Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Press Pitch Contest, Round 2

Woohoo! 151 has made it into the second (and final) round of GUTGAA's Small Press Pitch Contest! That means it will get some exposure with some fantastic Editors, who will offer both helpful feedback and (hopefully) MS requests. Check out my Entry #5, here.

Here is some of the great feedback that I've gotten from Rounds 1 and 2:

"This is BRILLIANT! I love everything about it. Seriously, you've hit it out of the park as far as I'm concerned. Way to go!" - Mystery Science Theater Geek (***This one is my favourite—ha!)

"So, I want to read this. Like now. No scratch that. I want to watch this movie.
Great job!" - Lyndsey Lewellen

"I like your query, but I had to read it twice to get that meaning of "one more" than 150. I'd find a way to explain with a sentence at the end of the first paragraph of the query." - Escape Artist

"I didn't really understand how the MC was "one too many". It sounds interesting, but you never really explain it... Leaking sewage in his hair...yuck! :)" - Lone Star

"I love the two opening sentences of the query, and I am really intrigued by the fact that Aeneas was one too many for the Colony." - Jenna Russo

I've since made a few tweaks to 151's query and first 150, check them out below and let me know what you think!

151 (YA sci-fi/fantasy, 82k words)


Seventeen-year-old Aeneas doesn't belong to a Colony. As the bloody scars on his back remind him, he was one more than needed: 151. When the band of pirates that raised him is slaughtered in cold blood, he finds himself lost, on the run, and worst of all, alone.

It takes the chance rescue of Casseopea, a girl from the Colonies, to make the running stop. Her ultimatum is simple: if she can track down the ancient and powerful Key of Ilium, she'll stay part of her Colony's 150. If she fails, she'll be banished for good.

But the Key is more than just a relic from Ilium's past. For Casseopea, it will be the edge she needs to spark a rebellion and free the members of her Colony. For Aeneas, it will not only unlock the secret behind his scars, but the startling truth about where he belongs.

First 150 Words:

“What d’you know of the Key, boy? Tell me, or you die.”

Aeneas looked up into the bulging brown and purple eyes of the man called Gore, one of the most powerful Titans of the Ilium Underground. His hair was drenched from the sewage leaking from above, and his wrists were cut by the metal chains that tied his arms behind his neck. The yellow scar that ran down the tip of Gore’s bulbous nose throbbed as the question hung in the air between them.

“The Key of Ilium!” Gore snorted when Aeneas didn’t respond. Saliva dripped from the sides of the man’s mouth and down his winding goatee. “Where is it?”

His mind clouded with confusion as he searched through his memories from the past 17 years. A shiver ran through his body. “Don’t… know anything about a key…”