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New York Write to Pitch Conference 2023 - June

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First Assignment  -  Story statement

Liv must discover her identity and her life's purpose. She rejects the idea that she should marry and settle down and seeks adventure and the pursuit of her destiny instead. She dreams of becoming a writer, but she must find faith in herself and believe in her dreams.  

Second Assignment -  The antagonist. 

Rob Robertson is a demon and has joined forces in the rebellion against God. He was born in Bristol, England, and is the sixth son of a family of six boys, just like his father and father before him. He has a dark and twisted soul. His great-grandfather Robert Snooks, a notorious Highwayman, roamed the King's Highway from Bath to Stroud through Petty France, robbing the wealthy of their valuables. Snooks was the last Highwayman hanged in England at Gloucester Gaol in 1802.  

A charismatic salesman, he claims to be smitten with Liv when he sees her crossing the King's Highway and entering Bodkin House. Set in the present day, he enters the Inn suited and booted, under the pretence of looking for work; he discovers she is the Innkeeper's daughter. Rob has come from a less privileged background. He sees life as having limited options.

He sees an opportunity in Liv, a desirable young woman and the daughter of the wealthy Innkeeper. With the gift of the gab, he sets out to charm his way into her life. Bitter and angry by the privilege not received at birth, he seeks ways to compensate. Liv and her family are his next target.   His goal is to seduce Liv and take over the Coaching Inn. When Liv rejects his advances, he seeks revenge. 

Third Assignment - Breakout Title

The Innkeeper’s Daughter

The Ghosts of Bodkin House

The Petty France Diaries

Fourth Assignment - Comparable

Genre - Fantasy Fiction.

First Comparable A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  

Liv is possibly a witch and has always sensed that she is different. She wonders why she fights demons in her dreams and has strong premonitions. Like Diana in The Discovery of Witches, who is a  good witch but denies her powers, Liv is unaware of her full abilities. Although she has supernatural powers, including prophetic visions,  extrasensory perception, and being in touch with the spirit world, she does not fully understand or know what to do with them. Unsure who and what she is, her goal is to discover her true identity.

She dreams of being a writer but does not believe in herself. She would like to write a literary classic; however, her teachers at school told her to be more realistic. Her core wound is low self-esteem and her rejection from her siblings. Growing up, Liv, bullied by her siblings, felt excluded and denied because they did not understand and feared her powers. Diana rejects her heritage in a Discovery of Witches when humans kill her parents because of their powers; she struggles with her identity as a witch, having suffered loss at such a young age. 

Similarly to Diana, who has become a palimpsest for the Book of Life, Liv's destiny is to channel information in her novel to heal and give strength to humanity during dark times. She, like Diana, must also fight her opponents in the form of warlocks, vampires, and demons who recognise she is a mighty being with secret knowledge. The difference being instead of Oxford, the setting is Bristol, and rather than the library, it is in the underworld of Night Clubs. Liv's enemy, a 17th Century Warlock, wants her powers, and to prevent her from fulfilling her destiny, he uses demons to pursue her fervently in a battle of good versus evil. While on holiday in Ibiza, Liv receives a vision from Es Vedra, the mystical rock, and discovers her mission on Earth.   She is a guardian of the light and the key to bringing peace to humanity. However, she must travel the world and find love to ignite her true potential. Her magic powers, if harnessed, will enable her to succeed and overcome her opponents who want to destroy her and stop her from fulfilling her mission. She must master her powers to defeat her enemies and escape the Warlock's Coven travelling to Australia to find 'the one.' 

The Highwayman is a love story with a twist. Rob Robertson is the Highwayman, and like the 'thief, he comes only to steal, kill and destroy.' John 10:10. The Ghosts of Bodkin House warn her of this. Her acute sixth sense, and her spirit guides, all warn her that he will darken the doors of Bodkin and, when he arrives, to be aware of his intent. When he starts working at the Inn, he claims to be in love with her. He introduces her to a nightclub manager, and she is very attracted to the dangerous gangster who turns out to be a vampire; when his guard dog, a vicious rottweiler, protects her, he realises he must do the same. In a Discovery of Witches, Diana also has a relationship with a vampire, who ensures her safety amongst creatures with a keen interest in the knowledge in the Book of Life. Liv connects with animals; unbeknown to her, she has authority over the spirit world, for she has the ring of Solomon, a ring given to Solomon by the Archangel Michael to command the supernatural. She also has the mystic cross, representing deep knowledge of mysticism. 

