Contests are a great way to get feedback from other writers and sometimes even from agents. I’m a big contest fan, so I’m going to try to get into the Writer’s Voice competition that’s being hosted by four amazing authors.
When a substitute teacher starts ranting about how dark energy is ripping the universe apart, 12-year-old Julia Veltman knows to write him off as a wackadoodle. She is, after all, one of the four members of the Sciencetastic SuperGirls after-school club and knows a thing or two about science. Unfortunately, Julia discovers dark energy actually makes up a whopping 73% of the universe, and with the twitchy sub now refusing to share anything else, the SuperGirls have to go all superspy to find out more.
After several elaborate plans involving dental floss, lip gloss, and an elevator in the most unexpected place, the SuperGirls discover a secret, dark energy-detecting, underground super collider, run by none other than Julia’s physicist parents. Which would be wicked awesome, if it didn’t mean that Julia’s parents have been lying to her for half her life. And not only are her parents just days away from announcing some earth-shattering discovery, but there’s an army of ninjas about to kidnap Julia in order to stop them. What the ninjas don’t know is that Julia’s not the kind of girl who will quietly sit tied up in a closet – and the other Sciencetastic SuperGirls sure aren’t about to let some dudes in black stand between them and one of their own.
Complete at 63,000 words, SCIENCETASTIC SUPERGIRLS is a standalone upper middle grade novel with series potential.
First 250 words:
I’m pretty sure nobody’s ever gotten good news from a man with twitching eyebrows. So when our English teacher disappears for an emergency appendectomy and the new sub Mr. Trolp appears at the lectern, eyebrows all a-wiggle, I’m not expecting him to start handing out cookies.
Of course, I’d likely get the first cookie if he did – because he’s staring right at me.
“You never know who’ll be out to get you in life.”
Right. No cookie from this guy.
“You’ve got to stay on your guard, always checking behind you.”
OK, so we’ve found ourselves a sub loonier than the lady who walked on tiptoes and only talked about leprechauns. Because it’s not just his eyebrows – his left hand is twitching, too. Maybe he got bit by a rabid spider. Maybe he’s becoming a rabid spider.
I glance at Tessa, ready for a satisfying eyebrow raise, but she’s hidden beneath her black softball sweatshirt in her classic pose – hood up, head on desk – and is probably sound asleep. Wonderful.
Back at the lectern, Mr. Trolp’s mouth twists like he has to chew each word before it comes out. “It could happen anytime – next Tuesday, for example – when you think everything is going fine.”
Jeff Harkiss tips back in his chair, his hat perched on top of his head so he can claim he’s not actually wearing it. “Just start the DVD, dude.”
There’s always a first time to agree with Jeff Harkiss.