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Pitch Wars Showcase

MG #10: SOMEWHERE IN A BETTER UNIVERSE (Contemporary)
Mentee:
Chad Lucas
Mentored by:
Eric Bell
Book Title:
SOMEWHERE IN A BETTER UNIVERSE
Category:
Middle Grade
Genre:
Contemporary
Word Count:
59,000

Pitch:

Surviving seventh grade with Super Awkward Weirdo Syndrome—aka social anxiety—is tough enough before Brian lands in foster care on the Worst. Birthday. Ever. As Brian struggles, Ezra wants to help but he’s hiding his Brian-crush. For both, opening up means risking rejection—or maybe discovering the best in each other, and in themselves.

 

Excerpt:

Shoot. Don’t overthink. Just shoot.

The command flashed in my brain as I caught a pass on the schoolyard basketball court. I was coiled and ready with a clean look at the hoop. Still, I hesitated a half-second too long. By the time I let fly, Ezra Komizarek was running at me with hands outstretched and I launched too high. My shot fell short, grazing the rim just enough to spare me the humiliation of an airball.

No big deal. Everybody misses sometimes.

I didn’t shoot again all game.

My miss still haunted me as the bell rang. Everyone drifted into school in groups except me. I walked two steps behind Ezra and Tyrone Marsman. They talked, like regular kids. They joked and quoted movies they’d watched over the weekend at Ezra’s birthday sleepover. I tried to figure out how to join without triggering a social catastrophe.

Internal Argument #4,222

Me: I could say, “Hey, your birthday was last weekend? Mine’s tomorrow.” That’s an easy conversation starter, right?

Also Me: Are you kidding? That’s a guaranteed trainwreck.

Me:

Also Me: Think about it. They’ll ask what you’re doing for your birthday. “Not much,” you’ll mumble, reminding everyone you’re a friendless loser.

I stayed quiet. As usual.

As we filed inside, Ty slowed to fist-bump another kid and Ezra noticed me trailing.

“Hey Brian. Good game, huh?”

I froze.

I was still flushed from playing basketball, which helped disguise my instant layer of fresh sweat.

14 responses to “MG #10: SOMEWHERE IN A BETTER UNIVERSE (Contemporary)”

  1. Brent Taylor says:

    This sounds wonderful, I’d love to read it. Please send the query and full manuscript (as a Word doc) to brent(at)triadaus(dot)com.

  2. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Chad! I love this opening and how you captured Brian’s voice through an internal argument. I’d love to read more! Please send a query letter and attach the full manuscript as a Word doc with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line to alexweiss.jdlit@gmail.com.

    If more than one JDLA agent requests this, please feel free to submit to the best fit. Thank you!

  3. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Hi Chad,

    This sounds fantastic. I’d love to see the full manuscript! Please submit your query, synopsis, and the novel to http://QueryMe.Online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to the read!

    Best,
    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Corvisiero Literary Agency

  4. Sarah LaPolla says:

    Hi Chad, I’d love to take a look at this! Please send the pitch in the body of an email to sarah@bradfordlit.com & attach the 1st 50 pages as a Word .doc. Use the subject line: Pitch Wars: [Title]

    Thank you!!!

    Sarah

  5. Chad,

    Your voice is fantastic! Can you send me the full and a synopsis (2-4 pages)? Please use Times New Roman, size 12, black, double-spaced text, 1” margins all around, and ½” paragraph indents. Attach the manuscript and synopsis as two separate Word documents (docx). Sent to: lynnette (at) theseymouragency (dot) com and add “Pitch Wars Request” along with your title in the subject line. Thanks.

    If more than one agent from The Seymour Agency likes your entry, please send requested material to the agent you feel will be the best fit. #OneAgentAtATime

    Looking forward to reading more.

    Best,

    Lynnette

  6. Marlo Berliner says:

    This is off to a nice start. I’d love to see more! Please submit your query and first 30 pages via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
    If more than one JDLA agent requests, simply submit to the agent you feel would be the best fit. Be sure to only submit to one JDLA agent at a time. If the first agent passes, you are welcome to try the next.

  7. Heather Cashman says:

    I love this character and premise.
    If you think we’d be a good fit, please send the full to heather.stormliteraryagency@gmail.com with Pitch Wars Query, your name, and the title in the subject line.
    Thank you and good luck!
    Heather Cashman
    Storm Literary Agency

  8. Rena Rossner says:

    I’d love to read this full manuscript. Please send it attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    Thanks!

    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  9. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thank you!


    Melissa Nasson, Esq.
    Associate Agent
    Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC
    https://www.rpcontent.com

  10. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear Chad,

    I’m intrigued by the pitch, and you already had me laughing at Internal Argument #4,222! Please send your query letter and the full manuscript as a Word doc to dca@doncongdon.com with PITCH WARS REQUEST in the subject line. Thanks and look forward to reading more!

    Best,
    Katie Grimm

  11. Christa Heschke says:

    I really enjoyed your sample here and would LOVE to read on. Please send the query, synopsis and full manuscript to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com with Pitch Wars request in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh and Otis

  12. Isabelle Bleecker says:

    Hi Chad,
    I’d like to see more of this. Sounds like an interesting story. Please send a query letter and the first 50 pages of your manuscript to me at Isabelle@Nordlysetagency.com
    Isabelle

  13. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds great – I would love an opportunity to consider! Can you please send the query letter (in the body of an email) and manuscript (attached as a Word doc) to queries@parkfine.com with “Pitch Wars submission – Pete Knapp” in the subject? Thank you!

    – Pete Knapp / Park & Fine Literary and Media

  14. Abigail Samoun says:

    I’d love to see it! Please send entire ms as a Word or Pages attachment to Abigail (at) redfoxliterary (dot) com. Thanks!