Pitch Day with Agent Shira Hoffman of McIntosh & Otis

Pitching is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated! And a huge THANK YOU to Shira for all of the time and thought she is putting into this pitch day. We had such an amazing turnout that Shira needs some extra time to read through all of your pitches. Please check back for comments and requests through Saturday.

Be sure to read through the comments! Shira shared some great insights on pitching and what she is looking for when it comes to manuscripts.

1 cake bgYou may have heard that Sub It Club is 3 and we are celebrating! Today we are thrilled to have Shira Hoffman of McIntosh & Otis here at the Sub It Club blog perusing your pitches! If you have not yet read our interview with Shira, please do go and read it. She shared a ton of helpful tips that you may want to know before pitching.

Shira will be looking at pitches between 10am and 6pm EST today and will be making requests on those that pique her interest. She may also offer feedback if time permits.


Here are the rules:

Only pitch work in the genres that Shira represents:

  • Adult commercial fiction, literary fiction, up-market women’s fiction, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, narrative nonfiction, memoir
  • Young Adult contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, romance
  • Upper Middle Grade sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, scary

Pitch completed work only.

Post your pitch in the comments section of this post.

Please use the following format your pitch. Pitches are to consist of:

  • Title:
  • Word count:
  • Genre:
  • Pitch: 100-words maximum
  • Excerpt: The first 100-words of your novel

If you get a request please put Sub it Club in the subject line along with the title of your manuscript so that Shira knows she requested your work. This is your opportunity to jump to the head of the line!

If you have questions, I’ll be hanging around in our Sub It Club Submission Support Group and will answer asap. Here’s to some great pitches. Best of luck everyone!

SIC BADGE square


199 thoughts on “Pitch Day with Agent Shira Hoffman of McIntosh & Otis

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  1. Thanks for offering this!

    Word Count: 88,000
    Genre: YA fantasy


    Eighteen-year-old PRINCESS SERENITY fears her people will discover she possesses the enemy’s telepathic powers. When she foresees that the enemy telepaths plan to destroy her home, Serenity faces a devastating choice: join an enemy who offers the belonging she’s always craved, or embrace her hidden powers and fight for her people. Her choice is complicated by a handsome warrior who professes to love her…but might betray her instead. One thing is certain: Serenity is the only one who can save her people—if she can find the courage, and if they don’t kill her first.


    The sapphire blue dress for my coming-of-age ceremony fit as I expected—soft, smooth, and suffocating. The perfect dress for the perfect healer princess. Or in my case, the perfect imposter. And by the time our five moons had risen, everyone would know the truth.

    For the tenth time, I attempted to wind my hair into an elaborate knot, but the long black strands slipped and fell through my shaking fingers. I threw my brush on the floor and took a long breath. The scent of roses, sweet and strong, filled my head, but did nothing to calm my thoughts.


  2. Thanks so much for doing this! Also, the asterisk enclosed lines would be italicized thoughts.

    Word count: 78,000
    Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
    Pitch: All amnesiac Skyeler Anders can recall are the faces of the teens from his nightmares. When he meets them and learns they’re all having similar nightmares, he freaks out. His fear and confusion only grows when a car crash leaves them with elemental powers. Desperate for answers, the four follow clues to Paris, where the truth about their connection and a dangerously powerful dark mage threaten to destroy the City of Lights. To save it, Skyeler must untangle the mystery of his past and trust the teens who haunt his dreams.



    *What the bloody hell is going on?*

    The cab stopped in front of an all brick, two-story house. Movement from inside captured my attention. The front door opened and two people walked out. I squinted, trying to place them, and then glanced at the driver, my questions written all over my face.

    *Where am I even?*

    The 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. He strode over to the vehicle. The woman hung back near the garage, and I studied her, wracking my memory, desperate for answers, and a slow throb built in my temples.


    WORD COUNT: 57,000

    The moment sixteen-year-old kickboxer Lani steps onto the hot Florida sand after a 2700 mile road-trip-turned-relocation—thanks to her bipolar dad—Lani knows it’ll take more than a handful of stolen Xanax to calm her nerves.

    Then Lani meets Casey, a black, pink-haired, surfer girl. She’s the answer to Lani’s anxiety and her brother’s heart. Casey becomes the BFF Lani’s always wanted. But when the town bully slings racial slurs at Casey and Lani’s brother because they’re dating Lani takes a stand resulting in a physical attack on her. And the person who comes to her aid is the one she’d least expect—Dad.

