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Getting Better (YA)


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#1 Maggie Soares

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:49 PM

(it's my first stab at this, so please, be brutal-- I can take it!)

Dear Agent,

Protecting her twin brother is something that comes as naturally as breathing to seventeen-year-old Hannah Green, but will she be able to keep it up once the stakes are raised?

Hannah has accepted the fact that she’s a fairly boring person. She, along with everyone in their small Connecticut town, knows that all the real entertainment lies in her twin brother, Gabriel. Smart, athletic, and popular, Gabe always knows just what to say to make people happy, including the twins’ step mother, Trinity. Gabe, however, has a secret, and in the environment he grew up in, it could be the secret that ruins his life.

Spending their first summer at home since Trinity opened Family Way, a “re-orientation” camp, Gabe is determined to keep his head down and get through the summer without Trinity realizing that he himself should be “praying away the gay.” Things change, however, once Gabe’s secret shows up at their house, in the form of his long-distance boyfriend, Collin. Over the course of the summer the twins realize the difference between the friends that they had before, and the family that they find in the campers at Family Way.

Complete at 74000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all readers, regardless of their own position on the GLBT spectrum.

#2 Literary Engineer

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:03 PM

Here are my comments. I was having trouble getting this out, so I hope it makes sense.

Protecting her twin brother is something that comes as naturally as breathing to seventeen-year-old Hannah Green, but will she be able to keep it up once the stakes are raised?

You're not supposed to ever use a rhetorical question in a query. Agents say this over and over. And after I read the next paragraph, I wonder why she has to protect him. He's the smart, athletic, popular one--I'd think he'd be protecting her--the boring one.

Hannah has accepted the fact that she’s a fairly boring person. She, along with everyone in their small Connecticut town, knows that all the real entertainment lies in her twin brother, Gabriel. Smart, athletic, and popular, Gabe always knows just what to say to make people happy, including the twins’ step mother, Trinity. Gabe, however, has a secret, and in the environment he grew up in, it could be the secret that ruins his life.

I don't think you need/want this teaser because in the next part we find out he's gay--which I assume is the secret. Also, this all seems to be backstory, which you don't want to waste time on.

Spending their first summer at home since Trinity opened Family Way, a “re-orientation” camp, Gabe is determined to keep his head down and get through the summer without Trinity realizing that he himself should be “praying away the gay.” Things change, however, once Gabe’s secret shows up at their house, in the form of his long-distance boyfriend, Collin. Over the course of the summer the twins realize the difference between the friends that they had before, and the family that they find in the campers at Family Way.

I think you need to rework things a little. You want to concentrate on what is happening in the novel--which you do more in that 3rd paragraph. What is the conflict? Obviously it with this camp, but what happens? How do things change? What are the stakes? What happens if the character doesn't get what he wants?

For example, fill this sentence in to give you an idea of what you need in your query. Then build off that.
When Gabe's secret boyfriend shows up, this (conflict) happens. Gabe must do this (whatever), otherwise this (whatever stuff) just might happen.

One of the hard things with contemporary YA like this is to make this emotional struggle interesting in the query. There's no danger of death or scary magical creatures or whatever... The stakes are emotional and personal. And you have to show what will might happen to that character if things don't work out.

I apologize again if this isn't clear.

Good luck. Contemporary YA is my favorite and this sounds like something I'd read. My current WIP also has GLBT themes too, so I'm interested in that kind of story.

Suzi


#3 Morgen442

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:45 PM



"Protecting her twin brother is something that comes as naturally as breathing to seventeen-year-old Hannah Green, but will she be able to keep it up once the stakes are raised?"

This hook needs to be more gripping. I'd take out the question and make a reference to his secret here.


"over the course if the summer, the twins realize the difference between the friends that they had before.." this seems kind of awkward, or just doesn't read right somehow.


I think your book sounds really interesting!

#4 Michelle_in_WI

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:38 PM

I am confused as to who your protagonist is. Your first two sentences set the stage for it to be Hannah, but the third sentence switches the focus to Gabe, with no mention of her again in the query. You need to be clear as to who the story about and what is at stake.

