Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Writer's Voice Entry

I have the chance to participate in the Writer's Voice Contest this year! Here is my entry for the contest judges.
QUERY:
               Please consider my middle-grade novel, A PRETTY PIRATE PICKLE, which is a coming-of-age Eloise set on a cruise ship instead of the Plaza Hotel.
The luxury cruise ship, Scandinavian Sapphire, only survives the high seas because eleven year-old Liza, daughter of Captain Owen, checks for icebergs every sunrise, sends POGs (pukey old guys) to the ship’s infirmary, and rids the ship of any and all vermin—particularly the peg-legged, eye-patch-wearing type of vermin.
Her mild obsession with the bestselling Pirates and Princesses series has no connection to her suspicions that Henry Weston, the “resident guitarist,” is a bona fide scallywag schooled by Blackbeard himself. And he’s in love with Liza’s aunt Mel, who looks past Henry’s Jack-Sparrow-like qualities and sees only roguish handsomeness, a rawther lovely British accent, and charm more sparkly than the ship’s million-dollar jewel exhibition which Liza is sure Henry’s after—because nothing says “pirate booty” like crown jewels from every country in the Baltic.
Mysterious meetings in Denmark, too many “band practices,” and alleged tampering with the security cameras has Liza convinced her suspicions are correct, and there is nobody to help stop the heist except Tilly, her friend-of-the-week, and Liza’s iguana, Iggy—who, face it, can’t help her because he’s a lizard. But Liza is determined to save the ship, her daddy’s hat, and Mel from the evil clutches of dread pirate Henry.

FIRST 250:
Only one obstacle lies between me and the front-most tip of the ship. My fingers wrap around the handle of the wooden sword hanging from my belt. A brigade of blood-thirsty pirates I can manage. Even an ultra-sonic super villain with x-ray vision. But these two gangly man-boys from the theater playing basketball on the sports deck? My dad would ground me for a week if I maimed a member of his crew.
I take a deep breath of the briny sea air gusting by me and whipping at the rolled-up maps under my arm. Having just raced through the ship—using only practical short cuts such as the grand staircase banister—these guys could have an edge. I nod to the neon-suited ladies from Kids Club circling the jogging path. I may need witnesses if this ends ugly.
I unsheathe my sword just barely—ready for the draw should they dare strike first—and walk through the game. One of the players stops the ball with two hands then cradles it under his arm. The other looks at me with raised eyebrows and a half-smile. “Oh. Are we in your way?” he asks.
With the quickness of the finest swordsgirl on the seven seas, I withdraw my weapon. Its blunt but intimidating wooden tip hovers between them and me. And they have the nerve to laugh.
“I’ll have you know,” I say in my deepest and fiercest belly voice. “I have a ship to save today. And no swashbuckling scallywags are going to stop me.” 

26 comments:

  1. Pirates and cruise ships? I love the sound of this! Good luck!

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  2. This definitely sounds like a load of fun. You've got a great middle grade voice (which is hard to do, I know), and with your first 250 I'm drawn right in to the MC.

    Good job and good luck!

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  3. I really like the voice in this. :) Good luck!

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  4. I want you! The concept is unique and so, so marketable (I can totally see a publisher turning Liza's adventures into a high-seas series!), and the voice. The VOICE! We call this "The Writer's Voice" precisely because it's the most important element of writing, and you have it in spades:)

    I do think we can streamline the query a bit to get to the heart of the story a little more quickly and clearly, but I can already tell you'll be more than up for the challenge based on the writing in this sample. I'd love to have you and A PRETTY PIRATE PICKLE on my team!

    Please, please, please pick me! *falls down on hands and knees*

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  5. I love your premise, a pirate girl how fun! I enjoyed your opening 250. What a fun MG piece!

    Congrats on getting picked!

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  6. Love the concept - Eloise on a cruise ship! I could envision it in my mind immediately! And the voice in the first 250 sucked me in. Great job!

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  7. Pirates! That is theme that can never be retold too many times. Love your twist with young girl pirate protagonist. Good luck on the competition.

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  8. Such great voice! I'd totally pick this up and read it if I saw it at Barnes and Noble!

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  9. This sounds so fun! Best of luck!

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  10. Congrats on getting picked and best wishes for success:) I loved Eloise, and my daughter does, too!

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  11. Pirates are awesome! Great concept and congratulations on getting picked! :D

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  12. This is adorable - an MC to fall in love with! Congrats on getting picked ~ :)

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  13. I love this! I totally want to read more! :) The concept is so adorable, and the voice is perfect!

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  14. I love all the Eloise movies. What a great idea to move it to a ship. Congrats!

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  15. LOVE this! Great voice and such a cute premise! Good luck!

    Side note: you may want to turn off captcha for the contest. Last year some folks/mentors had trouble commenting on captcha blogs.

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  16. I'm SO happy this one got picked. The voice and concept are so adorable.

    Good luck in the next round!

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  17. This sounds awesome and I SO want to read more. Love the voice!! And congrats on getting picked! Woohoo!!

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  18. If you ever need another reader for your manuscript, I'd be happy to volunteer! ;) (Seriously, I love this!!)

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  19. Sounds really cute and I love the voice too (and words like scallywag!) :)

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  20. LOVE this. I immediately wanted it to be a book so I could buy it for my niece. She'd love it too

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  21. Wow, Veronica. Thanks for the offer. I have a lot of hands in the pot right now, but such a willing reader is not something to pass up! You are on my list (that is always changing).

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  22. So cute! Would love to read more! Congrats and good luck :)

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  23. Such a fun book! Best of luck in Writer's Voice! Hoping for all the best for you. :D

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  24. Your voice sounds so fantastic! No wonder you got picked. I can totally see this on the shelves as a popular series. Congrats to you!

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  25. Love your main characters combination of spunk and imagination.

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