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Can You Hit a Perfect Pitch? Blogfest Contest

January 15, 2012 by Suzi

My entry for Brenda Drake’s Can You Hit a Perfect Pitch? Blogfest Contest.

Contemporary young adult
60,000 words

Sydney, a troubled foster girl, resents her wealthy classmates. Learning that the privileged kids’ lives are not so perfect thaws her cold exterior, but it may not be enough to open her heart to love.

Snow swirled and wet hair lashed at my face as the wind whipped through my worn coat. My ears tingled from the frigid air, but I stayed outside. The caseworker thought I was nuts, but I liked the cold. It numbed me… relaxed me. Besides, I couldn’t smoke inside—those were the rules.

My nerves were calm now and as I finished my second cigarette, Jim pulled up in a dark Mercedes. Cool—none of my former foster families were wealthy.

He must have left Lana at home, along with Brooke, the daughter I hadn’t met. This time the caseworker suggested placing me in a family with a teenage girl. As if me and Brooke would be close friends and my senior year would be the best ever. I was smart enough to know that would never happen. I just needed to get through these last six months with the Claytons, and then I’d be on my own.


  1. Dana says:

    I liked your pitch – the only suggestion I have to is give her age and name.

    I loved your first 150 words, you gave just enough detail to help me understand what was happening and gave great insight into her emotions.

    Good luck!

  2. I really like both the pitch and the excerpt. I got a good feel for the MC’s voice, and I was never confused about where she was or what was going on.

    Great job and good luck!

  3. MB says:

    I like the pitch but I would call her by name,: Jane Doe, an aloof and troubled….

    Voice is apparent in the 150 words, which is good. I would read on. :)

  4. I think there is a typo. Maybe it should say “learns that privileged” instead of “learns the prileged ”

    Typo aside, this is really great.

  5. Amanda says:

    “The snow swirled and wet hair”—I’d take out the ‘the’, since we don’t know of any snow before this point.

    “but I still stood outside”—A bit wordy/too many ‘s’ sounds all together. ‘but I remained outside’ ‘but I stayed outside’, ect.

    “with the Claytons and then I’d be on my own.”—Missing comma between ‘Claytons’ and ‘and’, I think.

    Overall, I might keep reading. The writing needs a bit of polish, a bit of tightening, and the pitch is rather nebulous—I’m not getting any voice or information I can latch onto and get excited about from it. Anyway, good luck with this! :)

  6. I really liked your first 150– you pull us right into your MC’s state of mind!
    Great job!

  7. Pitch:

    maybe: “privileged kids’ lives aren’t perfect either” ?
    what are her persistent doubts about?

    I think your 150 are excellent! I’d definitely turn the page. :)

    • I’ve been re-working and when I repost my new version for the agent, the persistent doubts reference is out. I guess I didn’t have enough words to explain, but it’s her doubts about fitting into the life of the guy she likes–one of the privileged.

  8. Thank you everybody for your great comments.

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