Mentee Name: Erin Latimer
Title: THE SAD STATE OF EMMALINE BLACK
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Gothic fantasy
Word Count: 60,000
Found guilty during England’s witch-hunting frenzy, Emmaline Black is sent to St. Clements, London’s most prestigious witch correction facility. After she uncovers the awful truth about their “cure” for magic, patients begin to mysteriously vanish, and Emma, on the verge of revealing the facility’s secrets, might just disappear next.
Emmaline Black made people uncomfortable. To begin with, she had the nerve to be slightly odd looking. With ghostly white skin and long black hair, she managed to be both pale and dark at once. Worse still, strange things frequently happened to her. Things broke, or fell over when she was upset. Sometimes when she wasn’t even standing nearby.
People were already nervous enough. Lately it seemed the papers were always filled with wild rumours: a boy in Birmingham who’d squashed his mailman flat by just looking at him. A girl in Cambridge who’d turned her mother to stone. Even a couple of twins in Worcester who had brainwashed their parents into believing they were circus clowns.
Cries of “witchcraft” were growing louder, and anything too different was apt to set people’s nerves on edge. So it was ridiculous to imagine anyone would choose her.
Emmaline sat in the corner picking at a run in her striped stockings, attempting to ignore what was going on in front of her. It was a naming day, and there were visitors at the orphanarium. The woman was looking around the empty room, blue eyes wide with horror as she took in the peeling wallpaper and the cobwebs that hung from the corners like ghoulish party streamers. She pulled her fur stole closer about her shoulders and shivered, turning back to the children.