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Tuesday, 21 January 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

MENTOR: Jennifer Malone

MENTEE: Erin Elisabeth Conley



WORD COUNT: 32,000



Twelve-year-old Francophile/YouTube chef Clementine Sterling has bigger dreams than her boring life, and she’s got some questions for the Universe about the delay. But life gets crazy fast when her mom marries a chump and a mysterious new girl ropes her into a shocking plot to humble the school snob.



Lucky me!: Mom agreed to let me stay home alone instead of joining some lame after-school program. Ah, sweet victory!

C’est la vie: Ah, sweet victory for like five minutes. Mom, who’s been known to change her mind, changed her mind.


Sometimes dumb people are funny. Other times they RUIN YOUR LIFE. This girl who lives on my block put a wet shoe in the microwave and practically burned down her house the other day. Of course she was home alone. Of course it was after school. And, of course, that made Mom do a complete one-eighty on the whole “babysitting” myself and my brother Jack thing.

See, my mom actually goes to work, unlike most of the other moms around here who just play tennis or dress their dogs up in little designer tracksuits all day. That’s why I got stuck in this Write On! class, which keeps me busy every afternoon and doesn’t cost Mom a cent. C’est la vie, I suppose.

In case you didn’t know, c’est la vie means “such is life.” It’s pronounced “say-la-vee” and is more or less the way French people say, “That bites, but oh well! Deal with it.” It’s also my Aunt Fab’s favorite phrase. It used to bug me. A lot. Maybe you can see why?

ME: Omigod, I dropped my new phone in the fish tank!

AUNT FAB: C’est la vie.

ME: I have a giant pimple and tomorrow is picture day!

AUNT FAB: C’est la vie.



Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Rena Rossner says:

    Cute! My kids live in a trilingual household (and French is one of the languages) – can you send me the full MS?

    – Rena Rossner rena (at) thedeborahharrisagency (dot) com

  • Molly Jaffa says:

    Clementine’s voice is spot-on! Love it. Will you please send the first 50 pages and a synopsis to molly [@] foliolit.com?

  • Stefanie Lieberman says:

    Adorable — I want more! If you are interested in submitting to me, please send three chapters to submissions(at)janklow(dot)com. Please include my name in the subject line and indicate that this is a Pitch Wars submission in the body of your email.

  • Louise Fury says:

    I would love to read the full manuscript, please send it to me in a word document with the pitch/query as page 1.


    ~Louise Fury

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