Diana's weakness in A Discovery of Witches is limited powers. Her parents spellbind her to prevent her from being targeted by other creatures, and her powers are restricted. On the other hand, Liv becomes under the spell of the Warlock, who wants to steal her powers. Both characters discover this through the power of precognition, having dream premonitions.   Liv's weaknesses include alcoholism, promiscuous behaviour, drug taking, and nocturnal party animal behaviour.   To fulfil her destiny, Liv must master her weaknesses and gifts, just as Diana must master her powers.

Second Comparable - Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh meets The Matrix.

Like Renton in Trainspotting, Liv has a choice between her addictions and love of partying and choosing life and her destiny.   They share the same core wound of low self-esteem and escaping reality through drugs. Both stories unfold in various clubs and drug dens. Like Renton, Liv must also overcome the environment, the Warlocks coven she has found herself in. Music and the club culture play a crucial role in telling both stories, with the Warlock masquerading as a music producer and DJ. Both protagonists reject societal norms. Renton deviates from society's expectations by becoming a drug addict. Liv rejects the notion that she should marry and settle down by partying.   Both characters are intolerant of modern life attitudes; they are intelligent and seek a new fascinating universe through escapism. The theme in Trainspotting is that the purpose of life is pleasure, while Liv in The Highwayman seeks the meaning of life and that which will bring her happiness. Liv's partying takes her on adventures deep within Bristol's club scene, where she meets and is extremely physically attracted to a club owner in Bristol's underworld.   The similarities with Trainspotting are the non-stop partying, addiction, and mental health issues. 

Both stories have extremely varied scenes and explore the concept of the reality of an alternate world. Renton creates a powerful universe with the toilet scene and retrieving his two suppositories. Liv has an altered reality through a dream world where she fights demons. Both characters deal with anxiety and depression and refuse to accept reality as it is. To the point, Liv dances with insanity as a defence mechanism against the danger around her. They embark on journeys into dark and dangerous situations, exploring the violence and corruption associated with the underworld with dark humour and relying on their instincts to survive.

Like Neo in The Matrix, Liv has a special life purpose that unfolds over the three books. Both stories encompass action, adventure, and fantasy, and the protagonists have a mission to save humanity and give hope during challenging times. Liv shares Neo's fighting abilities when she fights demons in her alternative reality; she can slow down time, bounce off walls, and master gravity-defying leaps and artful dodging. They both play a significant part in the fight between good and evil. To do so, they must believe in themselves to fulfil their appointed task. Liv, like Neo, doubts her mission until she accumulates experience and belief. They both refer to an Oracle for information on the situation and their journey. Each story explores being ‘the one’ and finding ‘the one,' their true soul mate, to fulfil their destiny.

The warlock's coven and the demons that pursue Liv represent Agent Smith and the Matrix. She must outsmart them to develop her skills to defeat them to fulfil her destiny. Like Neo, she realises she has taken the red pill, and there is no going back; It is impossible to forget what she has seen.

Fifth Assignment - Hook line

When an Innkeeper's daughter, in search of her identity, meets a mesmerising stranger, her world is turned upside down into a world of vampires, demons, and warlocks, where she discovers she has supernatural powers and must learn how to use them, to defeat her enemies. 

Sixth Assignment 

Sketch the inner conflict of the protagonist. Why are they in turmoil, conflicted, and anxious?

Trigger and reaction 

Liv is keen to make her mark in the world. She feels she is not enough and needs to prove herself as an individual rather than a daughter, girlfriend, sister, or wife.   She must figure out how and is determined to pursue her dream of becoming a writer when she meets a world-famous Chef at her family's Coaching Inn. However, she suffers from low self-esteem and self-doubt.

She has always felt that she was different and never really fit in, rejected by her siblings who bullied her and feared her powers. She is fascinated when the spirit world warns her about her meeting with Rob Robertson. However, when he comes into the Inn, she is triggered and gets a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach, sensing the anger and bitterness in his eyes. She acknowledges that there is something sinister about him. Realising it's challenging to get staff in hospitality, her father wants to give him a chance and offers him the job, taking over from Liv so that she can pursue her project and renovate a house she has just bought. 

