|Mentee Name||Title of Manuscript||Mentor Name||Age Category||Genre(s)||Total word count (approx.)|
|Leah Mecrow||All That Glitters||Lee VanBrakle||YA||Contemporary with strong romantic elements||68000|
Harley Gold, sixteen-year-old daughter of pop sensation Saxon Gold, has the perfect life. She lives in a mansion, attends an elite private school, and has glamorous friends. But her controlling parents hide the reality, pressuring her to fake friendships and remain the world’s favourite golden girl. Harley just wants to be free and honest, and show off her long-time crush, Finn, but he’s a scholarship student and not parent-approved. And when you’re Harley Gold, you don’t get to do everything you want. You only do what your dad approves of.
Coerced into throwing a house party when her parents are out of town, Harley’s façade of a life crumbles as the house is wrecked and a classmate goes missing. When she confesses to her parents, the pressure piles up. With no leads about her friend’s disappearance and increasing tension in her friendship group, Harley hides away the one authentic part of her life, Finn, instead treating him as her guilty little secret. But before Harley can make amends with a hurt Finn, she’s kidnapped right off the street.
When Harley comes face to face with her hostage-taker, she’s shocked to realise she isn’t the only one who hides her true self. And she must risk everything to escape or she might not make it out alive.
ALL THAT GLITTERS is a YA Contemporary novel of 68,000 words and would find an audience among fans of fiction such as Sara Barnard’s 2016 novel Beautiful Broken Things, as well as stories exploring fame, such as Erin Watt’s 2017 novel When It’s Real.
I am a young adult writer working a fast-paced hospital job and hold an A-level qualification for English Language and Literature.
Thank you for your consideration.
ONE WEEK BEFORE THE DISAPPEARANCE
Fame is fun when you’re little. But now at sixteen, it’s like treading water in one big sea of pressure. Waves submerge my head from every angle, plunging me deeper, making it harder to escape.
I slump against the shiny, black surface of our kitchen table. A mouthful of soggy cornflakes clogs my throat and coats my tongue with sugary milk. I swirl the spoon around the bowl to revive the disintegrating cereal. The radio jingle blasts through the surrounding speakers, the presenter introducing me.
“We have Harley Gold on the line. Good morning, Harley. Are you excited about your dad’s new album releasing today?”
“So excited,” I shout towards the phone on speaker, reading from the makeshift script Mom scribbled. “He’s worked so hard. These are his best songs yet.”
“We agree. Do you enjoy your dad’s music?”
“Of course.” I yawn, muffling it with a hand, staring down at the pool of milky mush. “His songs are always on shuffle. I’d never get tired of his voice. You’re gonna love the new tracks as much as me.”
Christ, Mom’s outdone herself with the lines this time.
“We already love them. They’ll be on our playlist too. Now, thousands of teens would love to be you. But do you enjoy the fame?”
Nope…Oh, God. The next line of the script stares back at me. It’s the worst one. The one which makes me want to end it all, right here right now, with my blunt cereal spoon.
Deep breath. “Yes. I’m incredibly lucky to live this wonderful life. It’s amazing to be supported by so many of Dad’s fans.”
“I bet. So, tell our teen listeners what a typical Monday morning is like in the Gold household.”
I flick around the silent room, the glitter of the black tiles catching in the morning sunlight. The silver hardware of the oven shines, the glass as spotless as the day we bought it. It’s the perfect room for homemade family dinners, so it’s pointless in our house.
“Eating breakfast and getting ready to start the final year of high school. Dad’s new album is blasting from the speakers too. It’s impossible to pick my favourite track.”
I raise the spoon, ready to stake myself in the heart.
Goodbye cruel world.
“Are your parents with you? Do you enjoy breakfast together?”
“Dad’s super busy in the living room with promotional work. But Mom’s here,” I say, speaking towards the empty chairs surrounding me. “We’re having a lovely breakfast together.”
The microwave pings, the scent of cooked oats wafting towards me. Mom’s weird, instant chia-seed porridge is hidden with fresh fingerprints since the cleaner scrubbed it yesterday. “We cherish family time.”
“How lovely. We know you have a close relationship with your parents. Do you hope to follow in your dad’s footsteps?”
No chance. Get me out of this life.
Is this spoon durable enough to dig an escape from the Gold household?