Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Ellen

Name: Ellen McPeek Glisan


Title and Genre: No Free Art; Murder Mystery

Pitch: By making the most of their abilities despite their personal struggles, a blind grandmother and her silent, paralyzed granddaughter help to solve a local murder.

First 250 words of novel:
The winter wind whistled loudly around the wall of the school. A plastic bucket blew across the school courtyard, crashed into the door, and cracked in two. Snow followed frantically, covered the pieces of the bucket, and just as quickly blew away. The pieces of the bucket whipped out into the parking lot and broke into smaller pieces—a typical January night in Norton, Illinois.

Inside the high school gym, the basketball game provided the fans a temporary break from the cruel winds that were raging outside. The Norton Nighthawks fans screamed in unison as if the only thing that mattered in the whole world was that certain basket or pass. Even though every single person knew he or she had to brave the sharp, slapping winds in just a short time, while they were inside that gym, they were warm and happy, and the cold wasn’t even a distant thought.

Their break from the realities of winter ended as the people of Norton streamed out of the gym following the final shot. The close win over Johnson High lifted their spirits against the sharp, cold wind. They talked as they walked, but none of them lingered to talk a little longer at their cars like they always did in warmer weather. Lifted spirits was not that good of a shield against the subzero winds.

A grand total of 1800 people lived in Norton, Illinois……


  1. When I read the pitch, I immediately asked myself: How does this work? How does a blind grandmother and a paralyzed girl solve mysteries? I want to find out!

    Then in the opening, there's too much time spent on the setting when really, I want to meet these characters, see what they're like and how they work together. In other words, get to the good stuff sooner.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!