The day before he starts work, a stranger comes in for Sunday lunch and, at the end of his meal, warns her father about Rob. Liv feels responsible and protective of her family, and when he begins working at the Inn, she vows to get to know him better. In the spirit of keeping one's enemies closer, she agrees to go out with him after work with her colleagues. He introduces her to a club manager, Harry, in the inner city of Bristol, and the two have intense chemistry.   The following week, she returns to the club to meet with Harry, find out more about Rob, and pursue a passionate attraction with him. A non-gratuitous night of passion later ensues. She realises all is not as it seems, and he appears to be a vampire; she is unsure what she has got herself involved in.  

The secondary conflict is when she appears to be rejected by Harry after the encounter. She has more questions than answers. She wants to put on club nights in Bristol to gain his respect. However, she is in unfamiliar territory and surrounded by people, not on her side, making her more determined to succeed. She meets some DJ's at a Club and inadvertently stumbles into a warlock's coven. Her environment is full of danger,  gangsters, partying, and drugs; when a couple from the coven move into her home, her life becomes stranger than fiction. 

Seventh Assignment 

Setting: Sketch out your settings in detail. 

The first setting is Bodkin House, a 17th Century Coaching Inn and former 12th Century Priory. On the edge of the Badminton Estate in Petty France, England, once part of the Duke of Beaufort Estate, is a Grade 11 listed building. The Coaching Inn is where Jane Austen penned her first novel, Northanger Abbey, in 1794.   She mentions her visit to the Petty France Inn in Chapter V. She talks about a tedious two-hour wait in Petty France as the ensemble travel from Bath to Northanger Abbey, stopping off at the Coaching Inn for sustenance. 

36 Armoury Square - Easton, Bristol, England. After a recent breakup, Liv is trying to find her purpose and is working and living at the Inn as a Front-of-House Supervisor. She is waiting to purchase 36 Armoury Square, a property in Easton, to renovate. Easton is a colourful and vibrant part of Bristol, where the street artist Banksy began to leave his mark. When the house sale goes through, Liv moves to 36 Armoury Square, just off Stapleton Road in Easton, known as the most dangerous street in Europe, to renovate the 3-bedroom house. Armoury Square also has historical relevance, and during the French Revolution, it stored guns to prepare for a planned invasion of the French. However, the impending attack on Bristol didn't happen due to the wind that saw the French sailors land at Fishguard in Wales instead of Bristol's Avon port. Supernatural forces protect the Square. There is also a very charismatic pub in the Square where a scene plays out with Liv, Dotty, a server at the hotel, and Rob Robertson when he shows up uninvited in the pub. 

After work, Liv and Dotty have a few drinks at Armoury Square. When Rob comes over, they visit various bars around town. Walking down the street, they look like Quentin Tarantino's Movie Reservoir Dogs characters. Finally, they end up at the underground nightclub, The Majestic. Rob introduces Liv to Harry, the club manager and acquaintance of his. 

Liv and Dotty return to the club. After a few visits, Liv and Harry have a hedonistic weekend in the club, which involves lots of drug-taking and sex. During the weekend, she has reason to believe Harry is a vampire when his eyes change colour and shape. Liv is not sure whether it is the drugs or not.   The night after the affair, Liv dances on the stage at the club to Tiesto Silence before she leaves and goes home.

Bodkin House -  After the Sunday lunch shift the weekend of the encounter. Liv looks out the window and sees Rob driving out of the car park with great speed and purpose. She gets a bad feeling, and heavy black clouds appear in the sky.   She senses that Rob Roberston is going to see Harry. 

Traditional English pub in Clifton Bristol - Liv is out for lunch with a friend sitting outside in the sunshine. She tells her about the weekend spent with Harry with all the details. She texts Harry, and then he calls her immediately; he reveals that he is still with his girlfriend. Liv tries to hide how she feels despite being gutted. Liv and the friend continue drinking and then end up in a lounge bar in Clifton. Afterwards, Liv gets a taxi home, and Brittney Spears' Toxic plays in the cab. 

Bodkin House Hotel - Liv and Rob look after the hotel when her parents go overseas for her brothers' wedding in Melbourne. Mother's Day is one of the busiest days, and it dawns on Liv during service that her premonition dream was about Rob Roberston. She realises her spirit guides warned her about him, a devil in disguise.

