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February is audio month~!

Home Forums Sparkler Monthly Public Forums Everything else February is audio month~!

Viewing 9 posts - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)
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    Lianne Sentar

    @Neila – Yes, episodes of approx 20 minutes are ideal (15-25 min). We don’t have a preference re: the different types of settings that work for audio, so long as the setting does work well in audio and sets an interesting mood, if possible.

    Rebecca Scoble

    @Neila–Sorry I missed this! Anyway, just to address your question, we’re looking for an audio DRAMA like Awake, not an audio BOOK like Tokyo Demons. We’re fine with stories that feature a narrator or internal monologue, but don’t get caught up describing visuals or individual actions–conversations between characters should happen mostly uninterrupted.


    Thank you for the opportunity to submit a mini-pitch.

    Title: Mixed Blood

    Genre: Dark modern fantasy

    Premise: A creative and kindhearted Hispanic American girl, 16 year-old Elisa has spent her entire life in a group home. In a moment of loneliness, Elisa makes a wish upon an antique pendent for her to find others like herself. She is magically transported across the United States and suddenly in the company of 3 other teenagers, who were also magicked away from their homes. Elisa comes to realize the magic came from her, and like the other teens, she is partly human and partly supernatural. She is joined by August; an Irish-American part vampire girl with a mysterious demeanor, Devon; an African American fire conjuror with disturbing visions, and Garrison; the affable Caucasian wayward son of a werewolf. The group feels a kinship with one another they’ve never experienced before and decide to stay together and help Elisa unravel the mystery of her parentage. However, their journey will be fraught with perils from both the human world and the supernatural underground. They find themselves at odds with Garrison’s deranged werewolf father, August’s possessive vampire clan, and other more mysterious threats.

    Rebecca Scoble

    Hi Brianwithcheese, thank you for pitching your story! Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re on the right track with this one–this premise simply feels too young for us. The main elements of this story are all so tied to YA and children’s literature that I think it would be very difficult to age the story up enough to work in Sparkler. I can see an adaptation of this premise working well as a story for kids, maybe, but it would be very hard to write it in a way that older teenagers or adults would enjoy.

    Your pitch also doesn’t mention any story elements I haven’t heard many times before. You do leave things open enough that the specifics of the adventure could feel more innovative, but what you’ve told me here so far feels like treading the same ground as a hundred other stories written for elementary and middle school kids. We don’t have any problem with people using common tropes, but some element of your story needs to go beyond them.

    Sorry to give you bad news, but you’re welcome to try another pitch here if you’d like. If you aren’t sure how to get away from that young-YA feel, I suggest forgetting about teenagers for now and trying to write something with adult characters.


    Thanks for the feedback. I did have another idea or two I thought might be worthwhile.

    Title: The Challenges of Panthea

    Genre: Dark Comedy

    Premise: 24 year-old Panthea has felt put upon her entire life. Whenever anything in life starts to go right for her, the situation changes completely and she’s put through the ringer. She only wants a normal life, but it always seem out of reach for her. What Panthea doesn’t realize is that she is in actuality a play thing of an aristocratic society of gods(A mix of several pantheons) who regard humankind as a source of entertainment. The gods watching her decide Panthea’s life has become too predictable and the ante needs to be upped for their own amusement. Well intentioned yet scatter brained Panthea will find herself thrust into the plots and conspiracies of the worst of humanity, situations which will only get worse as the gods’ fickle attentions wax and wane. Panthea’s family and friends will be drawn into the drama as well, regarded by the gods as her “supporting cast” and “the B-plots.” Yet certain gods will secretly root for Panthea and discreetly provide her the means of escaping/solving her predicaments, if her mind is open and she is clever enough to pick up upon the solution.

    Rebecca Scoble

    Hey brianwithcheese, I think this second plot has a much better chance of working for Sparkler. It’s an interesting idea that could go either very funny or very dark, bring up some interesting ideas, etc. My big suggestion for you and anyone else writing comedies (based on some similar pitches I’ve received) is to make sure the humor always serves the story–don’t let yourself get caught up in long, jokey tangents, make sure the story is always moving forward, and CUT MERCILESSLY anything that doesn’t fit, no matter how great the material is.

    Note to everyone: because multiple people have asked me for extensions and it seems like the end of this month is falling at a bad time for everyone, the deadline for audio pitches has been moved back to Sunday, March 9th. I think the due date falling on a Friday has ended up being a problem for a lot of people, and I’d rather wait a week and let people write me the best pitches they can.


    Title: Bright and Monstrous Things
    Setting: 1920’s Miami
    Genre: Urban Fantasy

    Iona has a unique ability, she can kill people with her touch. It comes in handy for running cons with her family, one of the top crime families in Miami. It’s easy to make the marks’ deaths look like accidents. After her brother is killed by Atticus La Palma, one of the big mob bosses, Iona is ready to move on. True to the nature of her family she can’t leave without completing one last con. It wasn’t very well planned but she was desperate; she just took advantage of the drunk rich college kid that stumbled through the doors of her family’s speakeasy. Preparing to hide the evidence, Iona is shocked when the boy hasn’t died. In fact, he’s alive and well. Iona learns that her mark is Hugo Verite and he has found out her secret and a way to exploit it for good. Sanitize Miami from it’s sin and corruption, a lofty, yet twisted goal but with Iona’s power and Hugo’s cunning it can be done. The pair is working their way up to La Palma, perfecting their technique along the way. Hot on their trial is Arden “The Warden” Reese, a young but talented detective and her partner Chase Channing. It looks like Iona and Hugo are able to evade the cops until Iona’s previous marks start coming back from the dead with a taste for vengeance and a taste for brains.

    Rebecca Scoble

    Hey Najela, I think you’re closer with this pitch than you were with your last one, but I worry that you’re trying to do too much at once. This feels like two separate stories crammed together–a 20’s mafia heist/chase story, and a supernatural powers/zombie story–and even those two plotlines are made up of a lot of very different elements, some of which conflict with each other. Do you have a plan for how all these elements are going to connect to each other without feeling scattered and random? I can hypothetically see this story working, but it would take EXTREMELY deft storytelling to get all the background worldbuilding out, and strong unifying threads tying everything together. Remember, right now we’re looking for a story that’s fairly short and self-contained, which makes this an even harder sell for this particular round of submissions.

    My suggestion is to simplify this as much as you possibly can. Think about your story, and decide what’s the most compelling part of it–the strongest idea or relationship–and cut everything except that concept and any necessary story elements that strengthen and feed into that concept. For example, if you thought the strongest part of this story was the relationship between the reformed criminals and the detectives chasing them, you could cut the supernatural aspect entirely and come up with a mundane way for Iona to reform herself, and focus entirely on the chase and the antagonistic cops and robbers relationship. If you think the supernatural aspect creates the best plot, you could either cut the detectives or have them team up with the criminals early on to deal with the zombie menace–if Iona’s powers caused the zombie problem, finding a way for her to fix it sounds like a goal that would make sense.

    A storytelling trick that might help you zero in on your story–you should be able to describe your plot in one sentence. Right now, from the description you gave I can’t even really tell what the main conflict is. I think there’s something in here that could work, but focusing and refining your ideas will give you a much better shot.

    Rebecca Scoble

    Hey everybody, just a reminder–all audio pitches are due at 11:59 (EST) on Sunday night. I can’t wait to read everyone’s pitches!

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