Thursday, February 19, 2015


47,000 words
YA Magical Realism   


Jamison Moore is on a mission to break the spell placed on her by a pair of vintage, distressed jeans.

As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate. She's sick of being known as the most fashionable girl or the ‘token black girl’ at Sandsbury Preparatory School and she doesn’t have the funds or the heart to keep pretending to be someone’s she’s not. While Jamison puts on a wealthy facade at school, her parents are struggling to make ends meet.

Her best friend is no more because she couldn’t afford a pair of jeans, and in an attempt to make Jamie feel better, her dad gifts her a pair that unlock a very strange prophecy.

Although Jamison’s biggest wish is granted, her loved ones are suffering because of it. After she tries to reverse the spell herself, things only get worse… one disappearance at a time.

Chapter 1:

I wasn’t sure how much longer I wanted to keep up this facade.
Sarah Lynn Michaels, my best friend, made sure that we coordinated outfits for school EVERY day. At night before we went to bed, or first thing in the morning, we’d video call each other on our phones to discuss our outfits and made sure we coordinated (coordinated, but not matched) in some type of way. It was Sarah Lynn’s idea, her way of letting the student body know that we “reigned supreme when it came to fashion”.

It was a cute idea at first; people were always looking to see what we would wear next. It was usually me who picked out the outfit, and Sarah Lynn who styled her outfit to match mine. When we first met, Sarah was the only one that cared about fashion, but once we discovered that I was better at actually picking out the clothes, it kind of stuck.

But now, this routine was absolutely nauseating. I was sick of pretending to be someone I wasn’t, pretending to have things I didn’t, pretending to be totally invested in things I didn't care about.

Oblivious to my discomfort, Sarah Lynn was grinning at me through my cell-phone screen on our nightly video chat. She was trying to persuade me that black knee high boots and a mini leather skirt was an appropriate outfit for our private school. “You have the hips to fill it out!” was her argument for the leather mini.


  1. Love this title--and the idea of a pair of magic jeans is a cool one.

    Pitch: In paragraph 3, I'm not sure about the line "her best friend is no more because she couldn't afford a pair of jeans." Is the subject Jamie, or the friend (i.e. is Jamie shunning a friend who can't keep fashionable pace with her?) I need clarification on that.

    First 250: Great writing that flows well. But I wonder about putting all this in a scene? Show them parading about the school, the reactions of the other students, and then the fact that Jamie really is getting getting sick of this charade. Right now, because it's telling, it comes across as a bit static, until the final paragraph--when there is potential fashion conflict as well as a comment about hips!

    I would certainly read on because I like the idea, and you write well. Good luck!
    Michael (#15)

  2. Good Evening,
    It is a great play on words for the title. I am not a fashionista so this book would be more for my niece to read, so I am putting on my tween thinking cap.
    Has anyone ever said they were sick of being popular?
    Most fashionable seems to be a good thing, but then she is also called a derogatory thing. I am having trouble viewing her actual life inside her school.
    I would totally understand if they were calling her the 'token black girl' some of the adults in the book need to step up and squash that. YA racial overtones is something to be talked about in books with a well placed brushstroke. I would be careful using it as a selling point, or an underlying side piece to give the story some edge. My belief is that it is a topic you are speaking to find justice, or it is better left out. Just a caution; you are still gearing this artwork towards impressionable minds, your pen is powerful. (I haven't read the book, so I don't know where you go with it.)
    Plus if her friend is only her friend because she wears the right clothes... that girl needs to be to the curb anyway.
    Like the magic pants thing. There is something that really grabs me when there is an object with a power to do amazing things in it story line. How does she know that there is a magic power to the jeans? Who had them before, and what was their demise? I need to know about the peril that these jeans are causing.
    The writing does flow, but i need to know how she kept up the façade of being so hip and fashionable if she really didn't have anything to work with? I think you are on the edge of something that can really speak to teens in a positive way.
    Keep up the good work! Good Luck!
    Fellow Competitor and writing friend.

