Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Genre: YA Contemporary


Shy girls don’t yarnbomb the school fence at dawn and they definitely
don’t skip school to hang out with Patrick Hayes- student council
president and vice-captain of the football team (not to mention, president
of his own fan club).

But then, best friends don’t usually resort to blackmail.

When fifteen-year-old Mabs Starling’s best (and only) friend, Olivia, goes
on exchange to Paris, Mabs receives a letter from her containing ten
impossible tasks, and an ultimatum: if Mabs doesn’t complete each and
every task by the time Olivia gets back, Olivia will send the poem she
stole from Mabs’ diary to the boy she wrote it about.
What's even worse than the possibility of him seeing that poem, or her
supposed best friend thinking that she's a friendless recluse who needs to
be blackmailed into getting a life, is having to admit to herself that it
might just be true.

First sentence:

Goodbyes are worse when you’re the one left behind.


  1. This sounds really cute! But It also sounds more MG than YA. I think we need to see a bit more of what the obstacles are besides her own shyness.
    I love the part about Patrick Hayes being the president of his own fan club lol.

  2. I like the premise of this, and imagine it's a fun read. Like Ellie, I think the pitch sounds a bit MG, or younger YA.

    I don't see the connection between Patrick and her friend blackmailing her. It's like the first paragraph is a different story than the rest of the pitch. I assume he's the crush, but it's unclear.

    If the tasks are impossible, how will Mabs complete them? Maybe they're nearly impossible? Overall, I'm unsure what the stakes are - admitting she needs a life? Completing the impossible tasks? Maybe make it more clear that her goal is to gain confidence in herself.

    Consider breaking up your sentences. Each one is very long and contains many thoughts. I had to read them through twice to fully understand what is going on.

    Best luck with the contest!

  3. I loved the opening line and the way it captures the feeling of loss when friends are separated in their early and mid-teens.

  4. I remember seeing this before in another pitch contest and I still love the concept! I disagree with the above about how this sounds MG. The premise surrounding blackmail strikes me as YA, of course it always boils down to the writing. Now, about your pitch. I think you need to make it clearer that Patrick is the crush. Also, your last sentence needs to be broken up. As it reads now, it comes across a little disjointed. I hope that helps. Good luck with the contest!

  5. I like this, don't ask me why... maybe it's the combination of the list of impossible tasks and the threat... anyway it works for me.

  6. I think the pitch sounds cute, and I really like the poignancy of your opening line. I do agree with some of the previous commentors that the tone of the pitch sounds a little MG, but I think the premise could be a really compelling story.

    Good luck!

  7. Really cool concept! My only comment is that this sentence could be better: "Olivia will send the poem she
    stole from Mabs’ diary to the boy she wrote it about." Its kind of confusing at first, and I'd rather hear the name of the boy she wrote it about. Maybe get a little more creative on how to tell us this part, especially since it's the real catalyst for the rest of the plot.

    Overall though, I think this is really cool. Good luck with it!

  8. Oh, how did I miss this yesterday?! Totally adding you to my vote list. Love the YA vibe of this. Love the sense I get that this isn't a betrayal on the best friend's part, but actually an intervention. I hope I get to see the first page in the next round because I'm really curious to see how the intro to the story unfolds. Well done!

  9. I love the sound of this, would definitely read it!

  10. THIS IS MY CP! You probably have more than enough of my opinion on this one. So I shall leave <3 <3 <3 instead. x

  11. I love this opening line. I'm not a fan of the opening pitch. I'd prefer to read a more fleshed out version of the last par.


Please leave your courteous and professional comments for the writer! We'd love to hear from you! : )