniac cousin Roman sits on the throne as king. But Nara is the only one who can hear the Gods, and those Gods are angry. Darkness is the first plague, followed by the frogs and the flies. And the Gods are just getting warmed up. By unraveling the cryptic clues the Gods send to her dreams, Nara thinks she knows how to stop the plagues. The Gods want a temple. Nara advises Roman to begin construction on the temple at once, and Roman commands the commoners work as laborers. While Roman enjoys massages and pedicures, Nara must continue to decipher the mysterious clues from the Gods to end the worsening plagues. Damian is a crippled commoner, but he has a big voice and bright ideas. Despite his disability, he smarts his way onto the construction site. But Damian doesn't bel
SPECK HAWKINS UPPER MG FANTASY 70,000 WORDS Dear GUTGAA, Speck Hawkins, the quiet kid labeled worthless nerd by everyone who matters, is more than ready for a fresh start. He gets exactly that when he transfers to Lorincaut Academy, a prestigious boarding school with unusual teaching methods. Armed with a plan—speak up, ditch the nerdwear, and never eat alone—he expects to remake himself within the first month. What he doesn't expect? The creepy lake, where his good luck rock dissolves to ash before his eyes. His sudden, inexplicable development of 20/20 vision. The blood-red note with his name erratically scrawled on it, sent by someone who claims she can make his every wish come true. That the life he's always wanted comes with a deadly price. SPECK HAWKINS is an upper middle-grade fantasy novel with series potential. I live in Austin, Texas, where I spend my days reading, writing, drinking lattes, and eating entirely too much cheese and ch
RACE TO BUTCH CASSIDY'S GOLD MG Mystery 43,000 Query: Twelve-year-old Maggie McCoy wants to be brave and spontaneous. But she's not. Especially when it comes to school bullies and flying by the seat of her pants. So when she and her fearless cousin Jake stumble upon century-old clues leading to gold coins hidden by Butch Cassidy—farm boy turned infamous bank robber of the Wild West—she crumples her "to-do" list to prove she really can be daring and impulsive. And at first, searching for gold with Jake and their quirky Grandpa Jim in his beat-up Winnebago is the grand adventure she's always wanted. But Maggie's newfound courage falters when she learns they must outsmart and outrun a dangerous thief who is also after the treasure. The race is on. But just as Maggie and Jake think they've solved the mystery, Jake is captured and all the "to-do" lists in the world won't save him. Only Maggie can, if she can find the courage
The Rabbit Ate My Homework Homorous middle grade 35,000 words Query: All twelve-year-old Drew Montgomery wants to do is fix his broken bike so he can compete in the big upcoming mountain bike race. He has not, does not, and will not ever want a dumb old rabbit. All they do is sit in their cages, eat carrots, and poop. He certainly doesn’t want to be blackmailed by his annoying little sister into hiding the stupid rabbit in his closet. But she knows about the broken bike and that he kind-of-maybe-might-have allowed his dad to believe it was stolen (he called the police and everything!) and now she’s threatening to tell. Now Drew’s in a real jam. If his “No pets!” parents find the rabbit, or, worse, his sister blabs the truth, he might as well forget about ever competing in the race. Because he'll be grounded for sure. Probably till Grade Seven. And if that’s not enough trouble, two girls at school drag him into a prank war that goes from bad to worse (all the r
AbeGale Force Upper MG: Magical Realism Adventure 75,000 Query: Thirteen year-old Abegale finds Grandma’s medicine book. Can she use it to bring Grandma home before she’s trapped for eternity? It’s been three years since Abegale’s grandmother disappeared in the Andes, searching for a cure for Abegale’s brother’s illness. While never giving in to the belief that Grandma was dead, Abegale is now asked to meet privately with her best friend’s strange new landlady, the one who eats the weeds, and dresses like she's from the pioneering days. It turns out creepy Mrs. Egrimony was an old friend of her grandmother’s, or so she says. She tells Abegale her grandmother is close, and only Abegale will know how to locate her. Though, it appears Mrs. Egremony wants to find Grandma too, with all the questions she asks. When Abegale presses her about their relationship, Mrs. Egremony insists Abegale locate her grandmother’s medicine book, where all will become clear. Abe
Johnny Drake, Time Traveler Middle Grade, Adventure 56,000 Query: Thirteen year-old Johnny Drake makes an astonishing discovery in his basement one day: his furnace is also a time machine, invented by the now-deceased previous owner of the house. Then Johnny gets the outrageous idea to prevent the car crash that disabled his teacher, Miss Anderson, twenty-eight years earlier. Using the teacher’s favorite novel, A Christmas Carol , as inspiration, and relying on the inventor’s journal for time-traveling tips, Johnny dresses as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and travels to 1983. He warns Miss Anderson of a grim future if she gets in a certain car on a specific day. Johnny soon learns, though, that there is a mystery to the crash involving his father, and that changing history will have major repercussions in the future. Can Johnny alter the past without risking his very existence? Johnny Drake, Time Traveler can easily be continued as a series.
Title: The Siren and the Whale Genre: MG cultural fantasy Word Count: 42,000 QUERY: Twelve year-old Marie, although abandoned at a young age, hears her mother calling each night, asking to be found. When an earthquake strikes and a wave sweeps Marie away, she meets the legendary Siren, a creature who promises to fulfill Marie’s greatest wish. At first, the Siren’s offer meets Marie’s every dream; not only does she find her mother, she even gains the power to reshape the Siren’s city with her mind. With help from Josephine, the only other girl in the city, and a mysterious whale whom even the Siren fears, Marie discovers all who remain in the Siren’s city for too long eventually go mad. When the Siren imprisons Josephine, the whale is the only one who can help Marie, but she must choose: leave the city and lose her mother and her new powers forever, or remain with the Siren and lose Josephine—and herself. THE SIREN AND THE WHALE is set in Port au-Prince around the 201