Thank you to all who entered; stay tuned to find out who our finalists are. 


Get in front of top YA Editors and Agents
with only the first 250 words of your YA novel!


Serendipity Literary Agency is hosting their eighth annual Young Adult Novel Discovery Competition.


Do you have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Have you been putting off pitching your idea simply because you’re not sure how to pitch an agent? No problem! All you have to do is submit the first 250 words of your novel and you can win exposure to editors and a reading of your manuscript by one of New York’s TOP literary agents Regina Brooks.

Regina Brooks is the CEO of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of  the award winning book Writing Great Books For Young Adults, now available in its second edition.



 In honor of National Novel Writing Month ( - an international event where aspiring novelists are encouraged to write an entire novel in 30 days - this contest is meant to encourage the aspiring YA author to get started on that novel by offering an incentive for completing the first 250 words.


Great Prizes

The Grand Prize Winner will have the opportunity to submit an entire manuscript to YA literary agent Regina Brooks and receive a full manuscript critique, plus a collection of gourmet teas from!

 The Top Five Entrants (including the Grand Prize Winner) will receive a 15-minute, one-on-one pitch session with Regina Brooks, one of New York's premier literary agents for young adult books.  They will also receive commentary on their submissions from editors at Scholastic, HarperCollins, Little, Brown, Macmillan, Sky Pony Press, Simon and Schuster, Abrams Books, Penguin Random House, Disney, and James Patterson’s new imprint, JIMMY Patterson.  In addition, they will receive a year's subscription to The Writer magazine!

First 50 Entrants will receive a copy of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. 


Here's How It Works 
Entering the contest is easy and the rules are simple. Entries are to be submitted via the contest website at Valid entries shall include the title and ONLY the first 250 words of your manuscript.
One entry per person; anyone age 14+ can apply. There is a $15 entry fee.  Open to the U.S. and Canada (void where prohibited).  Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01 am (ET) November 1st, 2017 until 11:59 pm November 30th, 2017 (ET). 


YA literary agent Regina Brooks and her team will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions.

 These submissions will then be read by the following editors: 


Tiffany Liao (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)

Sasha Henriques (Little Brown, JIMMY Patterson Books)

Hannah Allaman (Disney-Hyperion)

Kate Meltzer (G.P Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)

Courtney Code (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

Sarah McCabe (Simon Pulse)

Alexa Pastor (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Becky Herrick (Sky Pony Press)

Erika Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books For Young Readers)

and more... 

These judges will whittle the top 20 down to five winners, including a Grand Prize Winner. 

Winner Testimonials

“I never had much luck with query letters. Writing about my book was harder than writing the book itself! So when I saw the Discovery Contest, I jumped at the chance to let my book speak for itself. I was thrilled when I won…but not as thrilled as I was when I was offered representation. Getting my agent was just the start: what followed was invaluable revisions and development that transformed my book from a great story into an unforgettable journey. Shortly afterward, The Whitecoat’s Daughter was sold at auction, and is now due for publication with HarperCollins in 2018. We’re beginning work on foreign rights and talks with film agents and it’s hard to believe that all this started with winning a contest. I always said I just needed someone to read the book—not a query letter: the book­—and it turned out I was right. The Discovery Contest gave me the chance I needed, and I will always be grateful.” 

—Olivia Cole, “The Whitecoat’s Daughter”

(Renamed "A Conspiracy of Stars")


"I'd like to thank you and your staff for running the Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest.  I've had a YA story percolating for years and when I read the no-stress entry invitation to your contest and the amazing prizes offered, I decided to submit.  The best part of winning has been the incredible boost to my self-confidence that has extended to my writing.   I feel recharged and excited now when I sit before my computer.  My conversation with Regina Brooks and the editors' comments (taped to the wall above my desk) will continue to motivate me as I complete my manuscript.  Many, many thanks!"

—Karen Fortunati, "The D-Day List"

(renamed "The Weight of Zero")


"I’d copied and pasted the opening lines to my manuscript and clicked “send” before my inner skeptic could talk me out of it.  I promptly put Gotham’s YA Novel Discovery Contest out of my mind, since I was already flogging myself for dusting off a years-old manuscript and beginning the umpteenth revision.  It was my albatross, not an eagle, I told myself, and it would clearly never get off the ground. Then came Gotham’s email thanking me for participating.  Well, that’s a bad sign, right?  But there under the list of five finalists was my name.  I’m number five!  I’m number five!  I now have an agent and a publisher and my novel is a fact, not a fiction, and it’s due out in 2015. Oh, and my inner skeptic has taken to measuring my albatross’s wingspan."

—Anne Boles Levy, “The Temple of Doubt”
(The sequel, “The Well of Prayers,” published this year)  


“Proud to have been a winner of the 2013 contest. Expected publication: May 12th 2015!”

—Lori Goldstein, “Becoming Jinn”

(The sequel, “Circle of Jinn,” published this year)




“I ended up signing with an agent, she sold the book to Candlewick's Nicole Raymond, who served as one of the judges of the 2010 YA Novel Discovery Contest. Breakfast Served Anytime was published Spring 2014.”

—Sarah V. Combs, "Breakfast Served Anytime"



"After I won the YA Discovery Contest, Regina Brooks offered to represent me and she found the perfect home for my novel. Bright Coin Moon will be published on November 18, 2014"

—Kristen Lopresti, "Bright Coin Moon"