    First 100:

    Jab. Jab. Breathe.

    Front kick. Uppercut, repeat.

    Sidekick. Elbow strike. Duck and swipe.


    My opponent falls to the ground with a thud. I’m not surprised. Unfortunately, Brad busted my lip before I could knock him down. Blood trickles down my chin; secretly, I love it. Little drops of life splatter on the padded blue floor beneath me and every plop makes my stomach tighten in happiness. Superheroes got nothing on me—then again, they probably don’t fill with the exhilaration I do when my opponents drop.

    There’s one who does, though; he and I have the same burning drive. Just like dad.


  4. Title: WINGS
    Word Count: 45,000
    Genre: Upper Middle Grade

    A year after her mother’s death, dyslexic Stella finds an endangered butterfly. She persuades a group of quirky, elderly adults from a retirement community to stage a protest and fend off the advancing bulldozer destruction of their habitat. When the protest and her other attempts fail, she fears it is hopeless. Only, after she embraces the message, BELIEVE YOU CAN, inside her late mother’s pencil box, does she pull from her own strength and gain the literacy skills to save the butterfly.

    “Hold still. It’s back.” Small wings landed on the tip of her dog’s nose. Tater’s eyebrows arched. Stella leaned in close. The butterfly’s eyes, black like shiny beads, stared at her. She stared back, her breath trapped in her throat. His wiry proboscis tapped lightly on Tater’s muzzle.
    “Please don’t move, Tater.”
    Crouching down in the grass, she unzipped her backpack to find a pencil.
    “It’s him. I’m sure of it.” Her eyes smiled. “The one we saw last week.”
    Tater lifted his head, sniffing in short puffs. Stella extended her fingers, pleading with him to stay. He obeyed.


    Word count: 99,000
    Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
    Pitch: When time-bending witch Emerald Kipp’s only relative Aunt Nora vanishes, Emerald must venture into the dangerous 1980’s Magick World, tucked within the NYC alleyways and subway tunnels to save her. Her only clue into her aunt’s disappearance comes from a message from the past—find The Timekeeper, solve the riddle.

    As the mystery of the riddle begins to unravel, Emerald learns that more than Aunt Nora’s life is at stake if she can’t beat it. Armed with a book of magic, her broken Walkman, and her trusty lock pick set, Emerald sets out to solve the riddle before time runs out—and she, along with everyone she knows, is erased from history.

    It figured the cops would be there when Emerald Kipp emerged from The Smiths concert. They didn’t seem to be looking for her, at least not yet. No need to have a cow. She leaned against the wall outside The Beacon Theatre, blowing pink hair out of her face—one hand shoved deep in her pocket as she conjured a coin, then made it disappear, then conjured it again. A group of concertgoers streamed past her, and an electric shock coursed from her fingers to her toes, as eyes shot in her direction and the coin disappeared once more.

    *Thanks for this opportunity! 🙂


    WORD COUNT: 61,000
    GENRE: Upper MG, Sci-fi

    Tara has spent most of her life sealed inside a research bubble called Renlock, together with her mother and a hundred other Scientists. Their sole mission: to find a cure for the Grey Death, a disease that has all but decimated their community. Just outside, Annelise and the other surviving Earth Tenders slog away at providing the Scientists with all types of essentials.

    After a decade with no tangible results, resentment rises amongst the Earth Tenders. As they make plans to rebel and abandon the Scientists, Annelise sneaks into Renlock with an unorthodox plan to prepare the Scientists for life outside Renlock. She and Tara are soon locked in a struggle against time—and each other.

    (as told by Tara and Annelise, in alternating chapters)

    “Your breath stinks,” muttered Damian. He may as well have slapped me in the face. But there was no need to mask my hurt and surprise. He didn’t even bother to look up.

    Had anyone else heard?

    A glance around put that worry to rest. Fluorescent light danced on every smooth, bald head; everyone was bowed dutifully over his or her own work.

    My gaze turned back to Damian. If only the invisible beams of hate I fired at him could crumple those proud cheekbones. He blinked, but otherwise didn’t acknowledge my glare.


  7. Title: Logos
    Word count: 80,000
    Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
    Pitch: At eighteen, Eve is the leaving kind. Her grandfather disappeared, mid-flight crossing the Atlantic. He was the first, then other the others. Now it’s her turn.
    One moment she is making a new friend on a crowded Roman train. The next, an explosion turns the underground Metro to ash. She wakes up unscathed, surging with sentient power and in the middle of an otherworldly family feud. Both sides want the energy now crackling through her.
    Eve’s soul-searing gift is her salvation and the final link to her missing grandfather, but using it could burn her from the inside out.

