#PitchSlam entry


Ok, I’ve entered this contest called #PitchSlam, where the judges are kind enough to provide feedback before the final round. I’ve received the first round of feedback but not the second (yet) before the finals, and the mind games are endless. So in the meantime, here is my 35 word pitch and first 250 words of novel.

Title: Centerra: Awake

Genre: YA sci-fi/fantasy

Song: Letters from the Sky by Civil Twilight

35 word pitch: Giants hunt children for magic on planet Centerra. When they capture his friends, Bixby discovers a way to rescue them, but if he fails, giants will execute those left behind, including the girl he loves.

First 250:

Bixby stares at the world through a fish tank. His body clenches in pain; his senses haze with delirium. The bed shakes while passing over the crack between elevator and hallway, flooding nausea up his throat. Doctors poke his abdomen, asking for his pain level. Bixby manages a responsive groan. At eighteen, he refuses to forfeit his battle against cancer.

Garbled voices swirl about, the nurse yelling something about IV. His eyes roll down to his right forearm, where white bubbles form beneath the skin. He moans, realizing it blew again. Another nurse pokes a needle in his left wrist, digging to place the new IV. Bixby sinks deeper into the aquarium, water clogging his ears and eyes. Pain fuzzes and mutes his awareness. His mother kisses his cheek, rubbing her hand on his bare head, tears spilling over his face. The deep sucks him under, and Bixby’s will evaporates. He allows the darkness to escort him to freedom.


Bixby’s eyes fluttered open, his brain struggling through the fog of deep sea dreaming. A forest of maroon oaks swathed in purple mist blurred into view. The scent of fresh soil filled his nose. Something began tapping his forehead. His clearing vision revealed a small winged creature hovering before his nose. Her hair was spiky black, clothes dark and torn, with wings of velvet moth. Her fingers poked at his head.

“Wake up!” she said.

She fluttered away, making more tapping sounds, although no fingers beat his skull.


5 thoughts on “#PitchSlam entry

  1. I like this beginning. I think the action is good and right away it starts off establishing the world, but without lengthy description. However (I’m sure you’ve heard this 10,000 times like I have) prologues usually take away. It took me forever to finally get rid of mine (and I still miss it sometimes). I think that at least for Pitch Slam, you should start with your main character, because I know that’s something they’re probably going to say. But again, everything is subjective!


    1. That’s been killing me. Prologue is necessary, but for the purposes of the pitch contest I was unsure if I should pitch prologue 250 or chapter 1 250. Chapter 1 I feel is strong too. Just so unsure and felt silly for being unsure. Haven’t received first 250 feedback so I’ll see what they say. Thanks for your feedback! Will probably now go with chapter 1:)


  2. I really like the pitch. You’ve given clear stakes and the premise sounds intriguing.

    The only thing I’m concerned about is where you’re starting out in the story not with the MC. What you have there is great but I would like to see Bixby.


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