Your first sentence, your pitch, really needs to grab the reader. What are the stakes? What is the primary conflict? What stands to be gained/lost? You have a lot of potential for a great story, but you really need to draw in the reader and make them NEED to read more.

Replace vague descriptions like "in the environment he grew up in" with concrete examples. Religious Fundamentalist-Christian, Jewish, other? Strict disciplinarian? Intolerant? What key points make it difficult to come out/allow himself to be who he is?

Keep working on it! :)
If you have time, check out my blog. Thanks for reading!

#5 Maggie Soares

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 04:57 PM

(you guys are so great, thanks so much to all three of you! Here's an overhauled version.)


Dear Agent,

A summer with your bigoted step-mother is difficult. A summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible.

For years, seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority has been making sure no one—especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity—finds out about her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely. When Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at the family-owned “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way, things go from bad to worse when Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend shows up. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find people—some strangers, some surprisingly familiar—that show them what being a family really means.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER isn’t a book wherein the sexualities of the characters are a draw or a spectacle for readers, but one that proves these sexualities don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Maggie Soares

#6 RAskew

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 09:46 PM

For seventeen-year-old Hannah Green, a summer with her bigoted step-mother is difficult. A summer helping her twin-brother play straight while they work at the pray-away-the-gay camp owned by their step-mother is closer to impossible.

Second paragraph: You need to work on that middle sentence of the second paragraph. The arrival of Gabe's boyfriend sounds tacked on rather than the central focus of the conflict. You also need to address why he shows up? Have his parents made him attend the camp? There's an assumption about how this raises the stakes, but you don't clarify it; so you need to make sure you do that. You also need to clarify who the POV is. Is it Hannah or is it both Hannah and Gabe? This revision focuses more on Hannah, but there's still some shifts back to Gabe.

Good luck!

#7 Literary Engineer

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:12 PM

I agree about the problem with pov shift. You can state in the last paragraph w/the title that it's dual pov (if it is), but for a query, it should be from one pov. At least that's what I've learned. Right now the 1st paragraph is Gabe's, the 2nd is Hannah's.

Since you started with Gabe's pov, I would suggest using that through-out because the stakes are higher for him. Of course if your story is only told from Hannah's pov, then you have to use hers.


A summer with your bigoted step-mother is difficult, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible. (I like this)

For years, seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority has been making sure no one—especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity—finds out about her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely. When Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at the family-owned “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way., things go from bad to worse When Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend shows up, this conflict happens. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find others people—some strangers, some surprisingly familiar—that show them what being a family really means. (This last sentence is very vague to me. I think you need something in between it and the previous sentence to show us what that conflict is and then you can use it. Does the step mom hurt him? Kick him out?)

You've made great changes, and you're on the right track.

Hope this helps.

Suzi

#8 Maggie Soares

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 01:26 PM

(okay, here's the next draft. I'm slightly worried about the third sentence in the second paragraph because holy cow is it LONG. If anyone has any suggestions as to how to maybe break it up without it sounding choppy, I'd love you forever and maybe bake you cookies. Thanks again everyone!)


Dear Agent,

A summer with your bigoted step-mother is difficult, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible.

For years, seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority has been making sure no one—especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity—finds out about her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely. Unfortunately, for the first time Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at the family-owned “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way. When Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend Collin gets sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by Gabe for the summer, Hannah will have to try harder than ever to keep her brother safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion and the hate she has for people like Gabe, all while attempting to control her own cabin, which just so happens to house the most popular girl in school, and figure out exactly why a guy at a pray-away-the-gay camp would be hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find people—some strangers, some surprisingly familiar—that show them what being a family really means.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER isn’t a book wherein the sexualities of the characters are a draw or a spectacle for readers, but rather one that proves these sexualities don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

#9 Literary Engineer

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

Wow, that is a long sentence. :) I'd definitely split it.

When Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend Collin gets sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by Gabe for the summer, Hannah must will have to try harder than ever to keep her brother safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion and her the hate she has for people like Gabe. But Hannah has her own problems too, including controlling all while attempting to control her own cabin, which just so happens to houses the most popular girl in school, and figure out exactly why a guy at a pray-away-the-gay camp would be hitting on her.

