Sunday, March 2, 2014



Category/Genre: Upper MG fantasy/adventure

Word count: 46,000


Thirteen-year-old Persephone Stone stumbles across a terrifying secret: DarkenWear Inc., the hottest fashion label on earth, is imprisoning magical creatures from another realm in its clothing and accessories. Unicorns live in jacket linings. Dragons warm the fingers of gloves. Goblins lurk in the shadowy folds of skirts. And it’s up to Persephone to free the innocent lives.

But the arrival of a mysterious storm and a green-and-white-haired boy conjures lost memories and Persephone discovers that the scar on her arm is actually a dragon bite. She’s slowly transforming into a fire-breathing monster. Not good, considering dragons top DW’s list of exotic materials for their upcoming collection.

Persephone must tame her inner dragon, stop production, and expose the fierce, feathery fashionistas for what they are—nasty, no-good harpies—before she and every other enchanted creature are transformed into designer handbags and fabulous pairs of shoes.

First Page:

The vortex howled around the dilapidated Calvin Coolidge Middle School, throwing crows against the glass and filling the air with feathers. The old panes rattled in their paint-caked frames, drawing every student’s attention away from their Edgar Allen Poe projects and toward the tall windows of the eighth-grade humanities pod. The sky turned a ghoulish shade of gray-green and the room shook with the rumble of thunder.
Persephone went back to splattering red paint on her papier-mâché rendering of The Masque of the Red Death, trying to put the storm out of her mind. She grimaced and pinched the silvery swirl of scar tissue that peeked out from underneath the top of her arm warmer. The dead skin burned and itched with newfound intensity, its first feelings in five years. She relived the accident inside her head until her thoughts became spoken words. Storms create lightning. Lightning makes fire. Fire ruins lives. It happened then, and it could happen now. “Storms conjure change.”
“Huh, what did you say?” Kendall turned in his chair, his gaze fixed on Persephone.  
She noticed him looking at her bad arm and scowled from underneath her dark razor-edged bangs. “I dare you to stare at me a second longer.”
 “Sorry.” He looked down, flashed a smile, and tousled his mop of chestnut hair.
Ignoring Kendall and the tingling pain, she pulled the striped woolen sleeve back up to cover the wound. He just can’t help himself. Nobody can. I’m so hideous.


  1. What a fun idea! Your pitch had me giggling. I'd definitely be interested in reading more.

    1. To the mysterious Madame Z, thank you for reading my piece. What a wonderful first comment, I’ve read it about 20 million times — I’ve been checking the site 20 times an hour and it greets me every time.

  2. Very imaginative! I love monsters and mythos. In the first paragraph, is the magical world a surprise to her? Or is this a thing everyone knows? Perhaps "another unknown magical world"... I am assuming Persephone stumbles upon this and her current world is "normal"? And WHY are the magical creatures being used in the clothing? As an enhancement? Or just a secret way to trap them? I would change last sentence in first paragraph to "And it's up to P to set them free" or "up to P to save them" ... it sounds awkward as stated right now. Or perhaps to free the innocent creatures? The rest works for me, very fun!

    I like the opening too. Very descriptive and grounds us immediately. The mystery is already set when she mutters about the storm. I'd change sentence to: He looked down, FLASHING a smile, and tousled his mop of chestnut hair. Otherwise your sentence is set up with LOOKED, FLASHED, TOUSLED. But that's me being particularly nit picky. Other than that, I like the opening page!

    Hope my comments helped a little and good luck!

    1. Thank you for the feedback. Your comments can never be too “nit picky.” It’s exactly what I need. Thank you for taking the time to read and help me improve my piece.

  3. Loved the pitch. Tells the story in a way that makes me ask questions and want to read to find out.

    In your opening, I would like to feel more of what your character is feeling. This is the first time she's had feeling in her arm. What's her immediate reaction? I think she'd be more focused on freaking out than how hideous she thinks the boy thinks she is. Turn some of that inward, so we empathize with what is going on a little more. It's big no? Make it bigger!

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  5. Thank you for the feedback! That's a great character observation and suggestion. I'll play around with that. I hope you'll see the update in the next round!


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