, ,

#KT250 is a Kite Tales quarterly community contest! We’re proud to announce this quarter’s winners and share the first 250 words of their unpublished manuscripts. We encourage agents, publishers, and mentors to reach out to any they find intriguing!

To find out how YOU can enter for next quarter, check out contest info hereEntries are now being accepted for next quarter!


ANNE LOADER MCGEE for The Unfortunate Fate of Maggie Barron, Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Prize: Gift certificate to Los Angeles’s The Last Bookstore

Author Bio: AnneLoader McGee is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and also a long-standing member of SCBWI. She has studied writing at both the American Film Institute (AFI) and UCLA. As an award-winning writer, Anne has penned historical fiction, mystery books, and vocal instructional books for kids and teens.She is originally from New Zealand, but now makes her home in California.

First 250 Words: 

London 1814

The night seems endless as the horse-drawn carriage carries us swiftly through the foul-smelling back alleyways of London, far from the House of Hathaway. The stench of rotting garbage and foul gutter wastewater overwhelms me. Mr. Tindell, the family’s solicitor who sits opposite, has offered no explanation for our hasty departure, nor stated where we are going. After drawing the window shades he sits silent and grim.

More than an hour has passed since being banished from my place of employment and still I shiver, reliving the Mistress’s relentless tirade as I stood in her stuffy over-heated parlor.

“You willful, scheming, ungrateful trollop,” she chastised, her face flush with anger as she tugged violently on her already strained bodice. “I employed you not only out of the goodness of my heart, but out of gratitude to your mother for her long years of loyal service to me––” She stopped abruptly as if choking on her words. “How do you think she will feel once she learns of your crime?”


I had not considered loving her son a crime. I felt shame at the Madam’s harsh accusation, but I refused to lower my head. I had done no wrong and I would not allow this wicked woman to make me believe so.

This is the way you repay me then?” she suddenly cried, her voice rising thin with frustration. “Corrupting my innocent son with your sinful ways––”

Learn more about Anne or contact her to request her manuscript via: Website: www.annemcgee.com; Twitter: @AnneMcGee; Instagram: @annemcgeebooks; Facebook: @anne.l.mcgee.7; email.



HILDE GARCIA for Wet Foot, Dry Foot, Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Prize: Honorable Mention

Author Bio: Hilde Garcia writes YA historical fiction, including her current project: an account of the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. She is currently the 4th grade Dual Immersion Spanish language teacher at Disney Elementary School. She has 14-year-old twins, a wonderful husband, and a cool dog. She leads a hectic, but happy life in Burbank.

First 250 Words:

My tits are freaking huge. I’ve tried to make them stop growing, but it’s like they have a mind of their own.

And it’s not an easy topic for discussion especially when mom buys me the next bra size and my brother makes lewd jokes.

“¡Estrella!” Who needs an intercom in a nine-hundred-square-foot apartment? I walk into our kitchen in the time it takes me to yawn again. Our kitchen seems shoved into the layout, like they forgot to include it initially, but at least it doesn’t have roaches like we had in our last apartment.

Desayuno.” Breakfast- ugh. A glass of milk, toast, and cereal.

“No, thanks.” She knows I hate milk.

“No milk, no school.” Mom doesn’t smile.

Whatever, I swallow. It’s like sweet vomit. I almost barf and I don’t finish it.

Our thrift-store, faux Formica kitchen table is complete with four vinyl chairs that stick to your butt when it’s hot which is always.Two women fighting over a parking space compete with the loud garbage truck. It’s live theatre and I have front row seats. The window’s not open, but Cubans are loud and the walls are thin.

The blare of Radio Martí from next door gives another update on the recent Cuban arrivals. Same news all summer: “Refugees have arrived at Key West. Call Krome Detention Center for more info.” There are hostages in Iran and boycotted Olympics. Does the news always have to be about Cuba? If you live in Miami, it does.

Learn more about Hilde or contact her to request her manuscript via: email.


TERRI ROE-CUNNINGHAM for Out After Midnight, Middle Grade, Mystery

Prize: Honorable Mention

Author Bio: Terri Roe-Cunningham is an avid horse lover. Besides competing in reining and cattle sorting, she is a member of the LAPD Volunteer Mounted Cavalry. Terri is an active SCBWI member, pursuing her dream to write middle grade mysteries featuring a girl and her horse. Terri and her husband share their Los Angeles mini-ranch with three horses and a playful kitty.

First 250 Words:

Tracey jerked awake, a cold sweat chilling her body. Did I secure the latch on Badger’s stall? He could be running loose on the Fairgrounds. Her gut twisted at the nightmare image.

She remembered tomorrow’s gymkhana, raising her anxiety another notch. If he gets hurt, we’ll have to cancel, and we’ve worked so hard. I’d better check on him.

She slipped out of her bed in the RV, careful not to disturb her aunt and uncle in the overhead bunk. Dressing quickly, she caught a glimpse of the digital clock. One A.M. She knew Aunt Evelynn wouldn’t want her out alone at this time. But this was Central California ranch country, not Los Angeles, and at thirteen, she could take care of herself. As she always had.

She stole out the RV door. The heavy summer night air hung over the fairgrounds like a dark blanket. It was deadly quiet.

She jogged through the overnight RV parking to the Competitors’ Barns, where the family’s horses were stabled. At her approach, Badger lifted his head, greeting her with a soft nicker.

“Hello buddy,” she whispered, kissing his deep bay muzzle on her special spot, right where his white stripe ended. She checked his stall door. It was latched. Of course.

She buried her face in his thick mane, relieved, yet feeling silly, having panicked. She had done that a lot in the last two years since her dad was gone.

Learn more about Terri or contact her to request her manuscript via: email.


To find out how YOU can enter for next quarter, check out contest info hereEntries are now being accepted for next quarter!

For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become an SCBWI member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.


#KT250 original photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash. Terri Roe-Cunningham photo provided by Madeleine Rose Photos. Other author photos provided by their corresponding authors.