The Writer’s Voice


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.

Here’s my entry…

Query:

Dear Agent,

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.

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40 Comments

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40 responses to “The Writer’s Voice

  1. Yay! Another MG in the contest- I was beginning to worry.
    Best of luck 🙂

    (love your title, btw)

  2. Love the updated query! 🙂 Also, holy VOICE batman – the first page is fantastic! So glad you got in and I hope you get picked! This is a really strong start – GOOD LUCK 😀

  3. Love your entry… best of luck!

  4. Ohhhh Ann. Spies+science+12-year-old girls? So awesome. So, so awesome.

    Fave line: “Maybe he’s becoming a rabid spider.” Because that’s exactly what Spiderman-obsessed 12-year-old me would have thought.

    Just awesome. Wishing you ALL THE LUCK. ❤

  5. Hi Ann, I’m stopping by from the Writer’s Voice Contest to wish you the best of luck! Nice to meet you.

  6. I love your voice, and how you managed to portray it in the query! Awesome job! Good luck in the contest!

  7. kiperoo

    Wheeeeeee! Congrats on making it in! Love this beginning!

  8. This is such a cute entry, good luck to you!!

  9. I LOVE this – amazing voice and OMG super smart science girls? Heck yeah – I’d LOVE to read more! Good luck with this one!!

  10. You know I love this. =) Wishing you complete triumph in the contest!

  11. AG

    WOW, just the use of WHACKADOODLE alone gets my vote. Awesome job, hun!

  12. Thank you everyone for your support! It means so much to me!

    And AG, you should know the this whole premise in its most fetal state was: all-girl science club and they use the word “wackadoodle” all the time.

    🙂

  13. Fellow contestant stopping by to say hi!

    Yay! Scientastic Supergirls! Love this pitch – I’ve seen it elsewhere. Good luck!

  14. Girl power! Love it! Just popped over to say “Good Luck!”

  15. Such a fresh premise and great voice! Good luck!

    -Sarah #146

  16. This manuscript is so fantastic!! I really hope the agents get a chance to snatch it up (are you reading this, coaches? Grab this one while you can!!)!

  17. Cute story – great voice.

  18. These are characters! Jeff was completely believable with barely a line of dialog, a single action, and one line of physical description… I’d live to see what you do for your protagonist with an entire novel! Best luck from #30!

  19. aewelch

    Yay for MG! We are a rare bunch in this competition 🙂 Good luck from one contestant to another!

  20. Stopping by to wish you luck in the contest. Strong entry! Great voice in your opening 250 and your query!!

  21. This looks like so much fun of a read. You’ve officially garnered my interest for more.
    Once again, good luck!

  22. Betsy

    Super fun! It’s snappy, full of energy and humor, and what a great premise. Best of luck from #197

  23. Just for the record, I would totally pick this query! This one had me at “twitching eyebrows.”
    Anne #102

  24. My favorite word used to be ‘bugaboo’, but ‘whackadoodle’ is quickly working its way up the list. This sounds fun! I was completely sold by your first 250 words.

  25. nicolezoltack

    Love, love, love the voice in this. Great excerpt. Good luck!

  26. Tina

    Great voice. And that last line! LOL

    Good luck.

    Tina (#194)

  27. Great Voice in this! I mean just, amazing! I’m surprised you haven’t been snapped up yet!!

  28. Great job! MG usually isn’t my thing, but this is one I’d definitely read. I love your humor and voice and the premise of the story! ~Kathryn (#2)

  29. This sounds like a fun read.
    Best of luck!
    Carolyn, #157

  30. C.G.Ayling

    love your word “wackadoodle”. Sounds lik something my 13 year old daughter would call me – if she was feeling polite :). Good luck!

  31. I LOVE THIS and I WANT YOU!

    This is such a fun idea! I love the concept, writing, and voice! Middle grade with girls? Yes!!!!

    Oh, and NEVER take cookies from strangers. Especially Monica if she tries to show up here later. 😀

    Super excited about this one!

  32. Congratulations on getting picked! Best of luck to you as the contest continues! WVC #28

  33. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Science girls FTW!!!!!

    Literally the only thing that makes me sad about this ist hat my girls are still too young to read it.

    TEAM CUPIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. This sounds fantastic!!! I can’t wait to read it some day. 🙂 Go Team Cupid!!! 😀

  35. Hey there teammate! I already showed you some love on your entry, so I’ll leave it at GO TEAM CUPID!

  36. Good team Cupid!!
    #97

  37. This sounds awesome! My book has dark energy too so I’m definitely rooting for you. Go science geeks!

  38. Dee

    Wow, great voice and lots of fun! Good luck to you. 🙂

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