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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
MG #14: MAGGIE STONE AND THE SPORE KING (Speculative with STEM Elements)
Summer Short
Mentored by:
Kim Long and Jennifer L. Brown
Book Title:
2018 Entries
Speculative with STEM Elements
Word Count:


Twelve-year-old naturalist Maggie Stone can’t escape the scandal that drove her crackpot scientist dad out of town, but she has a plan to bring him home. Everything hinges on her scientific find: a beautiful, bioluminescent fungus. But when it mutates and invades town, Dad’s zany ideas may hold the key to stopping Sporemageddon. If Maggie’s wrong, she’ll crater her reputation––even worse, everyone she loves will become spore-spewing fungus hosts.



This is one marvelous mutant. A bona fide scientific wonder.

The black and gold moth flutters to the overgrown honeysuckle bush. It’s the Hemaris diffinis, more commonly known as the bumblebee moth. But this is no ordinary specimen. This baby’s got a third antenna sprouting from the tip-top of its head––tall and skinny with a dusty bulb at the end.

I creep forward and focus the camera’s lens––it’s vintage 1998 and requires a little finessing. I’m milliseconds from snapping the picture of a lifetime when a door behind me bangs open. A yellow sneaker whirls past my nose toward the moth. The Hemaris diffinis dodges it, sailing high above my mobile home’s aluminum roof and well out of photographic range.

I whirl around. “Nate Fulton! Are you trying to ruin my life?”

“What?” Nate frowns, his splatter of freckles even redder in the blazing Texas heat. “I probably just saved your life, Mags. Remember what happened to my Uncle Tony last summer? Nearly died when that swarm of bees went up his shorts. Stung his butt like a hundred times. Got anna-flap-tick shock.”

“It’s anaphylactic, and that wasn’t a bee. It was an ultra-rare mutant moth. I needed that photo!”

“For that contest thing?”

“It’s more than a contest. It’s Vitaccino’s Junior Naturalist Merit Award. There’s five hundred big ones involved, plus a meeting with the head honchos.”

7 responses to “MG #14: MAGGIE STONE AND THE SPORE KING (Speculative with STEM Elements)”

  1. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Summer! I’m a big fan of this concept and a huge science nerd, so 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!

  2. Natascha Morris says:

    Hi Summer,

    You manuscript is right up my alley! I’d love to read more. Please upload the full to QueryMe.online/1067/PitchWars2019. Can’t wait to read!

    Thank you!

    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  3. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Hi Summer,

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

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Corvisiero Literary Agency

  4. Summer,

    I love Maggie and her attitude already! I can’t wait to get to know more about her. ☺ 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.



  5. Marlo Berliner says:

    Interesting! 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.

  6. 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

  7. Laura Bradford says:

    I’m crazy about the STEM elements here! And the idea of a mutating fungus that invades town (this totally reminds me of an adult book I sold once that was about a runaway spore infestation). I’d love to read more! Please email me the full ms + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line.