Posts Tagged ‘GUTGAA’ Archive

GUTGAA Small Press- YA Contemporary & Historical Fiction

Guys, I’m beyond excited to be a part of the small press contest for GUTGAA (Gearing Up To Get An Agent blog-hop hosted by the awe-inspiring Deana Barnhart)! I can’t say enough about the courage it takes to put your work out there, but what you’ll learn over the next week will be well worth the effort, even if you don’t move on to the next round. I posted the other week (after the ups and downs of my own GUTGAA experience and #PitMad) the ride is worth it.

Good luck everyone!

I’m hoping to make my way through all of the pitches this round, but if anyone is needing/wanting extra help with their pitches, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Keep an eye out for the following judge names as they make their rounds on the pitches!
Jammy Dodgers

A Few Details
As luck would have it, the submissions did not break evenly into YA/MG/NA groups. To make the ratios fair for each category, the pitches chosen off each blog will have different amounts. The breakup will be:

-YA Other-9  chosen (Hosted on Deana’s blog)
-Adult-8 chosen (Hosted on Tara Tyler’s blog)
-YA Contemporary & Historical Fiction-5 chosen (Hosted here!)
-NA/MG-3 chosen (Hosted on Ink in the Book’s blog)
**If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below.

-If there are tie breakers, other judges in the competition will come in and break the ties
-Winners will be announced no later than Friday
-The top 25 will be posted on Deana’s blog for the final round next Monday

If you are on Twitter, use the hashtag #GUTGAA to join in on the conversation. Hopefully, I will be able to tweet out progress on my blog throughout the week, follow me at @julianalbrandt


Check back Thursday for a special giveaway because Thursday is MY BIRTHDAY! My quarter-century birthday to be exact and it’s deserving of an extra special giveaway. The giveaway will be easy (I’m a fan of easy contests). The winner will get a copy of my very favorite book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. So COME BACK THURSDAY and help celebrate my birthday with me 🙂

Pitch W- The Spark

YA Contemporary


When you’re sixteen, wishing for a life filled with adventure and romance, like the kind found on the inky
pages of fantasy fiction, makes living in a small town almost bearable. When your name is Neeve and you’re tall, gawky and feel awkward in your own skin, an escape into books feels like your only hope.

After mysterious Rhythe arrives in town looking for you, followed by your favorite author who penned the novel Under Clouded Sky and intriguingexchange student Elan, you think just for an instant maybe you’re living in a dream.

The love and danger unfolding in your suddenly very drama-filled life point to the truth that perhaps your the novel isn’t a work of fiction after all. Maybe the Celestial Pantheon, the secret society revealed in the book’s pages is real, Rhythe’s interest in you is sinister and you and Elan have to save the world from power hungry House of Cruxis, led by Rhythe, who threaten to cause a supernova.

You quickly realize getting what you wished for comes with a price and the perils of adventure are more than you bargained for. If you fail it means the end of love, the end of the world, the end of existence, but if you succeed the fantasy can live on.

First 150 Words:

The phone rang, pulling me from a particularly juicy chapter. I emerged from the insulating cocoon of fantasy fiction and answered dreamily.

“Good morning,” said Lily, my chipper best friend. The sliver of light seeping in through the dusty window did little to invite my enthusiasm. She got right to the point. “So last night while you were tucked in with three hundred and fifty pages of inky fantasy, I was at a party on the riverbank.” I wondered when did she get a pass to go to parties. We were the nerds.

Her voice bounced back to me, “We were hanging around the fire and a black sports car came flying down the dirt road. It came to a sudden stop and this wicked hot guy, who I’d never seen before, got out,” she paused for effect, “he asked if any of us knew Neeve Hawkins.” Never mind the party, who’d be looking for me and why?

Pitch V- Burn

YA Suspense


Maggie Parrish inherited her brown eyes, her sense of humor, and her cause of death from her grandma who died in a fire decades before Maggie was born. The fire was the biggest news in the dinky Tennessee town since Lee’s surrender and everyone tells a different version of what really happened. When Maggie moves in with her aunt on the old family farm, the countdown begins to her time to burn.

A crush turns into an obsession that threatens Maggie’s relationship with her new boyfriend. The more she tries to push him away, the harder he fights back. His jealousy is suffocating her and where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Every move she makes is leading up to one explosive night on the farm–a night that played out forty years ago.  If Maggie doesn’t see how deep the connection to her grandma runs, she’ll end up just like her.

Maggie Parrish is going to burn.

First 150 Words:

Aunt Carol sat across from me at the breakfast table, stroking the handle of her coffee cup while she tried to focus on the crossword puzzle in the paper.

I couldn’t stop fidgeting.

“What if I just stay in my room until they’re gone?” I suggested.

