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S1 E4 - Querying with Louisa Onomé

By Faridah Abike-Iyimide

Show notes: In this episode, we talk in-depth about the query process We define what a query is for people who are still not sure We start with our query letters Louisa’s query: Sixteen-year-old Chinelo is all about her neighbourhood. She loves the chill vibe of Ginger East, its ride-or-die sense of community, and the good memories she has of her best friends growing up there. Even though most of them moved away, and new, gentrified businesses have altered the make-up of her neighbourhood, she still has Kate, whose family owns local staple Ginger Store, and as long as both Kate and Ginger Store never leave, she's good. After all, Ginger Store was Chinelo's unofficial hangout spot, her first semi-job, and her second home; she knows she wouldn't be the same without it.But when Ginger Store is broken into, Chinelo's sense of security is shaken. Her first instinct? Find out who did this and why they'd want to hurt her community by targeting such a beloved spot. Unwanted media attention from the incident makes Kate less enthusiastic to dig around, causing a rift between her and Chinelo. To top it all off, local real estate developers want Kate's family to sell, forcing the girls to drift further apart from each other. Chinelo's entire world is changing and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing herself and her world to the constant monster of change. It should be for the better, but better for who?Faridah’s query: From sex-tapes to covered up murders, Devon and Chiamaka have a lot at stake if their secrets ever get out.Anyone that knows them knows that they are furthest from friends; some may even call them enemies. But when ‘Aces’, an anonymous texter, starts spreading their secrets around their private school, they have no choice but to team up and expose their tormentor’s identity. If they fail to act fast enough, they risk social annihilation and losing out on a place at their dream colleges. Devon and Chiamaka set out to find the person or people behind Aces, what they find, however, is the soiled history of their school’s past and that Aces is not just a game of high school mean girl’s, but instead a powerful institution that dates back 400 years ago: an institution with the power to ruin not only the lives of the only Black students at the private academy, but also historically the lives of millions that looked just like them.Now it’s not just about them –Devon and Chiamaka must expose Aces or risk a violent and treacherous history repeating itself.We also spoke about the differences in MG stories VS YA Coded language marginalized writers get in rejections Query experience Pop-Up/breaking new ground an organisation that this year put together a book of all the authors and illustrators of colour in the UK, click here to view it Jesus and Jollof Podcast check out for some inspiring talk by amazing Nigerian actresses/entrepreneursDVpit and AMM talk Not being successful in DVPit but that not being the end of the road “New things always come out of the ashes.” - Louisa OnoméTwitter: @LouisaOnome_Instagram: @LouisaOnomeWebsite: you for listening!

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