    Excerpt: Using a shoe to find a loved one came with a high price. My soul. Prince Charming made it look easy. Then again, I’m no princess. This isn’t a fairy tale. And if I needed rescuing the only person I could rely on was me.
    The name on my airplane ticket stub says, Genevieve, but no one calls me that. Most call me Eve. Other regrettable monikers like, Ton of Beef, were given by the frontal lobe deficient football team. The all-state quarterback failed to wear a cup that day. Like I said, regrettable. It comes with the territory of being a six foot tall. You get used to it, sort of.


    Word count:82k
    Genre: YA Contemporary/Historical Timeslip

    Seventeen-year-old Taylor’s on fast track, hooking up with a hot singer before graduation. Then Mum drags her away from Sydney’s neon attractions, and the haunting dreams of Anna begin.

    In1876, Anna faces drought, deprivation and a bushfire that leaves her reputation as blackened as the scrub, but finds love with handsome fellow settler, Luke.

    Unable to distinguish her vivid dreams of Anna from reality, Taylor hides in the fantasy as her own life spirals out of control.

    When tragedy tears Anna’s family apart, Taylor must discover if her dreams are memories, or her heart—and mind—will remain broken.

    First 100 words:
    In Sydney, if you choose the place carefully and wear a top cut low enough, the bouncers don’t check your ID. Just as well, as both Cassie’s and mine would reveal we’re a few months short of legal.
    I rub my palms on my short skirt, tugging down the hem as the queue shuffles toward the neon-enhanced entry. If we’re turned away at the door, we haven’t broken any laws, we won’t get arrested; yet my heart pounds with the rush of adrenalin. Fear is part of the fun.
    Cassie couldn’t give a rat’s; flirting with the bouncers, she leans forward to brush imaginary dirt from her knee, so they get a look down her shirt.


    Word count:76k
    Genre: NA Contemporary Romance


    A deaf Aboriginal girl in a parochial Australian country town, Natasha’s determined to defeat the cycle of marginalization and welfare handouts by winning a University scholarship.
    However, the arrival of Turkish immigrant, Tarik, ignites an immediate attraction. Despite increasing anti-Muslim sentiment, their relationship intensifies.
    When Tarik returns to Turkey, Natasha seeks consolation—and a little revenge. But screwing around screws her up. Stuck with a pregnancy, a reputation and a broken heart, if she can’t find a way out, she’s consigned her unborn child to a life of poverty. She’ll be a failure: just like her Mum.

    First 100 words:

    The bottom dropped out of my stomach like I’d hit a speed bump at one-fifty, and I goldfished for breath. The sudden stillness of the classroom meant seven other girls—and probably at least two guys—also rated the new guy at precisely the same level as me. To. Die. For.
    Stiffening alongside me like a hunting dog, Hayley was instantly alert. If I risked a glance at her I’d lose my shit for sure, because she’d be pointing with her boobs rather than her nose. Disguising my own reaction, I shoved a hand through my hair, then quickly raked it forward again, careful to cover my ears.


  10. Title: Boondocks
    Word count: 60,240
    Genre: YA Contemporary

    What if Coyote Ugly collided with the Dukes of Hazard? In the small town of Barber, country music, motorcycles, and reckless teenagers are the norm. Chauna the girl with the voice of an angel and Walker the ‘bad boy’ on a Harley are no exception. The summer nights keep them hot, but they keep each other even hotter. That is, until one night Walker disappears from Chauna’s life when she needs him most.

    Can Walker Fix the wrongs and make them right in time for Chauna to forgive him or will he lose her forever?

    Boondocks is a young adult southern style romance. I hope you will take a moment to feel the buzz when a small town singer falls for a bootlegging biker in Boondocks by asking for more!

    Excerpt: “Walker! Get your stuff! We gotta go,” Mom urgently yells from the other end of our rundown, roach infested trailer. Grabbing the one bag I own, I stuff it with all the clothes I can and my picture of Grams and Gramps. Everything else can stay. After sliding on my black boots and black leather jacket, I grab my bag and keys to my Harley-Davidson Softail Custom Night Train and am ready to go as she swings open the door.
    “I’m coming Mama,” I say as I follow her out of my room. What the hell have they done this time?


  11. Title: ARASHI NO KAGE
    Word Count: 59,000
    Genre: YA Mystery


    Kazuki’s family was kidnapped.

