PW #121: MG Contemporary: RULES FOR RUNNING AWAY

Pitchwars Badge (Square MG)

Manuscript status: Finished

Mentor Name: Brooks Benjamin
Mentee Name: Rachel Sarah
Category: MG
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 30,000


One devastating secret.
Two kids on the run.
Three hours to uncover the truth.
When you’re running away to find the father you never knew, remember to bring enough change for the bus.


It’s not stealing. More like borrowing. I glance over my shoulder to the living room. I’m alone. Pulling two twenties from Mom’s wallet, I stare at the bills, then put one back. If I take too much I’ll get caught.

A door clicks down the hallway and I freeze. Any second, Mom will come out of her room and say, “Annie! Ready for school?” She doesn’t know I’ve been up for hours. She especially doesn’t know I’m running away. If, that is, I can get some cash.

Just do it! Snapping Mom’s wallet shut, I shove the whole thing into the front of my jeans and tiptoe back to my room. Safe inside, I lean against the door where the only sounds are me trying to catch my breath and my hermit crabs, Yin and Yang, scratching in the sand.

My dad is getting out of prison today. I don’t know why he’s in there, but whatever he did, he must’ve had a good reason. And I’m going to be the first face he sees when they set him free. Life with him is going to be so much better than the one I have with my mom and stepdad.

I go over my plan again: ditch the field trip, take the bus twelve blocks up Broadway, and get out at the courthouse. Leaning over, I watch Yin scramble up one of the rocks I found with Mom at the beach last week. Then, waving a little goodbye, I stand up, take a deep breath, and push Mom’s wallet into my backpack.

“Dad,” I whisper. “I’m coming.”


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. Oh, wow, I have to read more of this! Please send the first 100 pages as a Word doc attachment to, with the subject line “Pitch Wars Request.” Thank you and I look forward to reading more!

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  2. I’d like to see more. Please send the manuscript and a query letter (MS Word preferred, PDF okay) to carlie @ with the subject line PITCH WARS REQUEST: Title of Work.

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  3. Ooh, I like. I’d 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: THE RULES FOR RUNNING AWAY”. Thanks so much, Julia

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  4. I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages attached as a word document to:



    Rena Rossner

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  5. This sounds interesting! Please send the first 25 pages, query and synopsis to chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com and put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.


    Christa Heschke
    McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

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