So here's the pitch I've written for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It's slightly different to the one I used last year.
Tragedies have punctuated Casey’s life, but she has never explored them – until an creative writing assignment forces her to drag them into the light. Exploring painful and traumatic childhood memories is not easy, even as a seventeen-year-old who thinks she’s put them behind her.
When Casey meets Mark, she discovers he is struggling with his assignment too. Their connection is immediate and the two are drawn to one another. Casey wants their relationship to blossom, but is terrified by the possible outcome - everyone close to her ends up abandoning her.
As they write their ‘Assignment 9’, Casey and Mark discover things about themselves, their families and each other that will change their lives forever. One big question remains unanswered: are they really soul mates, or nothing more than damaged goods seeking solace and empathy? If Casey dares to find out, the answer may be one she doesn’t want.
ASSIGNMENT 9, a 75 000 word contemporary YA novel, interweaves Casy and Mark’s tentative relationship with Casey’s assignment in which she explores the traumatic childhood events that have left her wary of intimacy.
What do you think? Too long? Too involved? Not enough? Have your say!