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6. THE CONSPIRATORS' CLUB – Middle Grade Contemporary Mystery

Monday, 3 November 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: E.M. Caines

Mentee Name: Ellen Hill


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Contemporary Mystery

Word Count: 52,000


For thirteen-year-old Peter Holm, boarding school is as fun as a freezing shower in winter until his new friend, Samantha, asks him to help her start a Conspirators’ Club. Its goal? To challenge the school’s unfair regulations with covert acts of rebellion. But when a friend goes missing, the Club knows a criminal is hiding among them, one who’ll stop at nothing to protect his secrets. Not even murder.


Peter took another glance around the ferry cafeteria, his mind heavy with disappointment.

Face it, he thought. Jason’s not onboard.

He turned and burst through the swinging doors out on deck and—

—knocked into a girl carrying a brimming cup of soda. Without a lid.

“Sorry!” He stared in horror at the brown stain spreading across her white shirt. “Er…, you okay?”

The girl’s head snapped up from gaping down at her front. Blue-green eyes caught Peter off guard with their intensity. Without a word, she stalked past him into the cafeteria, holding the rest of her soda at arm’s length.

Peter frowned at her back as the doors swung shut behind her. “I apologized!” He wondered who she was. Too old for a sixth-grader, she had to be around his age. But he didn’t remember seeing her at the Academy before.

“Nice going, squirt!”

Peter sighed. Of course Mark, his older brother, would catch him making a fool of himself. He turned. Mark leaned against the railing, smirking, his back to the Horston Academy Island drawing closer. Peter shrugged. He had bigger worries to deal with than spilled soda. “I was looking for Jason.”

“In her soda cup?”

“Very funny.” He slouched over to the railing and rested his elbows on it. “What if he really did run away? Then he won’t come back at all.”


Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Hi Ellen, I’d love to see the first 50 pages of this. Please send a query, a short full-plot synopsis, and the sample pages (as a .doc) to submissions(at)jaw-litagent(dot)com, mentioning PitchWars in your subject line. Thanks so much, Julia

  • Stefanie Lieberman says:

    I would like to see more! Please send the query, synopsis and first ten pages to submissions(at)janklow(dot)com. In the subject line of your email, please type: For Stefanie Lieberman – PITCH WARS REQUEST.

  • Jaida Temperly says:

    Hi Ellen! I’d love to read more. Please send the first 50 pgs. to query[at]newleafliterary[dot]com, with the subject line: PITCH WARS REQUEST – JAIDA.

  • Saba Sulaiman says:

    Hi Ellen,

    I’d love to read more of this! Please send a full synopsis and the first 50 pages of your manuscript (Word documents will suffice) to ssulaiman@talcottnotch.net — and don’t forget to mention #PitchWars in your subject line. Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions!

    Good luck!

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