With that last part--Hannah's problems, I would suggest leaving the popular-girl reference out. Because what does that mean? Who care? You're not telling us how/why it's difficult to have this girl. So I see it as less important.

I think it'd be okay to mention the controlling her own cabin, but make sure you give a little reason why. Are they unruly? Wild?

What I do see as important/interesting is the gay guy hitting on her, and I would expand that a tiny bit if possible.

Great job!

Suzi

#10 Maggie Soares

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 02:50 PM

(You're seriously the best ever. Like, I want to knit you sweaters and sent you edible arrangements. Is that creepy? Too many years on the internet sort of made me forget what online boundaries are. I'm not sure what I think about the way I changed the bit about the guy hitting on her, I liked it before when it was a bit more vague, but this was the only way I could think of expanding it.)


Dear Agent,

A summer with your bigoted step-mother is difficult, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible.

For years, seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority has been making sure no one—especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity—finds out about her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely. Unfortunately, for the first time Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at the family-owned “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way. When Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend Collin gets sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by Gabe, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep her brother safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion and her hate for people like Gabe. But Hannah has her own problems, too, including controlling her own cabin, which houses the volatile head cheerleader and the girl back for a second year at Family Way who delights in making things difficult. If the clash of personalities in her cabin wasn’t enough, she suddenly needs to figure out exactly how a straight guy got sent to a pray-away-the-gay camp, and more importantly, why he’s hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find people—some strangers, some surprisingly familiar—that show them what being a family really means.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER isn’t a book wherein the sexualities of the characters are a draw or a spectacle for readers, but rather one that proves these sexualities don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Maggie Soares

#11 Literary Engineer

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:25 PM

Oh, that made me laugh. Thank you for the thought at least.

Remember, it's your query. So if you like something better than what I suggest, it's yours to do what you want. My opinion is only what I'd do. I do like your changes though. You got a lot more specific, which agents seem to want.

On that note.

I'd break up the paragraph. It's a big block of black.

For years, seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority has been making sure no one—especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity—finds out about her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely. Unfortunately, for the first time Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at the family-owned “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way. When Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend Collin gets sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by Gabe, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep her brother safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion and her hate for people like Gabe. But Hannah has her own problems, too, including controlling her own cabin, which houses the volatile head cheerleader and the girl back for a second year at Family Way who delights in making things difficult. If the clash of personalities in her cabin wasn’t enough, she suddenly needs to figure out exactly how a straight guy got sent to a pray-away-the-gay camp, and more importantly, why he’s hitting on her.
Break here (the other option would be to break at the 'But Hannah...' sentence instead.)
In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find people—some strangers, some surprisingly familiar—that show them what being a family really means.

Volatile cheerleader-- great use of words
(I assume she is the same person as the one who makes things difficult. The way it's written, I'm seeing 2 girls, that's why I changed it. If there are 2 girls, ignore that above and exchange 'another' for 'the' at '...and the girl.')
class of personalities--I like that

#12 Maggie Soares

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:44 PM

(I'm glad I made you laugh instead of run from my crazy. :tongue: I was thinking of splitting that paragraph, so thank you! It actually was two girls, so I changed that and then there's only a few little changes after that.)


Dear Agent,

A summer with your bigoted step-mother is difficult, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible.

For years, seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority has been making sure no one—especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity—finds out about her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely. Unfortunately, for the first time Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at the family-owned “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way. When Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend Collin gets sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by Gabe, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep her brother safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion and her hate for people like her brother.

But Hannah has her own problems, too, including controlling her own cabin, which houses the volatile head cheerleader and another girl back for a second year at Family Way. If the clash of personalities in her cabin wasn’t enough, she suddenly needs to figure out exactly how a straight guy got sent to a pray-away-the-gay camp, and more importantly, why he’s hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find people—some strangers, some surprisingly familiar—that show them what being a family really means.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER isn’t a book wherein the sexualities of the characters are a draw or a spectacle for readers, but rather one that proves these sexualities don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Maggie Soares

#13 Cat Woods

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:55 PM

I like so much about your story. Literary Engineer has given you some great advice on how to tweak it.

