Auntie B’s Book Club Contest

Aunty B's Book Club Contest

Aunty B's Book Club Contest

I have decided – with much angst and excitement – to enter Auntie B’s Book Club Contest. In order to do so, I must provide a 35-word pitch (logline) and the first 250 words of my manuscript. These entries will be judged by Brenda Drake’s teen book club, and the girls will pick the top three that caught their attention – the ones they’d pick up and buy in a book store.  Pretty awesome opportunity to get an opinion from my target audience, don’t you think? 😀

I need to email my entry to Brenda by 11.59pm EST Wednesday 20 July (that’s 1.59pm Thursday 20 July in Bris-Vegas). So, before I do that, I’d like to get your feedback (gulp!). Below are the details of my entry. Let me know what you think!

Title: Tangled
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Genre: YA contemporary
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Pitch: Uni is supposed to be fun. But for country teenagers Ceara and Seb, adapting to inner-city life seems impossible. As secrets are uncovered and relationships shattered, they’re confronted with the hardest decisions of their lives.
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Excerpt
Leo
This day’s black fate…

For the first time since I was twelve, my bedroom walls were stripped bare. Only one poster was left to take down – a close up of Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo. I’d left it till last on purpose. The rest of my posters I was chucking out, but this one was coming with me. If I got in trouble from our landlord for one stinking poster, so be it.

I climbed up our wobbly aluminium ladder till I was level with the poster then reached over and peeled the blu-tack from the wall. The final corner was a little out of reach so I went up on my tiptoes, but just as I grabbed it, I lost my balance and slipped. I gasped as a jagged line ripped through Leo’s face and half of him fell to the ground, landing next to my packed suitcase.

‘No,’ I moaned, gripping the ladder so hard my hands hurt. Everything was going wrong today. First I’d broken the antique picture frame Mum gave me for my seventeenth birthday, now this.

Hot, angry tears filled my eyes as I climbed down the ladder, grabbed the poster-half, and ripped it into pieces.  What the hell was I thinking, going ahead with this crazy move? There was no way it was going to work; I should’ve put an end to the idea the first time Mum mentioned it. But I didn’t, and now I was moving into a share-house with Cindy Carter and Robert Grey – two people who thought I was as worthwhile as a smear of dog crap on one of their shoes.

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15 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Tangled, Writing, YA fiction

15 responses to “Auntie B’s Book Club Contest

  1. Hey Cally – love the excerpt! Your pitch is good, but I recently read an article in Writer’s Digest that I found very helpful and you might too. Check out http://www.writersdigest.com/article/thrillerfest-2011-pitch/ It’s all about making the most of your pitch and gives examples of how to give your pitch more emotionally pull. Let me know if you find it helpful 🙂

    • Thanks for the link, Susanna. It’s got some great advice. The challenge I find with *Tangled* is having two main characters with two lots of different challenges. It’s hard to be specific in the pitch without leaving half the story out! Maybe I need to look at other books with two equally main characters and see how they’ve tackled it. Can you think of any books with two MCs off the top of your head?

  2. wyndwhisper

    loved the excerpt, i think it sounds like a great pitch. IMHO you shouldn’t have any problems with the contest. 🙂

    trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

  3. Great excerpt, love the voice, and I’m clued into some of her challenges right away. I would work on the log line to change the vagueness of the last sentence to be more specific. ;-).

    • Thanks, Christina. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

      I agree, the log line is far too vague. The challenge I have with Tangled is that it has two equally important main characters, and the novel shifts between their two stories. While the stories cross over, they’re also separate in a lot of ways. Because of this, it’s hard to be specific in 35 words without leaving half the story out! Maybe I need to look at other books with two equally main characters to see how they’ve tackled it. Can you think of any books with two MCs off the top of your head? Thanks again for your feedback!

  4. ❤ Love this excerpt! I can't wait til I can read the whole book!

    Good luck in the contest!

  5. I absolutely loved your pitch. It flows so much better than mine does. I’m not crazy about the big opening at the end of it, (decision of their lives) but overall, I like it. Your exerpt is great. It brings me back to when I was a young girl. Really strong characterization, and I think a lot of young readers will be able to identify. Good luck!

    • Thanks so much, Jennifer! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. The more I read it, the more I dislike it. It’s far too vague! lol

      I’m happy with the excerpt though. 🙂

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt but the pitch is vague. I’m not sure what’s really going to happen. Also, is it told from two POVs? If not, you may want to limit the focus of the pitch to the main character’s struggles. Good luck in the contest. The writing is strong. My heart broke for her when she ripped her Leo poster.

    • Thanks, Shelli. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

      I agree, the log line is far too vague. But yes, Tangled is told from two POVs, and they are equally important. The novel shifts between their two stories. While the stories cross over, they’re also separate in a lot of ways. Because of this, it’s hard to be specific in 35 words without leaving half the story out.

      Maybe I need to look at loglines for other books with two equally main characters to see how they’ve tackled it. Can you think of any books with two MCs off the top of your head? Thanks again for your feedback!

  7. Pingback: Help me choose the best pitch! | Cally Jackson Writes

  8. Oh Cally, I love this. Can’t wait to see it in print!

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