Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Author's Name: Lucy Hallowell
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary (LGBT)
Stage of Completion: Some polishing done
Preferred Critique Style: Straight to the Point
Cat or Dog: Dog
Coffee or Tea: BOTH

Short pitch

When Holmes Academy trades intellectual curiosity for censorship, first-year students Elspeth Fairfax and Robin Hardy fight back with an underground library. Facing expulsion if they're caught, they smuggle banned books into the school ​to hide in plain sight. 
​Before they get their library running, the school's librarian is murdered. In a school willing to ban books to placate a powerful family, the girls rush to discover what secrets lead to murder. 
​It's not the only mystery Elspeth is trying to unravel. As she develops feelings for Robin, she wants to figure out if Robin returns her growing affection.
Writing Sample

            As of today I am a co-conspirator.
Fighting back was Robin’s idea but getting in trouble, pissing off my parents enough for them to get the school to ban all these books, that part was all me. But Robin doesn’t need to know that this is all my fault.
My parent shouldn’t be surprised. If there is a better way to raise a liar than having my parents I'd like to hear it. They could train spies for the CIA. Smile and hold the knife behind your back. If I took Latin I could translate it for a family crest. They'd love that, actually.
The library is a strange place to stage a fight but this is the spot we’ve chosen. Robin works Saturday nights at the library and the upperclassmen love her for it. She doesn't look up when I get to the counter. She bites the side of her thumb and looks around the library instead of at my face.
"Hi," she says.
"Anyone else working tonight?" I already know the answer.
"No." She flicks her eyes to a girl watching a moving in a study carrels. I roll my eyes.
"She's not going to bother us," I say and step around to the other side of the desk. Robin walks off and returns with a chair for me. It's one of those heavy wooden ones with the school crest on the back in gold. My family has half a dozen in the rec room at home. They’ll buy one for me when I graduate. If I don't get expelled.


  1. I have an idea for an LGBT post-apocalyptic story. Not what I'm working on now, but I think it would be nice to work with you. My current story is under "dreamscape" and is a contemporary fantasy. If you are interested, message me at

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Love the premise and the voice of the main character (the knife part and family crest in particular!) I have an adult magical realism piece (set in our contemporary world) if you want to check it out. It is still in the early stages. Also a teacher, if that helps (or frightens! :-) My info's posted here:

    You can find me on twitter @mugs2thewind and a poorly kept blog at

    PS- The above deleted comment was me...was logged into my work account by mistake!

  4. I love this idea! I'm also working on a contemporary YA story in which the students fight back against their school (in my case, the students attend a high school divided into mini sub-schools that start to resent one another, then the students uncover a secret and have to fight the administration). If interested in trading chapters, I can be found at @KarynRiddle7 on twitter :) I only have a very rough draft at this point, I should note.

  5. Thanks everyone who responded! I don't read fantasy so I'm not a good match for that- I just don't know enough.

    Karyn, you can email me if you like to see if we are a good match
    Lucyhallowell30 at gmail dot come


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