Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 2020 Pass or Pages Entry #2

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary and Tia Rose Mele of Talcott Notch Literary Services for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 2: The Way it Crumbles


Strapped for cash, a first year uni student rents out her apartment to her sexually active peers and one professor who just happens to be having an affair with the girl of her dreams[TRM1].

First year McGill student, Cassandra Baxter, wasn’t prepared for the cost of learning out of province. From tuition to housing, she’s facing a mountain of debt. She’s short on money, but not on machinations, and strikes up a scheme to rent out her apartment to peers in need of a private place for sex. Her financial situation taken care of, Cass turns her attention to wooing Finn, the girl of her dreams. It’s slower going there, stuck in the rut of a budding friendship, but Cass is willing to play the turtle to prove that they are soulmates.

When Cass’s Moral Philosophy professor learns about the apartment, he offers a new deal: exclusive use in exchange for an ‘A’ and a job working as his T.A. next term. It’s a little creepy, sure, but it’s a better deal than the one that has Cass nightly wondering while strangers romp around in her place. Or so she believes, until she learns that her professor is having an affair with Finn. A discovery that has her grappling with her own morality and the tangled webs of unrequited love.

THE WAY IT CRUMBLES is an adult rom com complete at 50,000 words[RP1]. Featuring a predominantly LGBTQ cast (#ownvoices) it blends the charm of a Nora Ephron film with the dark humour of Billy Wilder’s[RP2].
Rebecca's comments:
[RP1] This wordcount is about 20k too low for an adult romcom, which is enough to make me worry.
[RP2] These are also very non-specific comps, as opposed to a specific book/movie/author, which again makes me worry that the author is working in a genre they haven’t familiarized themselves with, and would likely keep me from reading

Tia's comments:
[TRM1] Great logline

First 250 Words

‘Meet me after class’.

The red words glare up at me from my essay on utilitarianism. They come coupled with the lack of a grade, the kind of absence that doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It agitates my stomach into a series of expert backflips off a balance beam that would impress Simone Biles. It sticks the landing. The four judges applaud, raise large rectangular cards above their heads. Instead of the perfect score I know my stomach deserves, they spell out in big red letters:


There’s a signature at the bottom of the page. Gavin Truedove. My Moral Philosophy T.A. I spot his messy mop of hair at the front of the lecture hall. He’s raptly attentive as Professor Sheldon drones on about the upcoming midterm which will require us to write two essays, but not to worry because he’s extending his office hours and blah-blah-blah. His speech becomes a muddled mess of unintelligibility as I simmer in a boiling pot of studious anxiety.

My attention span is dust while I await judgement. My eyes rove the mass of heads in absentminded surveillance. It’s not so aimless a wandering, finding an end when my gaze settles on the short tangle of chestnut brown curls belonging to the love of my life.

There she is, Finnegan Lowell, three rows down and three seats left of me as always[TRM2].
Rebecca's comments:

Tia's comments:
[TRM2] This opening is a bit wordy with multiple metaphors but not so much so that I stopped reading. I actually enjoyed this sample and the story sounds interesting. I'd love to see a submission.

Rebecca - Pass
Tia - Pages!

Please email us at operationawesome6 [at] gmail [dot] com for submission information. Congrats!

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