Botanical Gardens Melbourne - Liv travels to Melbourne, Australia, and joins her brother's wedding party. The wedding takes place in the Botanical Gardens. 

The wedding reception is in a beautiful conference marquee. Her brother's father-in-law announces during the wedding speech that Liv is single and looking for a partner, much to her embarrassment.

Hotel in St. Kilda Melbourne - Rob Roberston calls Liv in her hotel room after the reception. At a low ebb after the humiliation of the brother's father-in-law's speech, she agrees to go out with him when she returns from her trip.

TGI Fridays Bristol - When Liv returns from Melbourne, she goes out for lunch with Rob Robertson at TGI Fridays. As they get out of the car, the song, Stuck in the Middle by Steelers Wheel is playing on the outside restaurant speaker.   They both take a moment and dance by the vehicle before entering the restaurant—an ode to Reservoir dogs.

The Avon Gorge Hotel looks out to the famous Bristol Suspension Bridge. The work colleagues go for a drink after the police arrest Rob Robertson on their way there in the car for a driving violation; he spends the night in the police station. Liv picks Rob up from Trinity police station Easton the following morning before going to work.

Council flat in the Easton to pick up some weed.   As they enter the flat, The Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil plays from one of the flats as they go upstairs.   Inside the flat, they meet an associate of Rob Robertson and a massive serrated machete just brought back from Mexico, designed to pull the guts out of anyone it stabs.   Rob picks up and examines the machete, commenting that it is a lovely piece of equipment before putting it aside and sitting on the sofa.

Snooker Hall in Easton to collect some weed late one evening. Underneath the tables, everyone working there has machine guns and thinks Liv is a Superintendent.   Once they assure the crew she is not, they purchase weed and smoke it. 

Greasy Spoon cafe in Easton, where Liv tells Rob Roberston their relationship will not go any further after he wants to take her to Amsterdam for her birthday. Later, when he drops her off after work at 36 Armoury Square, he warns her that he will no longer play nicely and threatens her that she will never be happy. 

Level Nightclub -  After Liv's 30th birthday at the Level nightclub, Liv and Dotty meet a couple of DJ's and are invited to an after-party. They end up at St Andrew's Park at sunrise. Symbolically, the music producer/warlock asks Liv to buy some apples from the shop.

.Liv becomes involved in events and puts on a night at one of the clubs in Bristol within the gay community. She is involved in many different parties at different locations, which includes lots of drug taking.   She meets a bongo player at one of the parties, and he and his girlfriend move into 36 Armoury Square. Life starts to get strange; Liv begins to have disturbing dreams.   The spirit world tells her she has had a spell put on her; Liv is uncertain who has done so. She thinks it might be Rob or the DJ.

To escape the situation, Liv goes on holiday to Ibiza. She receives a vision from the mystical rock of Ibiza - Es Vedra.  She becomes aware of her magical powers.  Ibiza has magnificent sunsets, beaches, and a creative way of life. Liv is dancing in a beach club, and a man dances in front of her with a tattoo on his back, reading," Although I walk in the valley in the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. "   Psalm 23:4.   

While in Ibiza, Liv intuitively activates a protection shield and reflects any dark energy to the sender in the UK. When she returns to 36 Armoury Square, her housemate Bongo Bill looks incredibly ill and blotchy.   She realises he is the one sending dark energy to her. She takes her housemates to Harry's Club. Harry is there and very flirtatious with her. She does not respond to his advances. Bongo Bill acknowledges the relationship with Harry, who is physically strong. A few days later, she gives tenants two months' notice to move out.   

Liv distances herself from the coven and gets her affairs together to go to Australia. Her ex-partner visits her in Bristol, and they go out. Unintentionally they end up at a venue with the coven. A week later, she gets an anonymous invite to a club night. When she arrives, the penultimate scene is in a new club in Bristol, where Harry appears arm in arm with a pretty girl in an attempt to make Liv jealous. It is the last time she goes clubbing with the coven before she escapes to Australia. 

In the final scene, Liv is looking out to sea on Coogee Beach in Sydney Eastern Suburbs with the song Dance with my ghost by CamelPhat playing in the cafe as she watches the sunset. 


