Kaitlyn Johnson, Hilary Harwell, Michelle Hauck, Beth Marshea, Carlisle Webber, Cortney Radocaj, 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 4: The Journey We Share
I feel you’d be a great fit for my 74,000-word contemporary YA manuscript, THE JOURNEY WE SHARE. The novel alternates timelines[KJ1] between three major characters[CR1][MH1][CW1].
Every day is a battle for fifteen-year-olds Steven and Mpholo.
Steven wishes his life was normal at his New England boarding school, that he could simply go to class and get a date; but his friend recently died, he gets panic attacks, and is tempted[BM1] to cope with drugs.
Meanwhile, Mpholo struggles to raise his younger siblings in stigma-rich[CR2] Uganda after their parents die from AIDS. He dreams of the day he will have money and friends, but inescapable unemployment and exclusion from his community means he may not see his dream come to fruition.
On the surface, the two teenagers have almost nothing in common; however, their lives link when Mpholo and Steven’s friends introduce them to a memoir by Mira[CW2], a fifteen-year-old in India who struggles to complete her education while dealing with an abusive father. When her father announces plans to marry her off, she devises a plan to escape, finish her education, and write a memoir[CR3][CW3].
As Steven and Mpholo read Mira’s book, they find themselves moved to reach their dreams. But when Steven’s roommate suspects his drug usage and Mpholo is kicked out of his village[MH2], they’re forced to make crucial decisions – to get clean or get caught; to return to the village or move away, respectively[KJ2][CR4][BM2][CW4].
THE JOURNEY WE SHARE illustrates how fears and dreams are universal and the ways they connect us are more meaningful than they appear. It will appeal to readers of WRITTEN IN THE STARS by Aisha Saeed and THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness[CW5].
Thank you for your consideration.
First 250 Words
“Arre[KJ3]…move out of the way! Why are you just standing there?” the man screamed as he pushed a cart overflowing with coconuts around a young girl[CW6].
“Sorry, sir. Sorry.” Mira moved to the side of the dirt road, her cheeks burning, though the sun was not out yet.
“Stupid girl – standing in the street like that,” the man yelled as he forged onwards, “people have work to do. Unlike you.”
Mira gave a weak smile and nodded, but she threw daggers at him with her eyes. As she continued down the side of the road, she consoled herself with the thought that one of these days she would tell the man to go[MH3] to hell. But not today.
The[CW7] daily walk to work reminded Mira of her broken dreams. At the corner, she passed the school she used to attend. In a couple of hours, other girls her age would sit on wooden benches diligently taking notes about algebra or literature, while she would slave away for hours listening to a barrage of insults from her father in the kitchen[CW8]. She missed her literature classes in particular, reading and discussing Hesse or Rushdie; and she longed for the elation she experienced when her teachers gave her an ‘A’ on a paper. Thinking of the past and what was, Mira’s chest tightened[CR5][BM3][MH4].~~
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