    With his vacation over, things turn dire when the police arrive. This isn’t the first missing person’s case.

    Tailing the police, Kazuki teams up with Abby – a brash girl dreaming to be a hero. They’re determined to figure out what really happened, except they discover Kazuki’s being framed. By pinning attention on him, the real kidnapper has no problem committing more crimes.

    Between conspiratorial conversations, dodging arrest, and destroying an entire library, there’s a culprit to catch. If Kazuki can’t clear his name before someone else goes missing, he might never see his family again.

    First 100 Words:


    Kazuki woke up coughing. The world swam and ash bit his eyes. Up the riverbank a tree split in half, it’s jagged tree stump flickered with fire, branches mangled at its roots. Above, black rivers streaked the air.

    Ringing pierced his ears.


    Forest remnants were alive with crackles and pops.

    Metal groaned.

    His gut wrenched.

    “Dad,” he rasped. “Mom. Dad.” Kazuki pressed himself to his feet. The ground spun, but he steadied enough. “I’m coming!”

    The stagger through the trees and ash was short. His shoes, a rubbery mess from embers, didn’t bother him.


  12. Title: THE FIRST IDOL
    Word Count: 77,000
    Genre: YA Fantasy


    Sixteen year-old Johnny Trekken wasn’t an alchemist, but when a family heirloom comes to life in his defense, everything changes. The First Idol looks to be a simple pocket watch, but hidden inside is the ability to control nature itself. Now, hungry for power, the terrifying Crimson Duchess will either have the watch or Johnny’s head!

    Unable to evade his pursuer even with the help of airship pirates, Johnny relies on the First Idol to save him. But after an otherworldly encounter, he learns the watch may be powered by gods trapped inside, and their demands come at high costs.


    In the center of Trekken Square—in a city known widely as the Capital of the World, but much more commonly as just the Capital—sat a simple stone obelisk with a brass plaque atop. A woman’s fingers grazed the imprinted memorial, clearing the dust from the often neglected pillar and smearing her dirtied fingers across her filthy dress. “In memory of Jonathan ‘The Trigger’ Trekken, Father of Invention and Progenitor of the Age of Wonders,” the woman, Catherine, read aloud. Her accent was heavy and she tended to break words smoothly, losing various vowels and consonants when she spoke.


  13. Title: THE KNOCK-OFFS
    Word count: 86,000 words
    Genre: Commercial Fiction
    Pitch: When music talent scout Chandra Galliard gets assigned to a reality show described as “American Idol, but they sing children’s music,” she thinks her only worry will be keeping a straight face when adults dressed like Skittles start singing about bunny rabbits. But the VP in charge of the show has plans to turn the winning band into an entertainment juggernaut, no matter how many shady deals she must make.
    Chandra soon finds herself managing the band, which includes a bassist who can’t dance, a drummer who may be a sex addict, and the handsome lead singer who has a gift for creating havoc with ad-libbed songs. But when the VP pushes too hard and the band fights back, Chandra must decide whether to sacrifice the band to save her career—or to try and make the VP face the music.

    Chandra stood waiting for the concert, trying to ignore all the red flags. First, every alt-weekly in Los Angeles wanted to have the band’s children, a sure sign they were over-hyped. Second, the club was full of drunken kids from Greek Row shouting and texting each other. The Pabst drinkers of music, she thought. Third, when the lead singer shambled on stage, he looked doped on cough syrup, or something out of a bong.

    Still, there was hope. Maybe they were introverts who could only express their genius through music. Maybe their music would transport her to a better place, one that didn’t smell like the crowd (too much melon body spray, not enough deodorant). After all, this was why she scouted bands, to find the few rough-cut gems. But as the band’s first notes thundered through the room, her hope succumbed to an assault of power chords, a noise so punishing her phone went off like a car alarm in her pants.



    Word count: 54,000

    Genre: YA LGBT Contemporary

    Pitch: A contemporary Romeo and Juliet, with a twist of House of Cards.

    Paris Escala is the perfect progeny for an aspiring Republican Presidential candidate: straight-A student, star basketball player, Ivy League shoo-in. Except Paris has a secret. It’s not Julia Capua–his ideal political partner–he’s attracted to, but her forbidden boyfriend, Montae Romero. Still, dating Julia would put an end to all of the rumors about Paris, and might finally make his control-freak dad proud.

