Wednesday, August 24, 2016

YA Contemporary Fantasy: PAPER SEEDS

Author's Name: Erin King
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Stage of Completion: Complete (A handful of full requests after a round of querying, now editing from agents' notes before resubmitting)
Preferred Critique Style: Straight to the point is good, but a little sugar now and then helps morale ;)
Cat/Dog: monkey
Tea/Coffee: herbal tea

Short Pitch

            Using magical paper seeds, Harlow grows teenage versions of Mr. Knightley, Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Gray, and Dracula (Drake) to be her (and her friends') debutante escorts. Harlow vows to use the boys to beat the debutantes (and her ex) at their own game by winning the debutante crown, and the cash scholarship prize it comes with, which she badly needs.

            Harlow passes the boys off as four rather eccentric foreign exchange students, and everything goes according to plan until Harlow learns that if she doesn't find a way to send the boys back, four other lives could be left hanging in the balance.

Writing Sample

If I hadn’t been standing in the same room as my dead grandmother, I would have whacked that boy in the man parts so hard, they’d be looking at pictures of his children in years to come and say– see the funny ear that kid has? Harlow Jackson did that.
But Jonathan took my hand and squeezed it, like he was bestowing some sort of warm comfort on me. He was wearing the gray shirt I'd saved up a week's wages for... the one that was the exact color of his eyes. Now, I wanted to rip it off him. And not in a good way.
I took a deep breath and tried to be civil. “Your parents will get used to the idea. I have a way of winning people over, you know.” I smiled my most becoming smile and flashed my dimple. Jonathan loved my dimple. Everyone loved my dimple.
He closed his eyes, like he was trying his best to resist me. “It’s not that, Harlow.”
“Then what is it?” I said, too loud.
Madison Bunting cocked her ear towards us as she scooped bean dip onto her plate at the food table. Nosey was not an adjective in this town, it was a given... just how people were.
I tugged Jonathan’s hand, and he followed me out onto the front porch. The sky was gray just waiting to burst open, and the air was extra thick. September in Georgia was not a cool, crisp autumn. It was more like standing over a pot of boiling pasta. Or maybe it was more like being the pasta.


  1. I love the way you write. I think we would work well together. message me @

  2. I should mention my own work is under "dreamscape".

  3. Hi Erin! I have a contemporary, too (though without fantasy elements). It's a little darker, but if you're interested, I'd love to exchange first chapters. I'm at about the same point as you--I've gotten feedback from some fulls and have made revisions based on them. I'd love to get some new eyes on my ms to see if the revisions did their job. :) If you're interested, my e-mail is valbodden(at)gmail(dot)com.

    1. Oops! Probably should have mentioned my entry is DROWNING IN AIR. :)


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