We are looking for contemporary, realistic YA fiction only. This means anything that takes place in our world and abides by the generally accepted laws of reality, time, and space.
For example: a historical fiction love story between a cowboy and a governor’s daughter set in 1954 would absolutely qualify. However, a paranormal romance where an alien cowboy falls in love with the governor’s daughter…who happens to be a vampire from 1954, would not.
For this contest we are looking for real stories with real characters that we can fall in love with and pretend, with very little suspension of belief that those characters could exist out there somewhere. Strong voice and unforgettable characters are important to us.
How do you make your query stand out? Pinpoint the piece of the story that makes your query unique. Tell us who your character is, what your character wants, and what stands in the way.
Spencer Hill Contemporary only takes agented submissions year-round, so this is a really unique opportunity where most of our editors are in one place looking at your query! Keep in mind that we are not agents; we are editors looking for authors who want their books to be considered for publication! We are accepting completed, polished YA manuscripts only. If you’ve submitted your cowboy story before and someone on staff has read/reviewed/passed previously at any time, then please do not resubmit.
Before you enter, please take a moment to check out www.spencerhillcontemporary.com to check out most of our current and upcoming titles.
Please only submit if you are truly interested in having your book considered by our imprint for publication! We look forward to seeing your queries!
Patricia E. Riley is the Managing Editor of Spencer Hill Contemporary. As her clients can attest to, she does not consider the Oxford Comma a negotiable punctuation mark. In addition to books and writing, Patricia can be found spending time with her wonderful (and incredibly supportive) husband and their two tiny humans. You can find her on twitter @PatriciaERiley.
Danielle Ellison is a Senior Editor and an author of YA fiction. When she’s not editing or writing, Danielle is probably drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, and dreaming of the day when she can be British. You can find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.
Kristi Cook is an Associate Editor, as well as the author of more than a dozen books for adults and teens. She’s been wielding her red editing pen for several years now, helping both aspiring and already-published authors whip their manuscripts into shape. She lives in New York City with her husband and two teen daughters, but in the summer months escapes with them to sunny Miami, where she lounges on the beach and teaches creative writing classes at Miami-Dade College. You can find her on twitter @Kristi_Cook.
Lauren Meinhardt is an Associate Editor, avid reader, vlogger, and oxygen-breather. She’s been reading YA for years, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys hiking, baking sweets, and annoying her roommates. She is currently in hot pursuit of an English degree in sunny Southern California. You can find her on twitter @Renkellym.
Asja Parrish is an Associate Editor who currently resides in Brooklyn and eats a steady diet of words and movement. She went to college for too long, earning a BFA in dance and a MFA in creative writing. Asja is currently dancing professionally with two NY-based companies and teaching little ones on the Upper West Side. Somehow she finds time to write and read and dance. Sleep is only sort of necessary. You can find her on twitter @AsjaKParrish.
Traci Inzitari is an Associate Editor and the current intern co-wrangler for reading interns. Traci has a Bachelor’s degree in English, blogs at The Reading Geek, and loves to read YA. Her avid reading gives her an advantage in developing all aspects of story and character. She also has a great taste in TV shows. You can find her on twitter @thereadinggeek.
So get your queries ready! All the action will happen on this blog. You’ll need only the meat of your query (hook & mini-synopsis), and you only have 200 words (max). The submission post with instructions will go live on April 28 12:01AM EDT.
Have questions? If you have questions for the Spencer Hill Contemporary editors they will try to answer all questions on the hashtag #SHCpitchQ on April 21. Please DO NOT pitch them on the hashtag. And please DO NOT tweet the editors directly with your questions. If Rae or I can’t answer your question, then use this hashtag.