PW #111: MG Contemporary: FOR SALE BY MINOR

Pitchwars Badge (Square MG)Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Joy McCullough-Carranza
Mentee Name: Shanna Rogers
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 40,000


Twelve-year-old construction whiz Rory and her design-savvy brother Mag tackle a renovation to save their family property. But flipping a house is harder than it looks on TV, and in order to nail down their futures, they’ll also have to repair their fixer-upper family.


My sixth-grade graduation diploma read “Aurora Ariel Rapunzel Perkins.” I Sharpie-d over it and printed “Rory” underneath. Much better.

Last-day-of-school pandemonium raged at the school’s front gates. Shouts echoed in the breezeway and more elbows knocked me in the head than usual. I ducked and darted past the parking lot pileup and started for home.

At the stoplight I pulled the straps of my backpack until it sat comfortably high on my shoulders. Kids who wore theirs low—or worse, over one shoulder—were toying with scoliosis. Then I rolled my sleeveless turtleneck down ever-so-slightly to try and catch a breeze. Ninety-seven degrees today and not nearly enough shade, so I jumped from one twiggy shadow to the next along the sidewalk.

Hot asphalt and wood fumes swirled around the construction site I passed every day. Today they were installing upper decks. I squinted.

Wait a second…

I marched up to a bulgy man in a hard hat. “I’d like to speak to the supervisor.”

“You’re looking at him. Can I help you?”

This was not said in a genuine, helpful manner, but rather implied that I might be lost. Or intellectually challenged.

“That deck is a hazard,” I said. “You realize you’re missing the proper flashing on your cantilevered joists?”

He cocked his head. “Did Javier put you up to this?”

“I don’t know a Javier. I do know that deck has inadequate support.”

Author: Nikki Roberti

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  1. I would love to see the first 50 pages of this, sent as a Word attachment, to querycaitie(at)lizadawson(dot)com, with the words “#PitchWars request” in the subject

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  2. I’d like to take a look at this. Please send the manuscript and a query letter (MS Word preferred, PDF okay) to carlie @ with the subject PITCH WARS REQUEST: Title of work.

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  3. Yes, please. I would love to see more. If you’re interested at all, please send the first 50 pages (as a .doc) along with your query letter and a short synopsis (pasted in the body of the email) to submissions(at)jaw-litagent(dot)com with the subject line “Pitch Wars request: FOR SALE BY MINOR”. Thanks so much, Julia

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  4. I’d love to take a look! Please send the first 25 pages, a query and synopsis to chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com. Please put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.


    Christa Heschke
    McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

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  5. Hi, I’d love to see the first 50 pages. Please email the pages as a .doc to, with Pitch Wars in the subject.

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