PW #126: MG Spooky Mystery: A GHOULISH AFFAIR

Pitchwars Badge (Square MG)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Cat Scully
Mentee Name: Sean Steinle
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Spooky Mystery
Word Count: 30,000


When 11-year-old Pen Waters gives a ghoul her sock in exchange for a glittering pocket watch, she unwittingly invites herself to become his next meal. Saved from the ghoul’s sleepwalking spell by 11-year-old Jack, a boy who lives in an art museum, the two team up to investigate the creatures. But when Jack is captured by their ravenous leader, the Great Ghoul, Pen must uncover his secret weakness before they both become the brute’s next delectable feast.


Something scratched at Pen’s window.

She lay still in her sleeping bag on the hard attic floor. Darkness filled the room, except for a circle of light glowing from the window. Everyone else in the house was fast asleep. Their snores drifted up from the floor below and collected in Pen’s room.

The something at the window scratched again.

Thousands of tiny goosebumps prickled her arms. It must be a giant, she told herself, trying to find his way in and snatch me up.

Pen knew all about giants because her uncle had told her. She knew well that it was the habit of giants to come out at night and pluck little children from their windows. She could just picture the hideous, slender fingers poking around, fishing for a way in.

Pen wriggled out of her sleeping bag. She went to the window to have a look. It would be best to know which sort of giant was about to snatch her up. Would it be a Masher, or a Cruncher? Mashers liked to dance on top of piles of children and make a fine wine of their juices. Crunchers, on the other hand, popped children right into their mouths like jellybeans, bones and everything. But when Pen reached the window and looked outside, it wasn’t a giant at all.

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. As a big fan of the BFG, this excerpt totally grabbed me. I’d love to see the first 50 pages. Please send as a Word doc to query(at) with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line. And I’d like to know more about you, so tell me something about yourself too!

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  2. I’d like to read more! Please send the first 50 pages in Word format and a query letter to, and include “Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line of the email. Thank you!

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  3. I’d love to read more. Please send me the query, synopsis and full manuscript in a word doc to furyqueries(at)thebentagency(dot)com .
    Include #pitchwars: (Title) in the subject line.

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