PitchSlam! Pitches from the Pensieve

FINDING BEAUTY

YA Contemporary

57,000 words

Hogwart's House: My MC Daphne is sooo Slytherin. She's cunning and ambitious, and in that ambition tends to hurt people she cares for to get what she wants.

(This is the first page as posted during the Nightmare on Query Street 2014 agent round.)

Pitch: Scarred beauty queen Daphne rages at hired-hand Isaac, but a mutual bet inspires her to a goal bigger than winning a crown.

(This was a Twitter pitch that got me a few favorites.)

First 250:

Jaime’s sweaty palm slid against mine, but I resisted the urge to pull away. The stage lights turned everyone behind them into one big blur, but the pageant judges were watching every little move. They saw everything, even the reflection from Jaime’s lip gloss as she silently practiced her acceptance speech. I kept my hand firmly in hers and ignored the way she wobbled in her heels.

My confidence grew as my gaze shifted back to the nearly invisible audience.

The judges had whittled the competition to just the two of us. If the girl from Greenville stood here instead of Jaime, I might have had a challenge. I might’ve been a little scared. They’d fallen for Jaime’s barely-legal swimsuit. Still, my plan to expand the local mobile food bank services topped her bubbly ramble about car washes and cats.

I had worked for months to prepare for the Carolina Blossom pageant. Every outfit was painstakingly selected. I’d practiced my speeches in the mirror and to my friends Sara and Krys until they could recite the words with me. The hardwood floor in my hallway featured a worn spot from its hours as a runway while I tested out gowns and heels.

For Jaime, it was about a spotlight and a crown. To me, it was far more. I’d eagerly have traded the past eleven years of tiaras and sashes for this one. This one title would take me straight to the Miss Teen South Carolina Pageant.

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