Manuscript Title: Our Reasons
Category/Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 54,000
If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be? I’d probably be vanilla on the outside because people think I’m pretty boring, but I’d have a mystery filling in the center because I can surprise people.
35-word Pitch: Garrett discovers a suicide note in a library book that explains the reasons Maddie wants to die. He finds and befriends her, deciding to write a list of his own: reasons for her to stay.
First 300-words of manuscript:
I sit huddled beneath a mountain of blankets on my bedroom floor, tears streaming down my face as they watch a movie downstairs. My mom, stepdad, and Heather. The perfect little family, minus me, the mistake. The thought makes me sniffle and shrink even more inside my soft cave. I hadn’t been asked if I wanted to join them, so I didn’t invite myself. I know when I’m not wanted.
I can hear them downstairs, laughing at something on the television, enjoying life without me. My best friend, Laura, is having her sixteenth birthday party across town. I wish more than anything that I could be there with her. My parents had, of course, said I couldn’t go. It’s no big surprise, considering I’ve never been allowed to go to a non-family birthday party, or any kind of party, in my life. Heather, at just nine years old, is free to go to parties, though. Parties, sleepovers, camp. I guess that’s what happens when you’re wanted. When you’re not, you get punished for it.
A long sigh escapes from my lips. I’m so tired of it. It’s really a wonder that I’ve even made it to my fifteenth birthday, which of course none of my friends could come celebrate. Wouldn’t want to be happy or anything. It’s no wonder they are beginning to drift away from me. While they hang out after school and share adventures and secrets, I cease to exist. I wish I didn’t exist at all. Not being here is better than this so called “life” I live. Things will change when I’m eighteen, I keep telling myself. It was a strong reassurance at first, but over the years the confidence behind the words began to fade.