You've got the bones, now make sure you're padding the rest of the query with muscle and not fat. Cut out unnecesary words and ideas and keep this short and tight.

Best luck, I look forward to reading a new version.

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#14 Literary Engineer

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 04:06 PM

I'll keep my mouth shut too now. Give some others a chance. :)

I'd just work on what Cat said.

#15 Maggie Soares

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 04:48 PM

(thank you so much, both of you! I made some little changes here and there, and I added things. I'm not sure if that's the wisest option, so input on that would be great. Does it make things too ramble-y? I'm sort of just sitting here biting my nails, now that I've gotten it down to almost-done. :wacko: )


Dear Agent,

A summer with your bigoted step-mother is difficult, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible.

For years, seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority has been making sure no one—especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity—finds out about her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely. Unfortunately, for the first time Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at her “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way. When Gabe’s long-distance boyfriend Collin gets sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by her brother, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep them both safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion and her hate for people like Gabe.

But Hannah has her own problems, too, including controlling her own cabin, which houses the volatile head cheerleader and another girl back for a second year at Family Way whose biggest thrill seems to be making Hannah’s life difficult. If the clash of personalities in her cabin wasn’t enough, she suddenly needs to figure out exactly how a straight guy got sent to a pray-away-the-gay camp, and more importantly, why he’s hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find the people they can confide in. Some of them are strangers, others are closer than they thought, but all of them teach the twins what it really means to be a family.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER isn’t a book wherein the sexualities of the characters are a draw or a spectacle for readers, but rather one that proves these sexualities don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Maggie Soares

#16 Literary Engineer

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:14 PM

Okay. I didn't keep my mouth shut.

Cat mentioned cleaning it up. Getting rid of unnecessary words. I'll point out a few things like what she means. This is where other people's opinions would be helpful, because other people may catch stuff I can't. And remember, I'm no grammar expert.

Sorry about all the red, hope it's not too confusing.

A summer with your bigoted step-mother is difficult, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible.

difficult- can you find a better word, more descriptive.

For years, (unncessary) seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority is has been making sure no one— (I think this would just be a comma) especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity,finds out about (use discovers--a better word) her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him completely (unnecessary). Unfortunately, for the first time (unnecessary) Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at her “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way. When Gabe’s long-distance (unnecessary) boyfriend Collin is gets sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by her brother, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep them both safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion and her hate for people like Gabe. I would probably cut this. It brings up the question that if she hates 'those people,' how can she effectively run a camp trying to change them. Because she'd always be at odds over it. I would think a person in her situation has a misplaced compassion, thinking they're helping, but really not. Now since it's her step-son, it might be different to her, but still, I have issue with that last part.

But Hannah has her own problems, too, including controlling her own cabin, which houses the volatile head cheerleader and another girl back for a second year at Family Way, whose biggest thrill is to make seems to be making Hannah’s life difficult.(Definitely don't repeat difficult if you use it above. Find different word.) If the clash of personalities in her cabin isn't wasn’t enough, she suddenly (avoid use of suddenly in fiction writing) needs to figure out exactly (unnecessary) why a straight guy is at how a straight guy got sent to a pray-away-the-gay camp, and more importantly, why he’s hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find the people they can confide in. Some of them are strangers, others are closer than they thought, but all of them teach the twins what it really means to be a family.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER isn’t a book wherein the sexualities of the characters are a draw or a spectacle for readers, (don't tell us what it isn't, just tell us what it is, which you do following) but rather one that proves these sexualities don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

#17 Maggie Soares

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:42 PM

(I'm glad you didn't keep your mouth shut! I have a really bad rambling habit, so having someone tell me what is and isn't necessary is so incredibly helpful.)


Dear Agent,

A summer with your bigoted step-mother is trying, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to impossible.

Seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority is making sure no one, especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity, discovers her twin Gabriel’s sexuality, lest their parents disown him. Trinity decides that the twins are old enough to spend the summer working at her “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way. When Gabe’s boyfriend Collin is sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by her brother, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep them both safe from Trinity’s growing suspicion.

