Thursday, March 29, 2018

10TH BIRTHDAY BLOGPITCH #14: YA Contemporary

GENRE: YA Coming of Age with Adventure and Romantic elements

With the help of a Chippewa-Indian classmate, sixteen-year-old Olivia escapes from Wisconsin and her father’s violence against her and her mother. On their danger-filled, cross-country motorcycle adventure, Olivia falls in love and learns self-defense. In a Thelma and Louise showdown, she faces false arrest, and later, death when her Vietnam-PTSD-grandfather shoots her. Olivia must decide: find Forever and a life away from her toxic family or return home to save her mother (80,000 words).


  1. I'd read the heck out of this book. It sounds amazing. :) I'll make a few suggestions: 1) Don't give away the ending! You can use the Thelma and Louise comp at the end or at the beginning instead, if you like. I'd nix that entire sentence and work a little of it into your last stakes sentence. 2) Make the "falls in love" and "learns self-defense" a little more specific. ie. "falls in love with a dark-haired boy with a penchant for driving too fast" and "fights off a motorcycle gang with new judo moves and a tire iron". 3) The stakes sentence. I'd suggest rewording this to incorporate some of the sentence before. ie. When Olivia's dangerous grandfather catches up to them, she must decide whether to return home to her toxic family and save her mother or run toward Forever with the love of her life while risking her grandfather's violent wrath. Good luck with this! I selfishly hope it's on shelves one day. :)
    -Gail Nall

  2. I always advise against making the goal a single decision because it's hard to sustain 80K words with something that takes about two seconds. Is her goal here really to decide what to do? If it is, your story ends with the decision. I'm guessing your story is more about implementing that decision and the decision itself is just her internal conflict along the way.

    Oh, and I would suggest you change the word "death" to something else unless she actually dies. Maybe say "mortality"? Also, don't use "PTSD" as an adjective. It's a serious mental health issue, not a hair color.

    Good luck!

  3. I think you should focus on one thing: Olivia growing up. The part about her escaping her father is the most compelling aspect, imo. What does this mean to her? How did she feel about leaving Mom behind? Is she driven to go back and why?

  4. This manuscript sounds so interesting. I have a few questions. Are both of the teenagers Native American? If so, please weave that into your pitch. I don't understand from your pitch how she gets shot by her grandfather. Does he live somewhere different than her parents? Does the grandfather side with the abusive father?

    Just a few changes and your pitch would shine!!!!