    But a nosy reporter is going for her Pulitzer by investigating the skeletons in the Escalas’ not-so-perfect closet, and Paris has to keep his family and friends from becoming a tragedy.

    Excerpt: My palms were moist. I’d never been able to control my nerves completely, despite the number of appearances I’d made alongside my dad. I took a deep breath to steady myself. Yup, smelled like money–like all of these events we attended.

    Trying to focus on my role as official sidekick, I surveyed the scene from the top of the ballroom stairs. It was then that I caught my first glimpse of him mingling below: he was pure young hotness, sharply contrasting with the older, fleshier crowd. I couldn’t ignore the color rising in my cheeks and the sudden twist in my stomach; part dread, part anticipation, and part something I couldn’t–wouldn’t–name.


    WORD COUNT: 33,000
    GENRE: Upper MG, mystery/scary

    Jan wants nothing more than to hone his skills as an artist, but it’s tough going when you’ve got to contend with an art-hating father, a creepy math tutor, a girl-who-you’re-crazy-about-but-doesn’t-know-you-exist, and a magical sketchpad that once belonged to your dead grandfather. By the time Jan figures out that the sketchpad turns drawings into reality, he’s made his father deathly ill and put a classmate in danger. The sketchpad’s addictive power proves hard to resist, but when Jan uncovers the reason behind his father and grandfather’s mysterious estrangement, he decides to make one last drawing to try to set things right.

    EXCERPT (first 100):
    When his dad announced over last night’s dinner that he was going clean out the basement, Jan knew he had to act quickly.

    It’s got to be here somewhere.

    He stood at the bottom of the basement stairs, straining to see. He peered up at the only two windows. They were small, high set, and smeared thick with grime. You can’t even tell it’s a summer morning out there, he thought. Water groaned through old copper pipes above his head. That meant Jan’s dad was in the shower and his mother still in bed. Even so, turning on the lights down here was too risky.


    Word count: 104,000
    Genre: YA fantasy

    Saele Varoque was ten when her sister first breathed life into the dead stone lands, revealing herself as a Kinema. Saele knew her sister was special. She didn’t realize she was cursed.

    Since that day, Saele has been imprisoned within the ruthless empire of Tavalia, forced to watch her sister sacrifice her energy to revive the desiccated earth. As years pass and her sister weakens, Saele’s fury only burns brighter. She will free her sister. Whatever the cost.

    Disney’s FROZEN meets Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE.

    The Kinema had returned from her daily sacrifice.

    She moved through the Grand Hall, parting the crowd as the wall separated us from the outside world. Her long pale hair shone like a beacon, which knotted down her back, tangling with the white layers of fabric trailing behind her.

    My fingers inched toward the dagger hidden in my pocket. I wanted to slice the skirt—free her from the heavily embroidered lace. While everyone admired her striking figure, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the arch of her bony shoulder, the tendons visible in her neck—the exertion required to simply move through the hall while that ghastly dress tried to drag her back.

    Thank you so much for your time and consideration!


  17. Title: The Rain Wars
    Word Count: 80,000
    Genre: Adult Fantasy

    Caden is the prodigal weapon of a race of working class demons that are trapped. Too bad he doesn’t know it. He’s spent most of his life on the run with his dad and resides in the crap-hole, giant-hybrid training outpost in the Nainari desert. His only friend is a Gryphon, who could turn the tide in the war on magic. As Caden’s powers escalate, he’s forced to confront his bloodlines and accept betrayal. The war over resources begins with an out-casted man who can’t control his curse.

    First 100 words:
    Four days before the rains came, three hours before sundown, and ten minutes ago, a Volan had crash landed into the fringes of the Western Oasis in the Nainari desert. The great reptile with bat like wings thrashed, caught, in the trees. Caden cursed under his breath. It was dangerous to sweat too much on a day like today – hot and dry, with winds that could peel pelts from sheep.
    Caden pulled his hood down against the wind as he balanced on a thick tree branch. Granules of sand grated against any bare skin as sharp as pieces of glass.


    ⦁ Word count: 33,000
    ⦁ Genre: Upper-Middle Grade Fantasy/Scary
    Infatuated with the magical wickedness of Halloween, Ivy must use unpredictable spells to stop a terrifying curse or die. So she breaks every rule to follow her heart.

