The Writer's Voice 2015: Query and first 250 words

May 20, 2015

I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity. I've been a fan of The Writer's Voice for years, and I'm excited to finally have a chance to participate. 


Dear Awesome Agent,

Ten-year-old Drew Horrible has always been a failure in his father’s eyes. As the son of the High Chancellor of Evil (who sometimes turns people into mice and feeds them to his cats—and that’s when he’s in a good mood), Drew is expected to follow in his father’s mean and nasty footsteps and one day take his place as ruler of the Outlander Realm. Unfortunately, Drew was never that good at being bad. Hoping to redeem himself, Drew sets off for the Outlander Academy alongside his perfectly evil twin sister. But even there, he struggles to pass his cutthroat classes—and if he drops too far in the school scoreboards, it could mean a lifetime of squalor and public shaming.

And, quite possibly, dragon poop-shoveling.

But when a deadly sickness spreads through the Outlander Realm, Drew learns a secret that could lead to a cure, but cost him future as heir—even evil Outlanders don’t tolerate treason. Looking to escape a future as Dragon Poo Drew, the villain-in-training finally has the chance to prove himself the rightful heir to the throne—if he can embrace his own kind of Horrible.

DREW HORRIBLE is an MG fantasy with series potential, complete at 64,000 words. Fans of THE WITCH’S BOY, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON might also enjoy DREW HORRIBLE. 

First 250 words:

Drew Horrible pulled his robe tighter around him. He clutched a small crumpled paper in his left hand as a chill snaked down his spine. The light from the cave ceilings above had dimmed to a soft glow, taking its warmth with it. But it was more than the frosty night air that set his teeth chattering.

“Fangs of Apollo,” Drew sighed, surveying his war-torn appearance. The hem of his new robes were torn to muddy shreds. His father would not approve, and now he’d have to sneak into the castle through the kitchens to avoid a vicious scolding, and he was already late as it was.

He gripped his paper tighter, taking cover behind a precariously leaning orange tree. Its fruit looked more purple-ish than orange.


Something else for his father to gripe about.

From Drew’s spot in the garden behind the scentless fruit trees, the castle’s eastern wall stood clearly visible. Light poured from the row of windows, where the banquet was surely almost underway.

Ugh. The banquet.

Drew brushed his hair from his eyes. Ever since he’d received his note that afternoon, a dull ache had clamped on to his head with relentless tenacity. Un-crumpling the note, he read his father’s words for the hundredth time:


All eyes will be on you tonight, so look sharp, and take care not to slouch like a Commoner, as you are so often in the habit of doing. Also, I have a surprise announcement concerning you, so you’d do well to pay attention.


  1. I want to call him Drew Adorable, because I find this utterly cute! Good Luck!

  2. Loved your query and 250! Good luck in the competition!

  3. Loved this right from the beginning. great voice and adorabley-evil premise! Good luck!

  4. my 12 yr old would love this story! Enjoyed your query. Good luck! :)

  5. oh if you need a middle school kid as a beta reader let me know :)

  6. Hey, thanks, everyone. :) So nice to have your encouragement! Cassandra, I might just have to take you up on that... I'd love to have the opinion of an actual Middle Grader! :)

  7. Love, love this premise, voice, everything. You must be the MG Nikki was Twitting about!

  8. Really, really love the sound of this. So sweet.

  9. Oh my! This is wonderful! Good luck!!

  10. I have a son who would love reading this with me! Good luck!

  11. Not in the contest, but stopping by to fangirl. This is so wonderfully ador-evil!

  12. You had me at dragon poop!! Seriously, this is great. A lot of suspense-- and a fun MC-- in those first 250. Best of luck.

  13. Hi Megan!
    This sounds amazing! Such a funny, clever idea, and the kind of awesome MG I love! I would LOVE to swap pages as a CP with you!!! I'll follow and DM you on Twitter! And good luck in the contest!!!! :)

    (Apologies if you see this twice, I don't think I was signed in right the first time. Oops!)

  14. Great opening! Good luck in the contest!

  15. Thanks everyone for your kind words and encouragement. Good luck tomorrow. I'm off to find an extra large bowl for chocolate ice cream, as we await tomorrow's results!!

  16. I love both your query and 250! Awesome voice! Good luck to you!!

  17. Hey Megan! I really loved your entry (I am all about villains!), but I didn't pick it because I've seen it in a few other contests already and I tried to pick entries that were new to make sure the agents got something they hadn't seen before. Plus, your query and opening are already so strong, I wasn't sure I would have much to offer you as a mentor! Just keep querying, and I'm sure you'll have great success with this! Good luck!