Monday, 22 October 2012

YA entry #20 - FLINCH

Name: Elizabeth Penney
Genre: YA contemporary thriller
Word Count: 45,000


The last weekend of summer turns into a nightmare for four teens targeted by a psychotic small town cop. Someone will die.


I strolled toward the carnage, the cool fall air caressing my bare skin as it brought the raw mineral scents of blood and gunpowder to my nostrils.


We missed the mayhem by fifteen minutes.

The Jetta’s gas light had flashed on, so we stopped at the corner market to fuel up. While Dani wrestled with the ancient pump, forcing it to squeeze out a few gallons, I went inside for a pack of butts.

Everything was as usual. The resident witch slouched inside her cage of cigarette and candy racks and lottery machines reading a gossip magazine. She scowled when I asked for Marlboro Lights, reluctantly sliding the cardboard case across the worn Formica counter.

She held out her hand. “5.50.”

I gave her a five dollar bill and two quarters along with a big smile, just to see her grimace in response.

Some people shouldn’t work retail, ya know?

At that point no one knew what had happened three miles up the road. The police scanner under the counter was quiet, burping out an occasional static hiss. Other customers carried their six packs and deli sandwiches and tall styrofoam cups of burned coffee up to the counter, nodding at me as I took my purchase and pushed my way outside.

Ten minutes later, we came up over the rise by the Stedman Farm and saw the tableau laid out before us like a still from a horror movie.

First I noticed the police department’s tan SUV and Etch’s black Sirocco nose-kissing in a shallow turnout crowded by dense woods. A dented and muddy white pick-up sat slewed behind them, hood almost in the trees.

**Please remember, only participating agents should comment on these posts for the duration of the contest. Any other comments, including requests from agents who aren't participating in Hook, Line & Sinker, are welcome AFTER the contest closes at 7pm EDT on Wednesday.


  1. I'll bite. Send the first 50 pages to me as a Word attachment to hawnqueries[at]thebentagency[dot]com, and put "HLS" in your subject line!

  2. I'll bite harder. Please email me your query and the first 50 pages as a Word document, with the subject line "HLandS Requested Material: FLINCH." Looking forward to checking it out!

  3. WANT! Send the FULL MANUSCRIPT as a Word .doc to Please paste a full query into the body of the email and put "HLandS Contest" in the subject line. Thanks!!

  4. So good, so good...please send more! Please paste into the body of your email: your cover letter, synopsis and first three chapters, and send to: Submissions(at)akaliteraryllc(dot)com. In the subject heading please state: HL&S - Requested by Terrie - with your entry number.

    Looking forward,


Commenting is for winners.