Hey, well done! I think you made some really good progress on this one.
I ended up putting way more red in there than I expected I would after the first read. Given your topic, I think you've got a very solid query. It's got the right amount of emotional charge, and touches on the different aspects of dealing with mental illness. Maybe some other folks will chime in, because one opinion is rarely enough, but I think you're pretty close.
Ok, so I've revised the query, adding more information and limiting the number of paragraphs to 4, longer ones. Hopefully it's more punchy & has an emotional impact :)
VERSION #4Emotionally scarred by her parents, seventeen-year-old Punk finds an escape through poetry. But when her untreated bipolar disorder gets more extreme, putting her on the edge of addiction, she struggles to uphold her ambition of getting somewhere in life. Love it! The only thing I might suggest, and this is very loose, is if you can identify in one or two words what about her parents emotionally scarred her. Was it abuse? Neglect? Unreasonable expectations? Judgments? If you can't do it in one or two words, don't do it at all. But if you can, it'll give your sentence a good 'beat'.Winning the first prize at Warsaw’s poetry contest boosts Punk’s belief that despite her upbringing, she’s not doomed to be a failure. In her manic state, she decides to apply for a writing scholarship in Italy next summer – her newly discovered obsession. There are a few word choices here I WOULD suggest changing, but they are mental illness specific, so leave em. All in all, good paragraph.I feel like you need a connection to the previous paragraph here. It starts off too abruptly. Punk’s sense of purpose is challenged as her rapid mood swings tamper with her future Finally figured out what's bugging me about this sentence - It's a passive statement, instead of part of the story, so it doesn't flow the same way. Maybe something like: Burning the candle at both ends, fatigue and rapid mood swings tamper with Punk's future, challenging/blurring her sense of purpose. Drugs and parties are the solace she craves, while the threat of being expelled from school is real Need to change 'real' - it lacks oomph. Maybe something like '...craves, but her escapes put her one step away from expulsion, and a lifetime away from Italy'. Worried about Punk’s erratic behavior, her best friend, Em, and her Polish teacher drag her to a therapist where she receives an official diagnosis of bipolar II. Terrified of being branded as “crazy”, she refuses to take her meds.It takes a series of dangerous falls for Punk to realize she needs help This is another statement. Also, it might give away a bit of the 'ending'. Like the last paragraph, you need something to connect it, and to remove the statement feel. Something like: Now, battling labels and her own inner doubts, Punk must rely on her friend's support, and her scholarship dream, to break free from the cycle of mental illness and succeed - or end up just like her parents said she would. Armed with
theirher friend's support and her scholarship dream she must break free from the cycle of mental illness to succeed. Before her world is shattered into pieces and there’s no way out.