Title: Intergalactic Backpack
Age Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 45,000
Pitch: Epson’s never liked tests. Or stress. Or people, really. When an evil alien shows up in his backpack, Epson must face his fears and pass three deadly challenges to prove that humankind deserves to exist.
First 250 Word of Manuscript:
It was my first day of middle school, and my backpack wouldn’t stop insulting me.
Okay. I know. A talking backpack?
But, yeah. A talking backpack.
It was on the floor beneath my desk, face down. I wished it would shut up.
“Maybe odor and intellect are related in humans. Your tiny brain has to use more energy to conjure even the weakest thought, thus expelling copious amounts of burn-off in the form of sweat and pungent gases.”
I wanted to ignore him. That should’ve been easy since I didn’t understand half the words he said. His smug voice was so annoying, though, like a mosquito buzzing in my ear.
I shifted in my plastic chair and tried to listen to my teacher. There was nothing about Mr. Mattock or his classroom that was like elementary school. No warm-and-fuzzy stuff on the walls, no student artwork tacked up. Just four straight rows of desks, twelve deep. It smelled like a hospital and felt like a prison.
Mr. Mattock had already told us in his booming voice that he wasn’t one for “tomfoolery” or “monkey-business.” Yep. This guy didn’t have one chill bone in his whole body.
“The fumes are centralized in your armpits,” my backpack continued. “You slopped on gallons of that antiperspirant and it’s not working at all. Fun fact: You smell so bad because you’re issuing an apocrine sweat, easily categorized due to its location and foul odor.”
“That is a fun fact,” I muttered. What a jerk.