Pitch: Irene

  • Propose your story summary of less than 500 words:
    Being a fairy tale creature doesn’t give you any free passes-- not in life, and certainly not in love. Just because your existence should be a myth, doesn’t make you feel less real. Hiding in plain sight doesn’t make you any less important. Irene is a Nereid, the nicer version of a mermaid. Often, one internet search will show Nereid’s drawn with dolphins, seals, and other cuddly sea creatures found at your local aquarium. However, they’re easily forgotten because of their clean record with humans, but in a world where Irene Hampton and Alex Irving, are forced to coexist, secrets are meant to be revealed and promises are meant to be broken.

  • Propose your intended audience, genre, and length
    Young Adult, 12-18, probably fantasy, and 75,000 to 100,000 words.

  • Propose your major plotlines/arcs to conclusion

This fantasy world follows Irene Hampton, the daughter of the Kings General, who has a bad habit of finder herself in unfortunate situations, and has sparked a connection with the Kings son/ The Prince, Alex Irving. While they blend in as ordinary teenagers, along with many other Nereid teenagers, there is still a Monarchy among them that they all must respect and follow.

At the beginning, in freshmen year, Irene and Alex are caught night swimming together, and are told to be kept apart. For three years the King successfully kept them apart, but Irene told herself senior year would be different. The Queen has passed away, and Alex and Irene find themselves in the same class that is required and they can’t get out of it. This re-sparks the connection they found years ago, and leads to many “unfortunate situations” that Irene is no stranger to.

While they struggle to comprehend their feelings for each other, as well as fight the war between their responsibility vs. what they want, the King is trying to maintain peace among other fairy tale creatures who don’t stand out among human crowds. Nereid’s are not the only fairy tale creatures to exist, but they pride themselves on being the Monarchs that keeps other fairy tale creatures in line. Alex is engaged to be married to a siren Princess, as a political alliance, but Irene intends to fight for the kind of love only werewolves have. Sirens are working hard to destroy the order that the Nereid’s have created and expose the delicate reality of the world around. Irene see’s through the Princess’s plans and takes it upon herself to protect the Prince.

With a bad habit of getting in trouble, she saves the truth one detention at a time. The ending is of course the fight for love prevailing over evil, they are known as fairy tale creatures after all, and all fairy tales end happily . . . just as soon as Irene can get through her detentions.

  • Any notes or unique things to highlight, under 300 word

The story is always on the edge of truth and fiction. Nereid’s have managed to protect the truth of their existence by making it fiction. Humans are scared of things they don’t understand, so as long as humans only see vampires and werewolves in books and on TV, then life won’t turn into a witch hunt against fairy tale creatures. So the tag line is: Where Fiction Comes to Life.

I’m so sorry that this post looks so long, I hope it does the idea justice. From my understanding, this pitch is to gain feedback on how well rounded the idea is? I had one last question about the Pitch Workshop, and that was, how many Pitch ideas can we pitch? I have a few ideas in the works and I want to know which one is most original/ interesting, so I can focus on it for the Watty’s this year.
Also, thank you so much for all the work you’ve done to put the Wattys together this year! I think the idea of turning in a completed work really helps writers finish a first draft. Keep up the good work!

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Story summary: You can, and probably should, cut one of these two sentences: “Just because your existence should be a myth, doesn’t make you feel less real. Hiding in plain sight doesn’t make you any less important.” I would recommend cutting the second.


  • “The kind of love only werewolves have.” Where do werewolves come in? I thought Alex and Irene were both Nereids.

  • The outline here is pretty vague. How are these conflicts played out? Must the Princess also attend high school? Is she just going to be a straightforward evil rival, or does she have reasons for wanting to undo the existing Nereid order? The plot outline seems to take it for granted that going against a monarchy and/or exposing the truth is a bad thing…

  • “Where Fiction Comes To Life” strikes me as too broad a tagline. Maybe a more specific word, such as “Myths”, would help.

It’s not that the general idea here is bad; you write a compelling YA novel out of this universal story. It’s just that I’m not seeing how you’re going to flesh it out in a way that sets it apart from other ‘forbidden romance + intrigue with a mythological creature’ stories. That both of the protags are part of this world helps reduce the odds that Irene will just be a generic self-insert main character, but nothing is jumping out to me just yet.

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