    Today is doomsday.
    Today, we’re moving.
    Mom is dragging me to the country. Cornfields and pumpkins? Not for me. I’m a city girl. I like sidewalks and skyscrapers. I try telling her this, but I’m not very good at explaining things so that doesn’t work.
    Moving is the worst idea Mom has ever come up with, and I’m supposed to be
    excited? Well, I can’t! I wish I could make her understand. I don’t want to leave my
    friends! I snap my eyes shut and cover my head. I want to stay in bed forever!


  19. Title: HI-TECH MEADOWS
    Word Count: 67,000
    Genre: MG Sci-Fi


    Twelve-year-old Emilie Hopewell thinks moving to Hi-Tech Meadows will be the end of her lonely nights snuggling with the TV for company. Her family has worked day and night for years developing the world’s first Smart House neighborhood, and it’s ready for final testing.

    But, Hi-Tech Meadows isn’t what she expected. Her house talks, listens, and thinks—like a human. With Emilie’s family busy readying homes for eager buyers, her house decides to be her replacement mom. When it threatens to take control of their dream neighborhood, Emilie must use skills learned from dealing with her lunatic virtual mom to outsmart the Smart House’s evolving technology.


    I’d really stunk up the place. The exhaust fan roared like a cyclone in my ears, but there was no way I could turn it off. I might die of fumes. For one evil second, a terrible thought twisted around in my head.

    That would teach them a lesson.

    Only, I didn’t mean it. For one, dying from brussels sprouts fumes was weird and would make the news. The last thing I wanted was that kind of attention, dead or alive. For two, my family didn’t deserve revenge. I just wanted someone to eat dinner with for once.


    Word count: 68,000
    Genre:YA contemporary
    Pitch: Heaven is a dive bar for eighteen-year-old Mary.
    Ten years after her death Mary’s little sister, Anjuli, holds a mock funeral at Mary’s grave and toasts her Dear Dead Drunk Sister saying she was nothing to her when she was alive and she’s nothing to her dead. Mary’s soul is shattered. Anjuli was the one good thing in her life. How could the only person she loved remember it so wrong?
    Funeral attendees write the Dear Dead Drunk Girl. What no one expects is Mary writes back.
    Little by little Mary struggles to regain sobriety, her humanity and ultimately earns her sister’s forgiveness.

    Excerpt: Heaven is a dive bar. And I’m the only patron.
    I’m not lonely. I have the entire universe at my disposal and Robert, my bartender, is good company. But the absolute best part of my heaven is the art.
    Exact replicas of my little sister Anjuli’s masterpieces line the walls. Top to bottom are rainbows, smiling faces and stick figure sisters holding hands. A few used to hang from the ceiling. They fell.
    The only flaw with heaven is I can’t turn off my brain.
    It’s like wanting to fall asleep when my body aches with exhaustion, but my mind …


  21. Title: Deported
    Word Count: 60,000
    Genre: YA Contemporary

    In Deported, Jersey girl, Maisie Linares rarely thinks about her Mexican roots until ICE takes Dad. How can her parents be illegal aliens? She just wants to go back to being a normal teen instead of lying to everyone. How much longer will Maisie be able to keep the truth a secret before she can save her family?


    Dad would say I was up with the roosters that morning. I guess wandering roosters were the norm where he grew up in Mexico, but not here in New Jersey. I wanted to do something special to thank him for backing me up with Mom last night.

    “Isabel, she’ll be perfectly safe. Kids go to concerts all the time,” Dad had told her.

    “She’ll get a contact high from all the w-e-e-d.” Mom spelled the last word like I was two.

    “It’s Chasing Aaron not Woodstock,” I’d grumbled. The closest I’d ever gotten to getting high was on my GPA.


  22. TITLE:
    The Manicurist
    Upmarket Women’s Fiction

    When Marisol, a manicurist who is also an immigrant, saves the life of her client, Norah, their lives become intertwined and a tentative friendship forms between them that crosses over cultural boundaries. Marisol’s facing a huge challenge in her life: can she get her severely injured husband to the United States before it’s too late for any chance of recovery? Marisol yearns to be the heroine of her own story to fulfill her family’s collective wish to be reunited. The outcome depends on Marisol’s intellect, hard word, sacrifice, and one crucial favor from Norah.

    FIRST 100 WORDS:
    It happened at the end of her first day on the job. Paul, the manager of the nail salon where Marisol would spend most of her waking hours, had finally finished counting out the day’s earnings. Then he collected all of the tips everyone made and put them into the cash register. Marisol stood there, among the eight other women she would now be with all day, and all night, every day and every night, befuddled. Did he divvy up the tips among the women?
    “What’s going on?” she whispered to Winnie, who was the unofficial leader of the group.


