New York Pitch Reviews, Algonkian Writer Conferences, Poetry

Poets, Writers, Author Salon Reviews, New York Pitch Conference, Algonkian Writer Conferences
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PostPosted: 21 Sep 2017, 06:14 
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STORY STATEMENT:

A heartwarming yet precocious young African American girl must overcome the two devils in her life, her stepfather Leroy, and her innate self-hatred, while trying to keep her white Yale University neighbor out of trouble in a racially divided town.

ANTAGONIST:

The main antagonist is Leroy. Leroy is a man who has been brought low by his wife’s infidelity and the dark child, Ella, that she has given birth to who is clearly not his. Leroy cannot leave his wife because she is the one that puts food on the table from her low paying but steady job. Instead, Leroy does all he can to make Ella’s life a misery… and nowhere does he draw a line.

BREAK OUT TITLES:
The World in Water Colors
Saving Ella
Giftwrapped

COMPARABLES:

Maya Angelou’s “I know why the caged bird sings.” The story has a similar warmth, undertones of faith and likewise is targeted at adults yet told in first person by a child protagonist.
Sue Monk Kidd’s “The secret life of Bees” The story is told by a precocious child, in the south with race and class dimensions.

PRIMARY CONFLICT:

The trials of precocious Ella, a dark skinned eleven year old who loves words and memorizes the dictionary for fun but who lives with her physically and sexually abusive light skinned mother and stepfather and their genetically blessed children.

SECONDARY CONFLICT:

The sudden appearance of a mysterious white woman (Ms. St James) into the all black neighborhood. There are some perplexing questions that no one, not even Ella can understand, such as why Ms. St James has decided to take up residence in the black part of town and why she is so bent on writing a book that could cause a riot on the streets of Ricksville?

TERTIARY CONFLICT:

(A story within a story) Within the excerpts of the book written by Ms. St James, the conflict of ideologies between Hetty and her husband, Jack.

THE SETTING:

The small southern rural town of Ricksville, Mississippi, which is a located (fictitiously) a few miles away the real town of Longdale Mississippi. Londale is most remembered historically for the lynchings of voter registration advocates during the civil rights era (1964) otherwise known as Mississippi Burning. The novel takes place 15 years after this historic event and although things have moved on as it were, the older residents are still very wary of strangers because of what happened in Longdale. The younger generation has little notion of the importance of these events and is far more accepting of Ms. St James and her sudden appearance in the town. The scenes take place largely in south Ricksville, a poorer black community, divided from its northern white residents (North Ricksville) by Main street. A cast of characters live in south Ricksville including Mr. Macabe, (old, blind and wise), fiery Nate, who used to be the town drunk but now owns Nate’s Diner, Ms. Robertson, who is always trying to trap Mr. Macabe with her lemonade and pies, and the children who live on Ricksville street.


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