to Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Kimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs for organizing The Writer's Voice!
Here's my entry.
Seth Halloway knows the religious
books have it wrong. He and his team of Sifters live on Earth, marking morally
corrupt humans for the Voidmaster. After their Earthly deaths, most souls move
on to life in the haven. Sifter-marked souls end up in the void, waging a
centuries-long war on the haven's automated defense system in an attempt to
Seventeen-year-old Neve has been
identified as the future destroyer of the Voidmaster's team of Sifters. So no
task is more important to Seth than convincing her to join the Voidmaster's
side. When every method of corruption his team devises falls short, he's forced
to spend night after night with her, searching her dreams for her weaknesses,
and it's not long before her wit and care breathe life into his long-believed
Despite the fact that his continued
dream visits put Neve's sanity at risk, Seth can't stop, even if he wanted to.
Failure to condemn Neve would mean banishment to the eternal battleground for
him and his loyal team. But to succeed, he'll have to break the girl he spends
every night with...and his own heart.
MARK OF THE SIFTER is a YA
contemporary fantasy novel told from the points of view of both Neve and Seth.
It features a multicultural cast and is complete at 82K words, stands alone and has the potential for a companion
First 250 words
in my chest, I could feel it: the girl was asleep. The itch to jump into her
dream almost overpowered me, but I lingered in the arched entrance hall of Rainthorpe
Manor, the mansion we'd used as home base on Earth the last twenty years. A new
recruit had died this morning, and Beatrice would bring her by any moment to
meet me. Not even the peaceful glisten of snow through the leaded windows could
curb my urge to depart, and I leaned around the corner to check the grandfather
and an older woman with brown, wind-toughened skin materialized in front of me.
I nodded to both of them.
is the Head Sifter, Seth," Bee said, gesturing in my direction.
new Sifter's eyes flicked to Bee and back to me.
I didn't ask her name. The details of her former life had been included in her
voice wavered as she asked, "Are you the one shielding it?"
gave a short nod, and her hard face looked like it might crack. "Thank
you. It was horrible."
caught my eye and raised a finger to show she understood my impatience.
"I'll introduce you to your partner," she said, drawing the woman
from the hall. "And we'll go over some of your duties."
you!" the woman called over her shoulder, but I was already fading out,
diving into the dream world of the destroyer.
was time to find the problem.