Pitch Madness: SJ13 – THEN YOU WIN

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Word Count: 80,000

Pitch: Meagan doesn’t want to change video game culture, she just wants to play. Her mom wants to make gaming the next battleground for women’s rights. Now, online trolls want them both dead.

Excerpt: I have Ms. Pac-Man, that pixelly yellow biscuit with a pink bow on top, to thank for everything. Until Mum and I left Australia for California, my house was the only one I knew that had a genuine original Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet right there in the lounge room—*or living room, I s’pose you’d call it*. In Silicon Valley there are probably heaps of them, but I’m pretty sure, to the owners, Ms. Pac-Man is nothing more than a kitschy relic of a time when girls were given one tiny foothold in the world of video games. Still, a foothold was all my mum needed. To her, that yellow biscuit—*or cookie, if you like*—was the starting point, the thing that kicked off her whole future and, consequently, decided mine.

On the plane from Sydney, Mum told me I should feel at least a little bit at home in Veracruz. After all, California’s one of the few places outside Australia where eucalyptus trees grow in profusion. I pressed my nose against the window and looked down at the lumpy green landscape below. Home? Yeah, right.

Mum’s new car was waiting for us at the airport, and she actually managed to drive to our rented house without killing us—amazing, really, when you consider the number of times she veered onto the wrong side of the road. All the way she chattered about her new job, my new school, and how exciting our new life was going to be.

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