Thursday, October 27, 2016

NoQS Minion 10: METL, YA Speculative Fiction

Title: METL
Genre: Young Adult Speculative
Word Count: 70,000 

My Main Character's Most Stressful Relationship is:

Caden's most stressful relationship is with Dom, a Nobody at the Home for orphans. Dom is Caden's opposite in every way: he's large, cruel, and has no interest in Iltech – illegal technology. When Dom and Caden are adopted by the same man, Dom threatens to kill Caden if he doesn't find a way to get it called off. Caden tries to make peace with Dom by calling him "brother," but that just incites him even more. Caden wonders what happened to Dom's family, but he can't ask for fear of being smashed with Dom's favorite tool, the sledgehammer.


Thirteen-year-old Caden isn't even a Nobody. Sure, he's been stripped of his name and family like all the other kids at the Home, but while they get to sleep in beds under the same roof, he's an outcast who spends his nights in the horse stables, gazing at an illegal photo of the father he's never met.

Ever since the technological apocalypse, the Church has outlawed all metallic devices and remnants of humanity's advanced past. They fear angering Metl – Earth's artificial second moon, worshiped as mechanical god in the sky – and causing another disaster. Those who defy the Church’s sacred law are erased, and their children are sent to the Home to save their technologically-tainted souls.

But unknown to anyone, another disaster is looming. One night a fiery red X appears on Metl's surface, the same red X that now marks Caden's palms. This ominous development leads him to a horrible discovery: he's a human-robot hybrid created as a weapon to finish destroying the world.

If Caden is to unlock the purpose behind his creation, he realizes he must find his father, a near impossible task. Not only is he being hunted by the Twelve Apostles, an elite and ruthless team of religious police, but time is against him. Metl has started on an impact course with Earth and it's all his fault.

First 250 words:

Caden lined up with the Nobodies outside. All the other children were dressed in their best outfits – boys in clean trousers and white shirts, girls in sunny yellow cotton dresses – but Caden wore the only clothes he had, his stable-cleaning uniform. Rubber gloves, thick boots, and a heavy pair of denim overalls that hung loose on his small, wiry frame. He could never quite get the stench of horse manure out of them, no matter how hard he scrubbed.

The Nobodies formed an orderly row in the grassy front yard of the Home, a long steepled cottage built from a mishmash of wood donated by the town carpenters. Behind the Home rolled one hundred acres of farmland bursting with corn, potatoes, hay, grain and apples that the Nobodies tended, along with pens for chickens, cows, pigs, and horses. It was only noon, but the Nobodies had already spent a full day working the fields. Up at five, prayer at five-ten, breakfast of boiled eggs and potatoes at five-fifteen, and then outside to work by five-thirty wasn't an easy schedule, but it was better than starving alone in the streets.

Above them Earth's metallic second moon Metl shimmered bright in the clear blue sky.

Today was adoption day, the first in months. As soon as it was announced, Caden heard the same whispers that always preceded adoption days: everyone hoping they'd be picked. As usual, Caden wanted to join the excitement, but he couldn't.


  1. Shriek! I'd like to read more. Please send me the first 50 pages using my online submission form:
    Please be sure to enter the query contest name as #NoQS. Thank you.

  2. Thanks, please do email the manuscript my way!

    To tell you a little bit about our literary agency, which closes more deals for authors than any other agency worldwide:

    Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency located in New York City that originally formed in 2000. TMG represents over 1,000 bestselling and emerging authors in a range of genres of fiction and nonfiction, many of whom have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers Lists and have won major awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, The Booker Prize, and the L.A. Times Book Award, among others. TMG is one of the world’s leading, largest and most diversified literary agencies.

    For more than ten consecutive years, TMG continues to rank number one for sales according to in North America. TMG is the only U.S. literary agency to consistently be in the top ten in both UK fiction and UK non-fiction and has ranked as highly as number one in UK fiction deals.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,


    Mark Gottlieb
    Literary Agent
    Trident Media Group, LLC
    41 Madison Avenue, Floor 36
    New York, NY 10010
    (212) 333-1506

  3. Shriek! Please send the first 50 ages as an attachment to Please use REQUESTED: Nightmare on Query Street: METL in the subject line. Looking forward to reading more! Jennifer

  4. Shriek! Please send your query, first fifty pages (as an attachment), and synopsis to I look forward to reading more!