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Story Statement

In the wake of alleged proof that an afterline doesn’t exist, a political divide between two factions threats to turn neighborhoods into foes. Onyi Richards, is a young reporter who has a dramatic fallout with her job before quitting and decides to become a freelancer, mainly following news regarding machine in her local community. Set in Philadelphia, she documents as her community's divide grows deeper and deeper and spirals into violence as the reporting, social media, and a general fear of their neighborhoods reshapes her home. 

The overall goal of the protagonist and the story is to document how this trend has impacted the city as well as broader whole and remain stay to the facts of everything going in, as more and more fake news and warped perception spanned from social media continue to come out. 


This novel has two antagonists which represent the overall themes and general conflict of the novel. 

1. Keith Harris - A middle-aged business owner who son dies in a bombing, caused by a devoted Christian. He becomes jaded and radicalized by this event and ends up linking up with a national anti organizated relegion group which advocates that spiritual beliefs are outdated and society would be better without them. 

2. Pastor Jacob Wright - A middle aged pastor in West Philadelphia who mobilizes not just Christians but everyone in his community into an organization to defend themselves for attacks to their faith, as church, mosques, and other places of worship are defamed and attacked, and eventually goes on the offensive.

Breakout Title


  1. The War of the Frightened 

  2. Between the Known and Unknown 

  3. What if This is Everything We Have?

  4. The Uncertainty of a Godless World

  5. Beliefs into Battles 

  6. Neighbors in War-zones

  7. The Dangers of an Idea

Genre And Comparable Books

My novel fits into the literary fiction genre, given that that is more character and theme centric, rather than led by plot. While it is fully of unexpected moments and does have a plot meant to engage the audience, the overall hook for the audience will the character development and reactions to the overall themes and actions they encounter. 

The comparable books to my novel, whose fans I believe would also be interested in my book, are The Leftovers by  Tom Perrotta , Eleventh Station by Emily St. John Mandel and the Scale by Keith Buckley. 

Hook Line

In an era of confusion and animosity that would come to be known as the Second Enlightenment, a conflicted reporter documents the deterioration of her community into conflicting factions as the world awaits for proof of a divine truth. 


Main Conflict: Following a startling revelation from the TX12, a machine which allegedly disproves an afterlife, people have become a divided over whether or not if works despite. What starts off as news reports, social media posts, podcasts, and other media soon spirals into a wave of violence and political conflicts between two factions, one comprised of those who believe in organized religion and the other, who believe that organized religion is holding society back. 

In the midst of this, the main character, a young journalist, Onyi Richards struggles to try and figure out what type of reporter that she wants to be and what truth even means in a world in which no one can decide what is fact vs feeling. 

Side Conflict: Onyi mother (Ruth) is caught in a bombing at first act of the story. Following this, we learn that they do have a very estranged relationship (which is revealed through the book) due to Ruth essentially giving Onyi anti-depressants for months without knowledge during her senior year of high school. Onyi struggled with intense depression through highschool however never wanted to be medicated, which her father (James) backed her up on. Ruth believed that her daughter needed to be medicated (also due to other family trauma but we’ll get into that) and snuck them into her food without her content. This went on for both before Onyi was hospitalized due to a blood clot that almost killed her. The conflict here will be Onyi struggling to come to terms with the actions of a mother who she never comforted and now can’t and learning to make peace with herself regarding her decisision. 


 The novel is told via the first person point of view of Onyi Richards and will take place of the course of a year and a half. It will be set in present-day Philadelphia and specific settings which the book will include are: 


  • Overbrook: A neigherhood at the very edge of West Philadelphia. This area will be the home of Onyi for the most of the novel, as she moves back in with her father, following losing her job. It’s a quiet residental neighborhood, full of families and small communities. 


  • Fresh Rost Coffee: A coffee shop which Onyi use to work at in college, where she met and became acquainted with her friends, who would go onto become her chosen family. At the beginning of the book, this area is the setting for a bombing which cause an intense personal trauma for Onyi and becomes the linch-pin for the book’s ongoing political feud.


  • The Philadelphia Post: This newsroom is where Onyi works as a young reporter at the beginnin of the book. Following the coffee shop bombing, she quits due to her moral disagreements around how the bombing is being covered by the publication.

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