Sunday, February 23, 2014


Title: Becoming Hook
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytale Pre-telling LGTB


When sixteen year old James Allison (Jas) joins her Uncle Blackbeard’s crew, she has a plan: Find treasure and start a new life, putting living as a boy behind. But when conniving Tinkerbell strands them in dangerous Neverland and a flying boy stabs Blackbeard with a poisoned knife, instead of searching for treasure, it’s a cure. Captured by by Peter and the Lost Boys, all seems lost – until a native, Tiger Lily, offers help. In exchange, Jas and the pirates must never return. Their journey leads to friendship and something Jas can’t deny – she’s falling in love with Lily. As talk of war between the Indians and pirates brews, they race to find the cure amid interference from psychotic Peter. It’s jealousy that drives Jas and Peter towards battle and love that will tear Neverland apart. Jas must decide: Become the pirate she was meant to be or lose everything.

First sentence:

The long bandage squeezes my breasts but I pull it tighter – until the binding digs in and pinches my skin.


  1. This is such a fun concept. I love the whole Peter, Tinkerbell, Neverland thing. I think the the second sentence could be reworded; it's a little confusing as is. But the rest of the pitch is solid, especially the last sentence. I love it!

  2. I love the idea of a young woman becoming the infamous Captain Hook and with the popularity of books like Wicked that re-envision villains as misunderstood heroes, I'm sure this is a super marketable concept. So kudos on a fantastic idea. Like Heather, I found that second sentence confusing. At first I thought you meant the event was a cure for her desire to live as a woman and only later realized you meant that Jas needs to find a cure for Blackbeard. I also wasn't sure how Tiger Lily could offer help when Jas and the pirates are imprisoned by Peter. I found the second to last sentence a little vague and in general there's a lot going on. I wonder if it could be pared down a little bit. Also, I'm going to disagree with Heather about that last line. If the choice is between being who she is meant to be and losing everything it isn't really a gut-wrenching choice - obviously she would become who she was meant to be. It would work if the choice was between 2 conflicting desires: say save Blackbeard or escape Neverland with Lily by her side. Or you could get rid of the decision element and just say "Jas must become the pirate she was meant to be before she loses everything."

  3. You need hyphens here: sixteen-year-old

    I do love this, but I think it may struggle to find a home in the over-crowded retellings market.

  4. I love how you are taking on this fairytale and the great twist of Jas and Lily's relationship. I do think this pitch needs a bit of smoothing for tense, punctuation and clarity however. It gets a bit convoluted at the end, and I'm left wondering how Peter fits into Jas' storyline, and how big a part he plays in the whole "save the uncle" thing. How/why does jealousy sidetrack her need to get the cure? We just need to see a few adjustments to see how this all ties together. Thanks for sharing and good luck! :)

  5. Judge comment: Love, love, love the premise and the idea of Hook being a girl masquerading as a boy. Love the triangle too. One small tweak - instead of searching for treasure, it's the cure she has to find or something like that. I had to read that sentence a few times to understand. It kept catching me.


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