Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #34: DIVINE

YA Dystopian


If you’d told seventeen-year-old pickpocket Caddy a week ago she’d scale a sixty-story prison with a rogue orphan, she’s laugh in your face and walk off with you wallet.

But that’s before a sandstorm destroys half the city and the vigilante boy, Twist, drags her to safety in the secret ruins beneath the glass metropolis. Before the Service—the civil police—starts pulling people from the streets in search of a stolen diamond. Before the tensions between citizens and Service rise to suffocating heights, and riots fill the streets.

All the while, Caddy must fight to keep herself from getting too close to Twist. If there’s anything she’s learned on the streets, it’s to avoid attachment. But when her brother is arrested on false charges, Caddy becomes desperate to save what little family she has left. There’s only one person who can help break him out of prison: Twist. But when trusting the boy means risking her petty-thief status, her family, and her life, she must decide if she’s ready to face the Service head on.

First 150 Words:

Heat presses against me. The orange haze makes the air impossibly dry as I duck my head and scan the swarm of bodies packed tight in the streets. The dust is high today. Another sandstorm is coming.

Squinting, I try to focus. My fingers itch as silver flashes on my left, my right. I reach and slip a thin chain dangling from a man’s pocket into my bag as I stick to the shade of the massive buildings. I would call them skyscrapers, but the name doesn’t do them justice. In Cidy, there are no skyscrapers. All of the buildings penetrate the indigo sea above.

My head pounds from the cries of barterers, and I run a hand through my hair scanning for redcoats. Today thousands of people will be on the streets to trade what they have for what they need. Meaning the Service will be on high alert for thieves.


  1. Hi there!

    Oh man, I'm in LOVE with your query opener! And on that note, your first 150 drew me in as well. Great job!
    The only thing I see is a bit of repetitive words. The word "streets" was repeated quite a bit in your query.
    Can't wait for you to get published! I want this book. :) Good luck!

  2. I think the first sentence of your query is very strong! You've got a great hook and the voice really shines through in the query. Your first 150 definitely pulls me, but I'd like to see more of that fun voice you introduce us to in the query. I'd definitely keep reading to learn more about Caddy thought. Great work!

  3. You got a great reflection of the voice in your story in your query. Reading your query invites to read more. Good luck.

  4. I remember reading this query! Your changes are really good. I hope you make it to the next round becasue this sounds like an excellent story :)

  5. I really loved your query opener and your writing sample is great! You really capture the feel of your world!

    Congratulations: YOU HAVE MY VOTE TO MOVE ON!

    Good luck!

  6. PITCH: Love the first paragraph (and will try very hard to ignore the typo which I’m sure everyone else will have commented on by the time I post this comment). Great character established already, and great stakes evidenced in the rest of the pitch.
    FIRST 150: This is very strong. I was immediately pulled into the setting, and the prose flowed well. My only nitpick is the part about running her hand through her hair. It felt arbitrary, and I’m not sure it works with the following clause, “scanning for redcoats.” At the very least, a comma should be inserted.


  7. I love the worldbuilding you've established in both your query and first 150 words. I would strongly suggest you change your genre to sci-fi instead of dystopian to get more interest, and make the title something more unique (I assumed it was an angel book), like UNDER THE GLASS METROPOLIS or something relevant to your world. I only point these two things out because otherwise I love this!

    You've got my vote!

  8. Congrats in moving on! But you probably want to fix a typo in your Hook: "she's laugh in your face" to "she'd".
    Sounds great! Best of luck!