Congratulations to all of our TeenPit finalists and their mentors, and a big thank you to our judging panel! This has been a great learning experience for our teens and we are so appreciative of the mentor’s time and talents. Education is the basis of TeenPit; teens learning a little about the publishing world through the eyes of their mentors. It is our hope all of our participants have had fun and maybe learned something along the way.
To all of our entrants: we are always here if you have questions. Please ask. We’d love to hear from you and keep up with how you your writing journey is faring.
The judges have read every entry and we have the results!
Our TeenPit Class of 2018 winner is:
Breeny N. and her manuscript YOU TRULY ASSUMED!
Mentor: Erin Foster Hartley
GENRE: YA Contemporary (Own Voices)
Pitch: When a suicide bomber commits a terrorist attack that shakes Washington D.C., four Muslim American teens – Sabriya, Zakat, Mahnoor, and Zoya – must find a way to speak out against the ensuing backlash of Islamophobia or risk remaining voiceless.
(LOVE, HATE, AND OTHER FILTERS X THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS)
First 250 words:
I lower my leg from arabesque into a plié, my outstretched arms curving into first position. My breathing slows and the Allah charm on my necklace rises and falls in time with my heartbeats.
“That’s all for today, dancers,” my teacher says, turning off the piano cover of Uptown Girl. “Don’t forget, auditions for the pre-professional summer intensive are tomorrow!”
“Thank you!” the class says, and I force my wobbly legs to curtsy without collapsing.
Another dancer runs up to me as I head toward the door, her face glistening with sweat. “Bri, there’s been an attack here in DC!” She hands me her phone.“Read this!”
I scroll through the hashtag and my stomach lurches as the words hit me like a bucket of ice cold water. My hands shake as I claw through my bag for my phone. One missed call from Dad. I click call back and he picks up on the first ring.
“Dad? Where are you? Are you ok?”
“I’m almost there. Stay inside until I tell you to come out.”
I hang up and take a deep breath. The normally loud studio has fallen to a hush as people check their phones. Auditions, and my chance to prove myself, will have to be postponed. My phone buzzes and I read the headline, ‘Muslim terrorist bombs the Capitol.’ I skim the article but not the comments. I’ve read enough of them to know how cruel some people can be at times like this.
In second place:
Kalie with THE LIE THAT BROKE THE STARS
Mentors: K. Kazul Wolf & Rosiee Thor
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Pitch: To prove himself to his father, Woody must show he’s capable of deceit. But when he makes friends with those he’s supposed to betray, he must choose: abandon his mission and disgrace his family, or complete it and live with his lies forever.
First 250 words:
If you’re meeting someone in Kilan, I’d bet you my favorite spear, they’d ask you how many fingers you have. Any less than ten and you’d better be running for your life.
I’ve never been able to count on keeping all mine, and I definitely couldn’t count on keeping them for much longer.
“For the love of Kilan, stop tapping your foot,” Eileen growled, climbing over the goat pen.
I avoided her gaze and forced myself to stop, eyes wandering to the front door of the barn we were in—half expecting it to open and reveal us.
Eileen shoulder checked me as she passed.
I couldn’t react.
She wanted me to react.
“If the farmer hears your big feet, he’s going to come stop us.” She swung her long red hair over one shoulder, twisting it into her kappa skin cap.
I gritted my teeth. “I know what I’m doing.”
She held her head high, eyes finding mine, giving a lethal smile. “Then why is a goat eating your shoe?”
I looked down and yanked my foot away from the creature, wishing I knew why my father thought it was a good idea to send me on my Broken Stars Mission with Eileen Moully.
“Pick a goat.” I glared at the one who’d tried to eat me.
Eileen was running her hand along the wall, over an inscription. I came up behind her and she stomped on my foot.
I couldn’t fight back.
She wanted me to fight back.
And tied for third place:
Lux & Kerbie Addis with BLOOD & BRINE and Camile & Lisa Schunemann with AND WE CRUMBLE
Lux with BLOOD & BRINE
Mentor: Kerbie Addis
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Pitch:Blood, salt, and water. It takes three to swear a proper magic oath. To find his sister, Davie paid with blood. Trapped on a ship with his best friend and worst enemy, Davie’s time is running out. War’s on the horizon, and he suspects his sister doesn’t want to be found.
First 250 words:
Davie leaned over the railing of the Tantalus, letting wind sift through his red hair. The dull murmur of the waves briefly lulled him as he swayed with the ship. Behind him, the captain barked orders and other passengers clambered aboard. Around him, cliffs framed the harbor-tall jagged spires clawing the sky. He tugged his coat tighter to him, fighting the mounting chill. The fabric did little to protect his pale cheeks from reddening with cold.
“I’m not sure we’ll lay anchor today, George,” Davie said, watching the churning water. Every moment counted, but the very weather seemed to be working against him.
“We’ll set sail,” George assured him. The Príncipe was rarely wrong.
Davie swallowed, peering over the edge of the vessel. He couldn’t see the ship’s anchor, where it lay sunken in the deep. The wind, which at first felt cool and playful, now pricked his skin. He rubbed his arms, fighting down his unease. If crossing the very same sea that had stolen his sister was the only way to find her, then so be it. Carina wouldn’t have balked at a little stormy weather.
“Enjoying the trip yet?” George asked, looking remarkably unruffled.
“So far the incoming storm and the foreboding atmosphere are my favorite parts,” Davie drawled, gaze flickering from the rough deck of the Tantalus to battered cliffs closing in on them.
“Are you mocking me?” George scrawled in his notebook.
“I wouldn’t dare,” Davie replied, stomach queasy as the ship rocked. “I never mock anyone before lunch.”
Camile AND WE CRUMBLE
Mentor: Lisa Schunemann
Genre: YA Paranormal
Pitch: The war against anánthropos, immortal monsters whose wild anger can only be controlled by killing, has ended in bloodied peace. But when Evelyn, a veteran of the war, is called to help prevent a fanatic cult from uprising, she must overcome her traumatic past to save those she loves.
First 250 words:
If someone had told me that today I would be riding through the desert in a bulletproof van, I would have punched them in the face and run away. Yet here I am, not only in the van, but wrists free of the shackles its normal guests wear. How the times have changed.
They picked me up a block away from the local school, but if they did this to save me from embarrassment, it didn’t work. Most of the students were outside, fear plastered on their faces as they watched the H.A.I.D men drag me into the black depths. Danger is always present when an anánthropos is arrested.
Not that I was arrested. I like to think of it as a mutual apprehension. They get me, and I get… desert dust in my sinuses? After the war ended, I never thought I would help the government again. I sold my soul for their victory. What more could they want?
When three men in suits, guns visible beneath the cheap fabric, told me to get in, I couldn’t refuse. They’re on edge because of the terrorist attacks from a fanatic cult across the world. I don’t blame them since they attacked here in Los Valor three months ago. I knew that if I were forced to fight, I wouldn’t make it out. Perhaps it’s why they need me. But for all I know, they’re bringing me in for being one of the terrorists.
I didn’t get the chance to ask.