But Hannah has her own problems, including controlling her own cabin, which houses the volatile head cheerleader and another girl back for a second year at Family Way whose biggest thrill is to make Hannah’s life difficult. If the clash of personalities in her cabin wasn’t enough, she needs to figure out what a straight guy is doing at a pray-away-the-gay camp, and more importantly, why he’s hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find the people they can confide in. Some of them are strangers, others are closer than they thought, but all of them teach the twins what it really means to be a family.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER brings people from different backgrounds, belief systems, and sexualities together, and proves that these differences don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Maggie Soares

#18 Cat Woods

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:14 PM

Much better. (Thanks, Engineer) Now I'm going to throw out a few more tweaks for you to consider.

Surviving A summer with your bigoted step-mother is trying, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is closer to nearly impossible.

Seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority is making sure no one discovers her twin brother Gabriel’s sexuality, lest they disown him this is kind of given when you go on to say she's fundamentally-Christian so I rearranged to make it read more smoothly. especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother, Trinity. The fewer names the better. Trinity decides that When the twins are old enough to spend the summer working forced to work at her “Re-orientation” camp, Family Way again, names are not necessary. and Gabe's secret boyfriend winds up in his cabin, When Gabe’s boyfriend Collin is sent to the camp by his own unaccepting parents and is assigned to live in the cabin run by her brother, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep them both safe from Trinity’s their step-mother's growing suspicion.

But Hannah has her own problems, including controlling her own cabin, which houses namely the volatile head cheerleader and another girl back for a second year at Family Way the unrehabilitated, second-year camper whose biggest thrill is to make Hannah’s life difficult. If the clash of personalities in her cabin wasn’t enough,can you give me something stronger than "wasn't enough" that really portrays the nitty-gritty of it? Also, it should be present tense. Isn't. she needs to figure out what a straight guy is doing at a pray-away-the-gay camp,I might even do a sentence break to give the second part of it more punch. and more importantly, why he’s hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find the people they can confide in. Some of them are strangers, others are closer than they thought, but all of them teach the twins what it really means to be a family.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to all that's a very broad statement and I don't of a single universally loved book on any shelf Young Adult readers, regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER brings people from different backgrounds, belief systems, and sexualities together, and proves that these differences don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Maggie Soares


The evolution of this letter has been fun to see. I think you have great story that needs to be told. My daughter, for one, would buy this because she's a strong advocate of acceptance even as she's extremely religious. There isn't much out there that reconciles this issue for teens.

Cat Woods
Juvenile Junction Group Moderator


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#19 A.M.Supinger

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:32 PM

I love Cat's suggestions, and your query is really shaping up! Good job so far :D

I would totally buy this if I saw it on the shelf at a bookstore.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

#20 Maggie Soares

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:43 PM

(Thank you, Cat! I'm glad you like the book (or the idea of it, anyway) behind the query. And that's the best compliment I can think of, Guppy-- thanks! :D okay, here's draft... seven. Wow. You guys are awesome for putting up with this.)


Dear Agent,

Surviving a summer with your bigoted step-mother is trying, but a summer playing straight while working at a pray-away-the-gay camp owned by your step mother is nearly impossible.

Seventeen-year-old Hannah Green’s top priority is making sure no one discovers her brother Gabriel’s sexuality, especially her fundamentally-Christian step-mother. When the twins are forced to work at her “Re-orientation” camp and Gabe’s secret boyfriend winds up in his cabin, Hannah must try harder than ever to keep them both safe from their step-mother’s growing suspicion.

But Hannah has her own problems, including controlling her own cabin; namely, the volatile head cheerleader and the girl back for a second year whose biggest thrill is to make Hannah’s life difficult. If the clash of personalities isn’t frustrating enough, she needs to figure out what a straight guy is doing at a pray-away-the-gay camp. More importantly, she needs to figure out why he’s hitting on her. In a summer when they have the most to hide, Hannah and Gabe manage to find the only people they can confide in. Some of them are strangers, others are closer than they thought, but all of them teach the twins what it really means to be a family.

Complete at 74 000 words, GETTING BETTER will appeal to Young Adult readers regardless of their own beliefs or orientation. GETTING BETTER brings people from different backgrounds, belief systems, and sexualities together, and proves that these differences don’t matter.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Maggie Soares




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