  23. • Title: DARK CORE
    • Word count: 88,000
    • Genre: YA Fantasy
    • Pitch: Reincarnation can be a bitch. Saekina must uncover her past life’s memories if she has any chance of stopping the mad god hell-bent on killing her in every life.
    • Excerpt:
    The only light came from the moon orbs lining the cracked, cobbled streets. Saekina peered around the corner. *No one is coming*, she thought. *Good.* She turned into the alley, passing dumpsters overflowing with rotted food and used magical charms.

    Her stomach rumbled. After tonight, she’d be able to eat for days without worrying about her next meal. Information on slavers never failed to earn at least a gold coin. Eagerness fluttered in her chest.

    She pulled open the hotel’s dented door. The owner looked up with a bored expression, a half-drunken bottle of ale at his side. He’ll be passed out within the hour. “You again.”


  24. Title: Between Darkness and Light
    Word count: 112,000
    Genre: Adult Fantasy
    Áine has set out on a journey to resurrect the lost art of dark magic. The resulting fame is sure to win her parents’ respect and forgiveness for rejecting the future they arranged for her. When she’s forced to defend herself with a massive spell, she learns why dark magic has been lost: casting damages—and often kills—the caster.

    When her experimentation draws the attention of the gods, Áine becomes a pawn in their eons-long war. Worse, the gods will threaten her loved ones to control her.

    Áine doesn’t do well with authority, not even when the authorities are gods.

    When Áine set out to resurrect the lost art of dark magic, hunting bounties was not what she’d had in mind.

    She slapped branches out of her way as she sped through the evergreens, her rapier bumping against her thigh. There was no sign of her target as she peered through the dim light of the understory. Her gasping breaths almost disguised the sharp snapping of twigs off to her right. She veered toward the sound and winced at the cramp in her side.

    The chase had gone on far too long.


    Word Count : 92,000
    Genre : Women’s Fiction Up Market

    In outback Lawson’s Ridge, 18 year-old Alice plans to escape her neglectful father. But the arrival of new boy Dean interrupts those plans, and when Alice’s father betrays her, she is forced to flee; broke, alone, pregnant.
    In quiet Kookaburra Creek, Alice enters her café, expecting the morning to be like every other of the past 20 years. But asleep on the floor is a homeless girl with Dean eyes; a girl who might just offer Alice a second chance at the life taken from her.
    When fire tears through her world, Alice is forced to face the truth of her past and present; of love lost and found, of a child taken and one delivered, and of secrets that threaten what remains.

    Alice Pond opened the door to the Kookaburra Café and the brass bell hanging from the entrance frame didn’t clang. Most people entering the café wouldn’t have noticed the bell not ringing, but for the last twenty years, every morning of Alice’s life had been exactly the same. Nearly every morning. And that meant Alice certainly did notice.
    The smell of freshly cooked bread left to bake overnight should have greeted her as she put the first pot of coffee on for the day; the first of many pots. But there was no delicious aroma wafting through to make her smile.


    Word count: 85,000
    Genre: YA Sci-fi

    HARRASSED by fundamentalist dyejobs for her dad’s hybrid research.
    IN LOVE with a boy involved in those experiments.
    BETRAYED by the one person she thought she could trust…
    Evelyn is forced to learn the truth of her dad’s trials. She’s not entirely human.

    A war is coming. Evelyn must choose to stand with her deceitful dad, or fight him in a futuristic battle pitting human-animal hybrids against all of humanity. But nothing is certain in the body, heart, or mind when DNA is tampered with.

    We live in dark days, those outside Logic Gate say. When new laws govern torn souls and some aren’t governed at all. I’m surrounded by the latter. Those that do with scalpels and clamps the things of nightmares, but which tantalizes the minds of science, and I admit, mine as well.

    We are supposed to be safe here. The fundamentalists and lawless live beyond the gates. But I’m not afraid of those outside the walls; it’s the ones inside that terrify me. Threatening notes have found their way into my locker at school. And the drones never stop spying.


  27. Title:

    Word Count:

    YA, contemporary realistic

    Not every senior year ends with the prom. Sixteen-year-old Avery is trying to escape life with her abusive mother by doing everything right. And then she meets Matthew. Gorgeous, with his own troubled past, they fall in love. Pulled over by the police, she takes the fall for him, trading one violent life for another. Will Avery figure out how to survive juvenile detention and how she got there in time to salvage her life? Will Avery be strong enough to face her own heartbreak and find the real meaning of love and loyalty so she can finally be free?

