Posted by: spuddreams | May 2, 2013

The Writer’s Voice

I did it again. I entered a rafflecopter drawing for a spot in Brenda Drake’s new event The Writer’s Voice.  I was randomly selected, of course, because my life isn’t crazy enough already, right? Omg.

So the deal is, I post my agent query and the first 250 words of my manuscript on my blog and for the next few weeks, I might get the help of a mentor (or several mentors) to polish it.  At the end of the month, a group of agents will view all the entries and request manuscripts for the ones they would like to read.
I would like to ask my blog readers to give me their comments and suggestions too.  Is this something that sounds appealing to you?  Would it make you want to read on?  Is it too vague? Too melodramatic?  Whatever you think, I want to you to spit out your thoughts here because I know you want to help me, right?  So, without further adieu, here it is~
Dear Fabulous Agent,
The sun exploded on April 18, 2112 – a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.

They had nineteen minutes.

Nineteen minutes until the geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, every satellite in their sky.

Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew forever, to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.

In this new world, all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few – the Reticents.  Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a simple thief, find themselves in a struggle against this secret society to bring learning and books back to the human race.  VESSEL is a 57,000 word, young adult dystopian novel.

I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. My publishing credits include a young adult contemporary novel due to be released in Summer 2013 by Featherweight Press.  I can be reached at lcresswe at juno dot com . Thank you for the opportunity to share my work with you.


Lisa T. Cresswell


Year 2165

Master Dine’s kick sent me sprawling into the wall.  There was a bloom of pain in my shoulder.  That was nothing new, but my billa slipped, dangerously close to falling off.  I grasped at the awkward headgear; a giant tent Master required me to wear over my head to hide my ugliness.

No one must see, was all I could think.

“It’s too hot, you stupid chit,” Master Dine yelled.

At seventeen, I was officially a woman and had been for awhile, but no one gave a slave girl that recognition.

“Now look what you’ve done,” he said.  The clay teapot I had been pouring water over Master’s feet with lay shattered on the floor. “Clean it up, chit.”

I silently seethed at him as I collected the pieces.  I wasn’t chit. I was Alana, name no one called me.  Name I’d given myself. I cursed him under my billa, something he would never see behind the dark, black drapes that shrouded me from everyone.  I prayed Mother Sun would do terrible things to him, something that didn’t make me feel any better.

“When you’re done with that, go help Master Tow.  He’s expecting you.”

“But your bath?”

“I’ll do it myself,” Master Dine spat at me, as if he didn’t trust me, as if I hadn’t been washing his feet every morning since I was two.

Master Dine was old, nearly forty, one of the oldest men in our village, too mean to just die of flew fever like most old men.



  1. Your query opens with a literal bang—I’ve seen a lot of dystopians, but none where the SUN EXPLODES. Sounds really promising. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much 🙂 it could happen…

  2. Oh poor Alana, that sounds horrid. But what a action-packed opening. Great job, good luck! 😀

    • Thanks. I hoped it would be exciting. Good luck with yours too 🙂

  3. Your query is packed with such high stakes and tension and I LOVE it. Good luck!

    • Thanks for the great feedback 🙂 One never quite knows if it’s as interesting to others as to yourself…
      Good luck to you too, Allison.

  4. Great opening sentence to your 250!! And cool premise! Good luck, Lisa!!!

    • Thanks for the support Wildcat 🙂 send me a note and let me know how things are going with your writing. I want to know 🙂

  5. Sounds so good! Good luck!

  6. Now THAT is a query letter hook! Good luck!

    • I sure hope so 🙂 thanks!

  7. You’ve got a great premise here. Nice to see another dystopian in the contest. 🙂 Good luck!

  8. Yeah, I’m gonna back up the Dystopian-love here. The science in this makes it unique for me–at least in the query. I’m curious to know if this aspect holds strong throughout the story. All the luck!

    • I’m surprised there aren’t more dystopians in the bunch actually. I must be behind the times 😉 and yes, the sun has a major role in the story. The whole idea came to me when I imagined what we could stand to lose if all data/books were electronic one day…

  9. I love that the old man is only 40. It sets up so many other problems beyond the MC’s immediate ones. Good luck in the contest!

    • Life’s rough without modern medicine 🙂

  10. This gave me shivers. I can’t imagine living without the sun we have now. NO VEGETABLE GARDENS?!? Panic!!! You’ve built a crazy scary world. I’m sucked in and want more! Best of luck to you!

    • Thanks Jeanie 🙂 it’s not exactly a world *without* a sun, but it is dramatically altered. Good luck to you too 🙂

  11. Great query! I love that they want to bring books back to the world. I can’t imagine life without them. Good luck to you. 🙂

  12. VERY high stakes here. Awesome job.

  13. Great query and interesting premise! Good luck to you!

    • Thank you 🙂 I think yours is especially good too, great setting and feel to it. Way to keep it real.

    • Thanks Anoosha~ I really like the setting and voice of yours too. Very literary 🙂

  14. Wow, interesting premise! I also like that it’s in the POV of a slave girl. Mine’s a dystopian too and involves the sun, but in a very different way. I don’t think readers will ever really tire of good dystopian stories. Good luck to you!!

    • Ooh! I’ll have to check it out. Good luck to you too~ us dystopian types gotta stick together!

  15. I always say yes to some good science fiction/dystopia, and this one is indeed great! The concept sounds very interesting, and I would certainly read it!
    Good luck!

    • Thanks Diana, for the scifi love~ 🙂

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