Linda Jackson (ljjackson0 on QT) has signed with agent Victoria Marini of Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Dear Ms. Marini,
NAACP. Fifteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter’s grandmother has warned her if she even utters those letters in her house, it would take a year to wash the taste of lye soap from her mouth. The year is 1955. The place is the dirt clods of the Mississippi Delta. And because of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown versus the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas, Black people in Mississippi are being gunned down simply for registering to vote. And according to Big Ma, them NAACP people ain’t making things no better.
But Rose Lee is fed up with Mississippi and its Jim Crow way of life. Like her mother and many others before her, she can’t wait to flee the South and head to Chicago. Education is her only way out, even if the education comes from the Colored high school where everything in it is junk White folks no longer wanted in their children’s school. But with Big Ma’s announcement that Rose Lee won’t attend high school in the fall because she is needed to work the fields, Rose Lee becomes even more determined to figure out an escape from the South.
Then, a week before school starts, a fourteen-year-old Chicago boy named Emmett Till is brutally murdered in nearby Money, Mississippi. His crime: Whistling at a White woman in her grocery store. At first Emmett Till’s murder frightens Rose Lee, making her want to keep her thoughts and her right to vote to herself. But with the acquittal of the guilty-beyond-a-reasonable-shadow-of-doubt murderers, Rose Lee knows she must stand up for her rights even if it may cause her her life.
BECOMING ROSA is a 66,000-word historical novel set in the fictitious town of Stillwater, Mississippi, and it is loosely based on my own family’s Mississippi Delta history. The Mississippi Arts Commission recently awarded me a Literary Arts Fellowship for BECOMING ROSA based on the following criteria: The writing was presented in a way that it gave the reader a clear interest in the characters as characters in their own right; The description of early African American life was evocative; The writing was presented in a warm narrative voice; It was interesting to see the writer’s use of a teenager as storyteller; The warmth and humor exhibited in the writing is to be commended.
My writing credentials include years of writing reading assessment passages for educational publishers as well as publication in multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul titles. I would love to hear from you, Ms. Marini, if BECOMING ROSA is a manuscript you would like to further explore.