Announcing Pitch Week XXX Winner: Julie Colacchio!

In the young adult fantasy novel, The Poisoned Fruit, America Needs Magic.

Like all Mages, Topaz Tenkiller is imprisoned on a squalid croft. When she finally gets her work permit to escape, the Cold War is escalating, Prince is singing “When Doves Cry,” and addiction is destroying Topaz’s brother.

The gifted Mage works in a fake town erected to convince international inspectors that America treats her Mages humanely. Topaz finds a secret lab with mutilated Mage corpses and discovers that scientists are harvesting magic. Will Topaz stay silent and save her brother or expose America’s brutality to save her people?

This novel imagines Alina Starkov (from Shadow and Bone) dropped into a “Stranger Things” world. 

Julie Colacchio grew up in Roosevelt, Utah, a town located on the Ute Indian Reservation. She witnessed, and was angered by, injustice at a young age. All grown up, Colacchio has an MFA and has taught Creative Writing, English, and Public Speaking at the secondary and college level for over 20 years. She writes characters to teach her students that smart girls kick ass.

She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her three children and rescued dogs, cats, chickens, and one evil turtle. When not writing, reading, parenting, or teaching, she can be found drinking bitter coffee or bitter beer.

“Words come easily to me, but putting those words out there for others to read is difficult. The “When Words Count Competition” forced me to take risks. Presenting my work to the judges, all experts in their fields, was the hardest thing I have ever done. It turns out, the judges are human, and the most supportive people I have ever met. The competition is a masterclass in design, marketing, public speaking, and collaboration. Steve Eisner and everybody at WWC  pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am incredibly grateful.”


See our other Pitch Week XXX finalists here.