YA Magical Realism: Dear Dead Drunk Girl

35 Word Pitch: Heaven is a dive bar where eighteen-year-old alcoholic, Mary, uses letters to speak to the living, atone for her sins, and hopefully save her sister from a stalker.

Genre: YA Magical Realism


Word Count: 64,000

Special Question: If my MC Mary could be any Star Wars character she would be Lando Calrissian. Both Lando and Mary understand the devastating guilt one mistake carries.  And both characters struggle to redeem themselves as they strive to make things better for the ones they love.

First 250 Words:

My heaven is a dive bar. And I’m the only patron. I’m not lonely. Robert, my bartender, is good company and provides me with an endless supply of vodka tonics.

I decorated the inside of my bar top to bottom with rainbows, smiling faces and stick figure sisters holding hands. I drew them from memory. They’re exact replicas of my little sister, Anjuli’s, drawings. But lately I notice something is wrong with the paper. 

“You okay, Mary?” Robert asks. “You don’t look good.”

I point at a drawing. “I wish I could crawl inside a picture. Be back then. Be a sister, again.”

Tears threaten to escape so I focus my eyes between the amber bourbon bottles. When I stare in that exact spot the mirror reflects gold onto Anjuli’s rainbow painting and makes the sun glow. It reminds me of the way sunshine smelled on her skin. Wait, there’s a hole in the picture where the sun used to be. It looks like a cigarette burn.

That can’t be good.

“Robert, why don’t you pour me something new?” That ought to make him happy. One of us should be. He’s a good guy. Sometimes he’s two.

He smiles a hopeful smile.

Anjuli has a chocolate chip freckle on her lip. It moved when I made her laugh. Who makes her smile now? Or takes her to the aquarium? Who loves and protects her? Missing guts me.

“Robert, please hurry.” I whisper. I need to forget I shouldn’t have left that night.


  1. The force is strong with this one! What an amazing idea!

  2. I'd like to see the query and first 50 pages

  3. The Force is strong with this one. Please send your full manuscript as a word document attachment with “PitchSlam” in the subject line to whitley [at] inklingsliterary [dot] com. And if you don’t mind, please also include your query letter on the first page of the word doc. Thanks!

  4. Disciplined, you are! Please send me the first 100 pages as a Word doc or PDF at melissa@rpcontent.com. Thanks!

  5. The Force is strong with this one.