She never looked away from the puzzle. “They already know you’re here. Besides, you’ll be stuck up there all day if you decide to hide from the boys.”

“It can’t seriously take all day to put in a shower, can it?”

She smiled. It wasn’t a good smile. It was the kind of smile that  meant someone had Sharpied a mustache on your face when you fell asleep at a friend’s house. It was the kind of smile that meant I was being set up.

“Oh my God. Can’t I just borrow the car and go into town?”

“I’ve already told them all about you.”

Pitch U- Fractured Myths

83,000 WORDS

When sixteen-year-old fantasy enthusiast Alanna O’Connor sees Vikings, medieval knights, and mythological creatures appear in her hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, she thinks it’s a miracle . . . until they try to kill her. At that moment, she no longer cares about her cancelled birthday plans, her latest tattoo, or even the charming teenage boy she met earlier. All her drama is cast aside as she fights for her life and sanity.

Alanna realizes that when she climbed the legendary mountaintop called Arthur’s Seat, she unwittingly helped open the doorway to Otherworld and unleashed the rampaging monsters. Terrified and plagued by guilt over the ensuing slaughter, she teams up with the one person she knows she can trust: the newly arrived (and completely baffled) King Arthur.

As they battle centaurs, goblins, and a red dragon, Alanna confronts the truth about what happened to King Arthur and the other characters while they were in Otherworld. Arthur has splintered memories from his legendary life that do not fit together into a single lifetime. He is a fictional version of himself and is as lost as anyone—a fractured myth who needs Alanna’s guidance as much as she needs his expertise. Alanna must put the pieces together and close the passageway between worlds before it is made permanent and Alanna’s city—if not all reality—is fractured beyond repair.

Alanna O’Connor spun around, her long auburn hair taking sudden flight, and planted her thin palm against the castle’s sandstone wall, blocking Zoë’s path.
The steady procession up the castle walkway shifted uncertainly before circumnavigating the strange pair. Given the wide breadth underneath the massive stone arch, the tourists’ glaring condemnation seemed excessive, Alanna thought, especially the young boy’s—a snarled brow that screamed, Out of the way! You shouldn’t even be here!
But Alanna had good reason for her abrupt stop, and if she belonged anywhere, she felt certain it was at Edinburgh Castle.
“Wait a bloody second,” she said, ignoring the disgruntled pedestrians. She leaned in on Zoë, taking advantage of her position slightly uphill. “You mean you got zapped by lightning doing this? As in, you were setting up this same contraption we’re working with right now, thenBoom! God went Old Testament on you?”
Zoë tried skirting around, but Alanna anticipated every bob and weave and easily thwarted her older companion’s attempts.

Pitch T- A.K.A. Killer

Contemporary YA Thriller
92,000 words

In sunny southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks, her killer SAT scores, and even her killer taste in shoes—but only her victims will know how killer she really is. Not that child rapists and murderers who beat the system every time deserve to be called “victims.”

Daughter to Orange County District Attorney Jane Rose and fallen SWAT Sergeant Jack Rose, Ruby not only knows the law, she believes in it. That is, until someone starts manipulating her into breaking it. Thinking a cryptic text message is from her high school crush, Liam Slater, asking her to Homecoming, Ruby heads down to the harbor. Instead of the lame trail of roses she’s expecting, she hears a child’s desperate call for help.  Someone has lured her here, and is forcing her to choose between letting an innocent girl die or committing “legally justified” murder to prevent it.

Torn between satisfaction that one less monster is roaming the streets and guilt for the blood on her hands, Ruby tries to find the real murderer behind it all. But in her search, the body count keeps rising, turning her into something she never dreamed possible: A teenaged serial killer. Ruby must find out who is using her and stop him before she finds herself walking death row, wearing one of those horribly baggy orange jumpsuits even Hollywood royalty can’t pull off. The closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a long-held family secret that threatens to destroy everything and everyone she’s ever held dear.

First 150 words:

Life shouldn’t involve so much calculation—and I’m not just talking algebra. I’m talking about the calculated, premeditated
avoidance of life. I didn’t need a 4.0 GPA to know that sneaking out of the city library at 9:00 on a Friday night didn’t win me any points on the SPA (Social Point Average), on which I was definitely flunking.

Pausing under the dark awning, I took a quick breath of briny ocean air to regain my bearings. The old parking lot fluorescents
flickered behind the suffocating fog, making it hard to tell if the rain was misting down from above or if it was coming in sideways from the shore. In any case, the blacktop lay slick, full of potholes, and speckled with math club kids who’d just love to report a sighting of Recluse Ruby Rose.

With a practiced stealth, I dashed through the night. Even in my new Prada Peep-Toe Pumps—a.k.a. my Penelopes—I had speed.