Friday, September 18, 2015

WI #10 - DIA DE LOS MILTON, YA Contemporary

Word Count: 58,000 words
Genre: YA Contemporary
Systems of Oppression: homophobia/racism
Author's Identity: [removed]/white

Fifteen-year-old Enrique “Reek” Wronski has always counted on his know-it-all brother for advice. The trouble is: Milt’s been missing for days.

The LARP-loving, star-gazing, National Geographic-collecting Milton—whose kind spirit and boy-band looks make him the most popular geek in town—is a responsible high school senior with a perfect GPA, so it’s hard to believe he could ever get himself into any real trouble.
But then a search party finds his body in the woods.

There’s a weird silence about his death too—like people don’t know what happened, or don’t want Reek to find out. So Reek heads to the woods for answers, seeking solace amid the trees.

While hiking the trails in search of Milt’s Last Place, he and Jav—Reek’s best friend (and maybe—no definitely—more)—meet a girl in a purple robe with a talent for eavesdropping. She shows them the place Milton’s body turned up, and together the friends uncover the truth about a drug dealer named Curtis, a rogue cop, and a covert operation gone horribly wrong.

With the help of a local landscaper, Reek and his friends begin construction on a monument to Milton that will double as an ofrenda for a Dia de Los Muertos celebration.

But when you invoke the spirits—and sleep with your friends—not everything goes as planned.

First 250:

None of us are talking since the cops showed up last night. We’re sitting around the breakfast table, tipping soggy spoonfuls of cereal back into our bowls because we can’t quite get it to our mouths. Cassie, my little sister, is reaching for the cereal and sulking, even though she should probably get some sort of prize for being the only one that’s even tried to make conversation today. Maybe she’ll find one in that box she’s opening.

“It’s not fair!” she moans, pouring another bowl of cereal. She points at the milk and I pass to it her. When she sloshes it all over the table, I hand her some napkins too.

Dad slits his eyes. Mom closes hers—I can practically hear her eyelids scraping shut.

“It’s just rude—so rude!—to cancel at the last minute like that!” Cassie bangs her spoon on the table like she’s a judge hammering out a verdict with her gavel. If she’s the judge, then mom and dad are on trial. And they’re guilty. Of ruining Cassie’s weekend. And, possibly, her life.

She’s nine, the official age of the Drama Queen.

Mom scoffs, white-knuckling her coffee. She still hasn’t opened her eyes. Her mouth is tight and her face is pale and angry—so pale that even her freckles look tired today. She leans forward and a section of her gingery hair falls into her cup. I don’t think she’s washed it for days.

She looks kind of crazed and desperate-looking, and if I didn’t know better, I’d think she was on drugs—other than the coffee, I mean.


  1. I would love to see the first 50 pages of this as a word attachment.

    Please send it to querycaitie (at) lizadawson (dot) com with "Write Inclusively Request" in the subject. Please include this query in the body of the email.

  2. I'd love to read the first 50 pages of this. Please send the pages as an word document to courtney at pippinproperties dot com, and include this query in the body of the email. Looking forward to reading more!

  3. I'd love to read more of this. Please send query + 25 pgs pasted in body of email to thao at dijkstraagency dot com and add "#WriteInclusively" somewhere in the subject line.

  4. I'd love to see more! Please send the first 50 pages of your manuscript (rounded to the nearest chapter end) as a word document attachment to And if you don't mind, please include your query letter on the first page of word doc. Thanks!

  5. Hi! I'd love to see more! Please send the first 100 pages and a query along to laura @ redfofaliterary[dot] com.
    Please put the hashtag in the subject line!

  6. Hi there! I'd love to take a look at more of this. Please send a query, along with the first 50 pages as a Word doc attachment, to Be sure to put "Write Inclusively Request" in the subject line. Thank you!

  7. Hey! Congrats!

    Adriana Dominguez would love to receive your full query (including author bio) and first fifty pages!

    Send to adriana(at) fullcircleliterary (dot) com, and mention the "Write Inclusively Contest" on the subject line.