  3. I loved the voice and the fact that the main character is not a birdhead fashionista. And I really appreciated that the main character is African American. We need more diversity in novels. Although the first page was very telling, I enjoyed it a lot and wanted to read more. I think you could drop paragraph 3 and work more on paragraph 4 because the most interesting elements in the story seem to lay there, out of reach.

  4. Pitch:
    I also really appreciate that your character is Aftican American. This is exactly how we fix the issue of representation in the arts and in the media!

    I think you need a stronger action word in "her best friend is no more" and id like to know a little more about this prophecy. The second half of your pitch is rather vague, so perhaps try revising to be a bit more specific!

    First page:
    There's a lot of "telling" here and by enough showing. I agree that paragraph 4 is where things start to pick up, so maybe cut down on the exposition and really get into the meat of the story a bit sooner.

    Love the idea of the magic pants. Good luck!

    Domenic (#28)

  5. Pitch: I agree with the suggestion that you might minimize some of the things in the first half and expand the second half. Also the suggestion that few teens would be sick of being known as fashionable! You explain later that what she’s sick of is putting up a façade to hide the truth. That seems like the point to focus on, especially since it seems to lead to the inciting incident: getting the jeans. If her father doesn’t know the jeans are magic, you might leave out how she got them and explain a bit more about what happens afterwards. The new jeans being her biggest wish also seems to imply she’s not sick of being known as fashionable—just sick of not being able to live up to that reputation. That’s definitely a dilemma that would resonate with teens. One other quick suggestion: Saying her best friend “is no more” made me think the friend was dead.

    First page: This sets things up well and flows smoothly. No comments other than good luck!

  6. Pitch: I like the idea of a pair of magical distressed jeans! Very fun. Do you mean a curse placed on her rather than a spell? I think you need to explain how she has the funds to buy all the fashionable clothes if her parents are struggling. Does she have a job? Is she a scholarship student at her private school? Be aware that lots of kids of all races (my own included) receive financial aid at fancy private schools. That said, I can see how she'd feel exhausted trying to be a fashion queen when you consider all the demands placed on a high school kids- college, AP's, sports, music. It's endless. Throw in financial worries and she's bound to be stressed out. This line is confusing: "Her best friend is no more because "she" couldn’t afford a pair of jeans." The pronoun should refers back to the last person mentioned. Who is "she"? If her friend blew her off because Jamison couldn't afford a pair of jeans, then yikes! Doesn't seem like a friend worth having. But I can see such behavior being devastating to a teen. I think you need to be more specific about the prophecy and the stakes. Also, keep in mind that private school usually have uniforms, or if not, at least a dress code. I like your first 250. You do a nice job of capturing Jamison's voice. Best of luck. You have a great idea here.

  7. I like Michael's idea of showing Jamison and her best friend parading around in school in their fashionable clothes to show the readers what's been going on. Good luck!

  8. Pitch: I like the premise. The 2nd paragraph could be reworded for clarity: When Jamie can’t afford a pair of jeans, her best friend dumps her and in an attempt to make Jamie feel better, her dad gifts her a pair that unlock a very strange prophecy. I'd like a little more of the stakes: what connection is there between her loved ones disappearing (literally they are disappearing?) and her attempt to reverse the spell? The magic pants really sell the story so give us some more of the price she has to pay for them.

    250: I like this and her voice, but as long as you're describing their coordination in such detail, why not give us some hint of why it started? Accidentally? As Jamie's attempt to solidify the friendship? And as suggested, it might be better to show it instead of telling and could possibly be used to reveal Jamie's motivation for starting this in the first place.

    Good luck! (#38)

  9. Hi there, I like this cute story and a fun premise! One suggestion is that your first 250 seem to be more telling than showing. It's more of a summary of what they do to coordinate. You also use the passive voice more than I think is necessary. Perhaps stick us right in a scene rather and it would give you more ability to use the active voice. There is also some unneeded repetition in the first paragraph. Otherwise, I think you've got a great start and would definitely hook girls in this age range!

    Best of luck to yo!


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