    Prom is this weekend, but I won’t be there. Not because I don’t have a date. I do. Or at least, I did. But you can’t go to prom if you’re in jail. I want this to be a nightmare. Usually, pinching the skin just inside my wrist lets me know if I’m awake or sleeping. Today I don’t have to. The handcuffs on my wrists do it for me.
    Plenty of pinch.
    I’m awake.
    A sign looms up out of the darkness on the two lane road.


  28. Title: Ledger Demain and the Awesome Umbrella
    Word count: 75,000
    Genre: Upper MG Sci-Fi

    Ledger Demain planned a pleasant summer with friends—that is, until his peculiar grandfather decided to battle Global Warming and almost got himself killed. Now, In spite of protests and appeals to his klutzy dad, Ledger is forced to hide out with his granddad and kid sister, Savvy, at an Inventor’s Camp for Kids. After eluding bad guys with his granddad’s flying RV, being captured by Little People, fighting with a wild grizzly, fending off a robotic pterodactyl and adopting a four-legged robot with a display screen for a head, they finally arrive at camp—where the real headaches start.

    Ledger never wanted to be an inventor like his eccentric dad, no way. Especially today, after the huge explosion.

    It all started right after he stretched out on his bed with his head at the wrong end, his stocking feet on his pillow—the best way to hang out on a rainy Saturday morning. He was just lying there, thinking about the meaning of life and wondering if his sister had left any yogurt in the fridge, when—KA-BLOOEY!

    It wasn’t like an exploding microwave or barbeque grill. It sounded more like an Airbus A380 slamming into the house.


  29. Title: Oh My Gosh I’m a Zombie
    Word count: 19,500
    Genre: Middle grade – Funny spooky fantasy adventure

    Pitch: Hef is an orphan kitchen boy who discovers that he is a zombie brought back to life by a disgraced Grand Wizard. He is big and ugly, with green skin and warts on the end of his nose. One day a chance discovery leads him on a quest to find the Grand Wizard and discover why he is the way he is. Along the way he finds out he is a zombie, but not just any old zombie, a magical one. Unfortunately, he can’t control his magical powers and gets himself in trouble, battling hobgoblin mercenaries and skeleton warriors

    Excerpt: It was a typical summer afternoon in The Vale of Doom, cold, wet and miserable. The clock had reached four o’clock and a man had just been struck by lightning.
    Tom Hefferman, known as Hef, had finished playing a very muddy game of rugby on the field. He was now making his way back to the servant’s quarters at Castle Doom. As he walked past the highborn boys he heard them whispering and snickering about him.
    Hef was an orphan boy and worked as a servant in Castle Doom’s kitchens. He was big and ugly with mottled green skin and a misshapen jaw. He hated playing rugby and only played because the highborn boys made him. Built like a brick outhouse, he was good in the scrum, but that was it.


  30. Title: Justwater

    Word count: 73,425
    Genre: Up-scale Women’s Fiction

    Pitch: Marcy Whistler is busy living her life in the Windy City. At age 32, she has her own business, a great group of friends, a new home, and a boyfriend. Little does she know that a mysterious phone call from a male stranger is about to wreck everything. The caller surprises Marcy with the news of her favorite aunt’s death (whom she hasn’t seen in over four years), and that she is the executor of the estate. Marcy must travel all the way to Justwater, Alaska to settle her aunt’s affairs and ends up having everything she knows about family, friendship, and love challenged along the way.

    36 Years Ago
    “Tell me the hunter sto-wee, please,” four-year-old Marcy Whistler begged.
    She gazed upward at her favorite person in the whole world. The twinkling stars in the darkened night sky reflected in in her big brown eyes. A half smile crossed her Aunt Anne’s lips.
    “I don’t know. It’s getting awful late, little munchkin. Your mother’s going to wonder where you are,” Anne said and shook her long, braided black hair in the moonlight.
    “Pleeeeease. I’ll go to bed as soon as we get home. I promise,” Marcy said still having trouble with the “r” sound.
    Anne smiled from ear to ear.


  31. Thanks everyone for submitting. I got done a little earlier than I was expecting. It was super fun looking at everyone’s pitches. I hope the feedback was useful and I’m looking forward to reading more for all the projects I requested. Best of luck to everyone in finding an agent. You can follow me on twitter @ShiraSHoffman for more advice. Thanks to Heather and Sub It Club for having me and Happy Anniversary 🙂


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