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The Writer's Voice

Wahoo! I'm happy dancing that I made it into The Writer's Voice and could have the opportunity to work with the amazingly talented coaches Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Elizabeth Briggs, and Krista Van Dolzer. Thank you all for putting this contest together, and a huge congrats to all participants. Fingers crossed that this contest will lead to many agent requests!

Here's my entry:


Eleven year-old Ruby Bella Brown creates comics to cope with her wacky family, bullying ex-best friend, and a special needs little sister she’s determined to protect, even though she says the most embarrassing things. Still stinging from the day her best friend ditched her and killed all her friendships and beloved comics, Ruby keeps secrets from her new best friend, Julia. But when Julia discovers the truth about her crush, bra-tastrophes, and other humiliations, it looks like Ruby might lose her, too. The only thing Ruby wants as much as a forever friend is to go to art camp so her favorite cartoonist can help make her comics so amazing, even her ex-best friend can’t destroy them. Just as her dream is about to come true, Ruby needs to summon her inner superhero to protect her sister and Julia. But while trying to defend Julia, the special necklace she inherited from her grandmother breaks. Now, Ruby is forced to choose between the two things she wants most—art camp, or using the money she earned to help Julia, hoping she’ll be her forever friend.

The Comic Adventures of Ruby Bella Brown is a 35,000 word contemporary middle grade novel—Dork Diaries meets Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

I’m proud to have several pieces published in Highlights magazine, my humorous middle grade novel Mom Wars won an honorable mention in the 2014 Rate Your Story contest, and two of my manuscripts placed in the 80th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition. I'm the SCBWI FL Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, and a founding member of From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle-Grade Authors.


First 250 words:

I’d eat worms or kiss Stinky Gorman to make sure my eleventh birthday won’t be another suck-a-rama. Good thing I won’t have to do anything that awful. Now that Julia is my friend, this will be my best birthday ever. There’s only one thing that could ruin it...

Daisy smirks at me from across the room, making me cringe. There’s no way I’ll let my evil ex-best friend destroy another birthday. As the bell rings, I zigzag through the cafeteria and bolt into the hallway.

Wahoo, I did it. I head toward my first class.

“Ruby! I found you just in time.” Julia runs over and hands me a bag of jellybeans tied with a sparkly silver bow. “It’s 7:52. Happy birthday.”

“Aw, that’s so sweet.” I pop a cotton candy jellybean in my mouth, then tip the bag toward Julia. She eats a handful, and a blue chunk gets wedged in her braces. I point at the same tooth in my mouth and scrunch my nose twice. Our secret signal. A second later, the blue blob is gone.

Julia smiles and jumps around. “I got a letter from camp saying they changed the musical to Wicked. I can't wait! Did your parents sign you up for comic-drawing classes yet?”

I twirl a piece of hair tighter. And tighter.

“You’re going, right?”

“Well…my parents said it’s really expensive, but they know I want to go more than anything in the world. I’m pretty sure it’ll be my birthday present.”

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May. 25th, 2015 10:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Awesome Query and 250!
Thank you so much. :)


Mindy's head shot
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.


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