Saturday, November 24, 2012

Call for Entries to the 4th Annual


Get in Front of Top YA Editors with only the First 250 Words of Your YA Novel!


Have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Are you putting off pitching your idea simply because you’re not sure how to pitch an agent? No problem! All you have to do is submit the first 250 words of your novel and you can win exposure to editors and a review of your manuscript from one of New York’s top young adult literary agents, Regina Brooks.

The contest is presented by Serendipity Literary Agency in collaboration with Gotham Writers Workshop and Sourcebooks.


The Grand Prize Winner will have the opportunity to submit an entire manuscript to YA literary agent Regina Brooks AND receive a free, 10-week writing course, courtesy of Gotham Writers' Workshop, plus a collection of gourmet teas from!

The Top Five Entrants (including the Grand Prize winner) will receive a 15-minute, one-on-one pitch session with Regina Brooks, one of New York’s premier literary agents for young adult books. They will also receive commentary on their submissions with editors from Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, Penguin, Random House, Harelquin Teen, Kensington, Candlewick, Bloomsbury, Sourcebooks, Feiwel and Friends, and Kimani Tru.

In addition, they will receive a year’s subscription to The Writer magazine!

First 50 Entrants will receive a copy of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks.


The rules of the contest are simple and entering is easy. Submit entries of ONLY the first 250 words of your manuscript and the title via the contest website at

One entry per person; anyone age 14+ can apply. Open to the U.S. & Canada (void where prohibited).

Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01am (ET) November 1st, 2012 until 11:59pm November 30th, 2012 (ET). Entry fee is $15 (USD).

YA literary agent Regina Brooks and her team, will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions. These submissions will then be read by nine editors representing nine publishers:

Simon and Schuster - Navah Wolfe
Scholastic – Rachel Griffiths
Viking Penguin – Kendra Levin

Random House,- Krista Viola
Candlewick - Nicole Raymond Rachel Griffiths
Bloomsbury – Laura Whitaker

Sourcebooks – Aubrey Poole
Kensington, - Mercedes Fernandez
Harlequin teen, - Nataysha Wilson

Harlequin Kimani - Tracey Sherrod
Feiwel and Friends – Anna Roberts

These judges will whittle the top 20 down to five, and each of the five winners will be provided commentary on their submissions.


Previous winners are being published by major houses and many have received representation.

“ I ended up signing with an agent she sold the book to Candlewick's Nicole Raymond, who served as one of the judges of the 2010 YA Novel Discovery Contest. Breakfast Served Anytime is slated for publication in  Spring 2014.” Sarah V. Combs

For more information, contact Regina Brooks:


Bill Scott said...

I'd always heard to be cautious when contest make you pay, but this sounds legit (trusted source). I do like the idea of free gourmet teas. That made me smile.

Keisha Martin Romance Writer said...

Awesome contest thanks Janet for sharing the information.

Reesha said...

They sure know how to get my attention: a full manuscript read-over AND tea!

Unknown said...

Argh. I'm so torn. On one hand, this sounds like a lovely way to get one's work in front of a reputable agent and some key literary people. And I have a YA that's almost done and could be ready to be discussed by the time the contest is over. On the other hand, I am so violently, horribly opposed to paying to submit...anything.

Here's the thing. If you're good enough to win the contest, aren't you good enough to get their attention from the slush pile anyway? The structure here--we'll pull 20 and pick 5--sounds pretty much like the slush pile, except you're at the top of the pile. And while maybe being at the top of the pile is worth $15, I'm so opposed to charging the author to provide the product that everyone else will sell, that it really, really rankles to be asked to pay it.

Especially since the registration process involves giving all your info to Gotham Writers Workshop. So not only are they charging writers to submit, the writers are also paying to give their personal information to someone who wants to market to them.

What do others think about this?

Caroline said...

@Unknown ,
I have the same mixed feelings as you do. This sounds like a cool opportunity, but I decided years back never to pay entry fees like this.

I only enter free contests and I'll only submit my short stories to places that pay ME or at least allow writers to submit for free (if the market is small, very prestigious or a charity.

So, though I write YA, I am sorry to say I will have to pass on this contest.