Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Entry #43: NANNY MORTO


Genre: MG fantasy


MARY POPPINS meets THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, in a Middle Grade fantasy novel NANNY MORTO (25,000 words).
Only Eva and Phillip see the new nanny as a freaky skeleton - smooth skull for a face, bony fingers under the velvet gloves. Forget the park and playgrounds! Trips to the cemetery and visiting antique stores to collect seemingly random items become their new routine. Even so, the children slowly warm up to their peculiar caretaker.
However, Nanny Morto comes with a secret. She is here to earn her death angel wings and requires a few items in order to build her wings, including a soul of a child. Nanny Morto must choose one of the siblings in order to complete her task, and at the end of the summer - she does.

First Line

A clean chalk-white skull grinned at Phillip from underneath the black velvet hat adorned with a golden broche. 


  1. This sounds interesting. One thing stood out, would MG readers know what a broche is? I love that the nanny is really a skeleton that only the kids can see. How old are the children? Good luck!

  2. This is such an awesome concept and I can tell from your pitch that you've got the chops to pull it off. Just a few notes: I agree that "adorned with a golden broche" isn't the most age appropriate phrase. AND, you could make that first line so much more hooky if you ended it with "the black velvet of his new nanny." BAM! There's your hook, naturally woven into the first line. :) Just a suggestion of course, but do be wary of using phraseology that will put off your younger readers. Also, 25k seems on the short side for MG Fantasy, so that might cause you some difficulty during the query process. Overall though, this is a brilliant pitch and I would totally read more.

  3. I agree with some of the other comments but the one problem I see is 25,000 words for MG is low and as MG fantasy it should be closer to 50k. Otherwise it works.

  4. I am intrigued by this concept. I am curious about one thing. When the nanny makes her choice at the end, is there room for a sequel? This pitch seems to lend itself to that.

    25,000 is a super low word count, as the others have said. Good luck with this?

  5. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE (LOVE?) the concept but was the thrown by the last line because, er, she does? The impact is awesome but it loses conflict for me.

    Again, 25K may be a tough sell.

    Great job!

  6. I remember this from pitch wars and I love it!

  7. I really like this concept. But this pitch is all about the nanny. There isn't a clear MC for me to connect with and right now I'm not connecting with the nanny. I want to know a bit more about the children and what they plan to do.

  8. I love the concept here and the world definitely needs more MG horror (I loved John Bellairs as a kid - bring on the mummified corpses, antique lamps housing malevolent Babylonian deities, and clocks ticking down to the end of the world). I agree with Rena that I'd like to connect more with the kids in the story. What emotional stakes are driving them - sibling rivalry, a marriage in trouble? Also, I'd suggest moving the last line of the second paragraph into the third and keep it short and hooky: "The children slowly warm to their new nanny until they discover her secret. Nanny Morto wants to earn her death angel wings and she needs one of their souls to do it.

  9. Nice! Very creepily visual, but focus seems to shift from the children and their stakes to the nanny and her stakes? Maybe interweave both. Good Luck-


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