Name: Katina Wright

Twitter Handle: @wrightstory

YA or MG: YA

Genre: Speculative fiction

Title: Uncured

Twitter Pitch (140 characters max): When his brother’s killed Justin reluctantly spies for Resistance as tutor to Enhanced President’s secluded daughter #YA #Eugenics

1st 250 words of opening: “There’s…been…” Scarlett spluttered, gasping as she ran through the warehouse’s battered metal door, “…an accident.” She bent over, hands on thighs. Ruby, barrelled in directly behind her, narrowly avoiding collision. They panted, their faces nearly as red as their hair.

Used to his younger sisters’ amateur dramatics and working as a medic in his Mother’s home-based emergency clinic, Justin had learnt not to panic – or at least, not until all the facts are confirmed as dire, he thought wryly.

He turned back to the apt attention of the eighteen wide-eyed children who’d turned up for his music class. They’re enjoying the excitement, he noted bemused.

“Please choose a book, and sit quietly for a few minutes. We’ll finish the song in a bit,” he said, smiling.

As the children dispersed to look for books, Justin carefully leaned his guitar against a pitted concrete wall adorned with colourful child-sized handprints. Sighing, he approached the twins.

“So, what’s the problem?” He gestured for them to follow him into the far corner where water and snacks were kept – mostly scavenged donations, from the Resistance Outreach. He perched on a pile of crates the make-shift school used as seats. Now, closer to their height, Justin turned his full attention to them – and noticed what he’d missed before.

Ruby’s eyes were red rimmed as if she’d been crying and Scarlett, who never cried, was using her habitual brow creasing scowl to hold back emotions. Now, he felt concerned.

“What’s going on?”

Synopsis (200 word max): Following the side effects of a medication used worldwide over a century ago, physical ability decides individual worth and divides society into the Enhanced, whose extraordinary physical attributes are celebrated and the Uncured, whose poor health and disability is shunned.

Born Enhanced into an Uncured family, JUSTIN has refused to use his gifts to spy for the Uncured Resistance. Painfully aware of the devastation his abilities can cause, he wants to avoid further harm. But, when his brother is killed in the Enhanced City, his need for answers persuade him to go undercover as a music tutor to MIA, the secluded daughter of the Enhanced President.

Despite prejudice and guilt, Justin begins to bond with Mia through their shared passion for music. Then, when Mia discovers her father had her mother killed, she stages a minor rebellion that results in her father assaulting her. Justin, risks all to help heal her, the experience bringing them closer. Yet they continue to deceive each other, as they individually investigate the Enhanced regime.

When Mia collapses in the Deadzone, Justin rushes home, knowing that the Enhanced President’s daughter disappearing and being ill will raise questions that put her in danger from both sides.

Feedback tips (any areas where you specifically want people to focus?): I’m still unsure if my tweet pitch adequately introduces and entices further reading. I’ve written many variations. Opinions or/and tips on the tweet pitch gratefully received.

I have written various length synopsis for submission to agents. But with this synopsis being short – I decided to treat it as a partial introduction, not make it as formal/dry and not give away all spoilers. I’m aware this style wouldn’t be correct for a submission for a query to agents/publishers.

I’d love to hear if you’d like to read on (or not), if enough interest is created to entice further reading (or not) and what makes you reach these opinions.

Thanks – I look forward to reading through all your entries.