Oct 27, 2016

NoQS Agent Round: THE DOLL TRAIN - YA Contemporary

Name: Kasey Dallman

Twitter Handle: @kaseydallman
Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 60,000

My Main Character's Most Stressful Relationship is:

My MC, Marc, struggles to accept himself. When he is blamed in the death of his best friend it suddenly becomes very clear that his skin color is fueling the charges. From early on he has recognized that his skin sets him apart from his community. Marc's not ashamed of his color, nor should he be. But he does want to turn his skin color off, or better yet, shed it like a snake and build a new one that fits his town better.


When high school junior Marc Amazi witnesses his best friend overdosing, he knows a war has started. It isn’t just anyone who died. It is 17-year-old Anna Mason. The most stunning girl in the universe. Captain of the varsity basketball team. A blonde hair, blue eyed staple of every suburban community. And he has skin too dark and a haunted past that turns everyone away.

When Anna’s death is ruled an overdose and pills are planted in Marc’s toilet, he is charged with delivering the narcotics that killed her. As the justice system brands Marc by the color of his skin, the town doesn’t label him a friend in mourning. They label him a murderer.

After he is released on bail, Marc is trapped in a sea of online threats and harassment. A social media group is created to attack Marc. It doesn’t take long for it to manifest into physical acts of violence. As Marc prepares for his trial, he finds himself not only fighting for his life, but the lives of millions of people that look like him and face the same prejudices.

First 250:

Oct. 17

The night Anna died

Time doesn’t stop when the world is ending. It sticks together, every moment exaggerated, ticking by so dreadfully slow.

I watch the seconds unfold. The pavement slices my knee. Crimson drops stain the gravel. Still, Anna remains limp. A pretty little doll someone forgot to put back on the shelf.

It’s not possible to give one person every beat of your heart, every drop of your blood, every ounce of energy. To attempt something so foolish is suicide. Yet, for Anna, I’d do anything. Come back to me, I silently plead. Come back.

Her body is stretched out on the pavement. I attempt to pull her up from the ground. Shake her until she wakes up. But all 5 feet and 9 inches of her is dead weight. She slips back to the ground, her arms and legs nothing but gelatin.

Only seconds ago she was seizing. Her body possessed, dancing in shapes I never knew existed. My head collapses onto her chest, searching desperately for a heartbeat.

Then I hear it. A panicked roar pulses through my ear. But she is still. So very still. This horrendous symphony is only comprised of my pulse. Hers is…

Gone? It shouldn’t be a surprise. This is what happens to everyone I love.

Anna, please.


  1. Would love to see the first 50 of this - ashane@writershouse.com

    Alec Shane, Writers House

  2. *Scream* I would love to see the full ms. Please send to stacey@donaghyliterary.com as a word.docx attachment, include the query and synopsis in the body and use email subject Requested #NoQs YA Contemporary.
    Looking forward to reading your story.

  3. *Shiver* I would like to see the first ten pages! Please include the query and synopsis in the body of the email, attach pages, and send to alex@inklingsliterary.com with Subject line "#NoQS Request: [YOUR TITLE]." Thanks!

  4. Shriek! Please include query + pitch in the body of your email. Send to clelia@martinliterarymanagement.com including #NoQs in the subject line. Thanks!

  5. Shriek! Query + synopsis in the body of the email and first 50 as a Word doc attachment, please, to spquery@mcintoshandotis.com. NoQs in the subject line.

  6. SHRIEKING over here. Please send the first 50 at an attachment to mgya@LKGagency.com with the pitch in the body of the email. If you have a synopsis please attach that as well. Thank you.

  7. Shrieking! Please send the first 50 to rscherer@janerotrosen.com with Nightmare on Query Street in the subject line. Thanks!