The Writer’s Voice

The Writer’s Voice is a fantastic contest based on the NBC show The Voice.  I was lucky enough to have my name drawn as one of the 150 participants, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Query:

Dear amazing Writer’s Voice coaches,

Maggie Fitts, known less affectionately by some of her classmates as Maggie “Doesn’t” Fitts, is sick of being the fattest girl in class. After a series of embarrassing events at the end of eighth grade, Maggie is determined to lose weight. When a cute guy moves in across the street, Maggie’s determination grows stronger. If she can pull this off, she just might be able to start high school with a new body and a new boyfriend.

But when Maggie’s parents announce they’re getting divorced, her whole world is thrown upside down. Now she must find the balance between having fun with her friends, getting her crush to like her, shuffling between her parents, and trying to lose weight. Her best friend keeps telling her that losing weight won’t make her happy, but Maggie refuses to listen. If she fails, she’ll begin another year as “the fat girl,” and she can’t let that happen. When her uncle suffers a heart attack, however, Maggie is forced to reconsider everything she thought she knew about health and happiness.

FOR REAL THIS TIME, complete at 49,000 words, is a contemporary young adult novel. It should appeal to fans of Carolyn Mackler and Sarah Dessen.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Katie Green

First 250 words:

If there’s anything worse than being a fat girl going bathing suit shopping, it’s being a fat girl going bathing suit shopping while your skinny friend complains about how fat she is.

“This would be so cute on me if I wasn’t so fat,” Hannah complains, holding up a pink bikini. She turns to face us, holding it up to her chest. “Wouldn’t this be cute on me?”

Brilee and I exchange eye rolls. Brilee’s not nearly as fat as I am, but at least she’s not skinny like Hannah.

“It’s adorable,” says Brilee, moving onto the next rack of bathing suits. “Why don’t you just try it on and see?”

“I can’t,” says Hannah. “I’ve put on so much weight this year! I can’t believe there’s only three more weeks of school. I should have been dieting. That’s it. I’m going on a diet tonight. I think I’ve gained like twenty pounds this year.”

If she thinks she’s fat, I can’t even begin to imagine how fat she must think I am. I keep my mouth shut and my head down, trying not to draw attention to myself until the topic changes. Instead, I flip through a rack of bathing suits that are way too small for me. The largest size here is a twelve. I wear a twenty. I glance over at the junior plus section, but that’s all the way on the other side of the aisle.

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Posted on May 2, 2013, in contests, For Real This Time, The Writer's Voice. Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.

  1. I love this. What a wonderful–and important!–concept. Good luck with it!

  2. This sounds great and totally something every girl/woman can relate to. Good luck with the contest.:)

  3. I love the title. It really sets a great mood for this story. The opening line is good, too. Good luck in the contest!

  4. Aw, my heart goes out to Maggie even in this short little extract – good job! (And good luck!)

  5. You’re tackling a lot of important real life topics here, a lot of which many people can relate too. Brave and bold move and it shows you’ve got it under control with your pitch and first 250.

    Great job and Good luck!

  6. Ugh, this is my LIFE. Don’t read a lot of contemp YA, but I would read the heck out of this because there aren’t nearly enough fat/overweight MCs. Good luck!

  7. This is such a great opener. I had a friend like that in high-school too. Those durn skinny girls. Good luck with your wonderful MS!

  8. Fantastic–and necessary–concept. And that 250 has great voice. I immediately felt for Maggie. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  9. Great query and opening! Good luck!

  10. Nice. This storyline kind of reminds me of SKINNY by Donna Cooner. (Have you read that one? I love it.)

    Good luck! 🙂

  11. Hannah Scott

    The first line seriously had me. Just. Had. Me. Maggie’s story needs to be told! Good luck to you in the contest. 🙂

  12. I think you have the voice perfect in the first 250 and I love how you lay out all of her problems in the query. I’m hooked!

  13. Deborah Markus

    Strong writing, great topic. I know people are saying this all over the place, but I *really* want to read this book. I hope I can soon.

  14. This is fantastic! Thank you for posting the query as well. I’m glad I had a chance to read that as well. The first 250 are great and I would totally keep reading 🙂 GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

  15. I remember this from WoC (at least, I think it was WoC?) and I absolutely love the first line of your 250. Good luck! 🙂

  16. ANY female can relate to your concept – I especially like the opening lines. Well done.

  17. Great opening line. As a former fat teenager with 3 rail thin sisters I can’t tell you how many times that exact thought crossed my mind! Good luck with the contest!

    • I thought it was bad enough having thin friends when you were fat. Having tiny sisters sounds even worse! Your teenage self has my sympathies! And thanks! 🙂

  18. There are so many girls who can relate to this type of story. It is so relevant to so many of the body issues/identity crisis related to that. Good luck!

  19. Yep. A great topic, for sure. I love that the query speaks to the friend who “keeps telling her that losing weight won’t make her happy”. That’s some great setup to the conflict the reader can expect. G’luck!

  20. Love this! I had several skinny friends in high school who complained about being fat. (I always felt like they were fishing for compliments.) Good luck to you!

  21. I have seriously read this entry TWICE, thinking I’ve must’ve commented…I adore this!! Truly if I were a judge, I’d snatch this one up in a millisecond. Love everything about it….I wish you the best of luck…I’d love to read more!

    P.S. I was the skinny girl in HS, but I was so skinny I hated it…hated my bony kneecaps…now that I’ve had 3 kids, well, let’s just say…I’ve expanded out, and could so feel your MC, Maggie’s pain.

    • Haha. I’ve totally done that before – thought I’ve commented on something when I haven’t. Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you liked it!

      And I would have killed to be the skinny girl in high school. Now that I’m older, I can appreciate that there are good and bad sides to all weights. If only Maggie understood that. 🙂

  22. Boy, can I relate! I would read the crap out of this! Good luck 🙂

  23. d. Nichole King

    I can definately relate. So much, in fact, that I toyed around with anorexia and bulimia in high school. I only weighed in at 145, but I felt like it was 245. Great story!

    • I’m sorry to hear that you went through that. 😦 That’s definitely one of the problems that arises with our current culture’s obsession with weight. No one ever feels good enough. Thanks for the feedback! I hope things are much better for you now!

  24. I’m afraid I fall in the category of suspecting I was the ‘skinny’ friend who said she was fat…except, I wouldn’t have been saying it for effect, but because I thought I was. I wonder how many other ‘skinny friends’ fall into the same category? Much of how we feel about ourselves is perception, and it sounds like your novel will do a great job of exploring that!

    • Perception is definitely a huge part of it. I think sometimes, too, that what we say about ourselves ends up really hurting those around us in ways that we don’t always realize. Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  25. I so wanted to smack the skinny girl. You had my emotions up and running from the get go. Sending you good luck vibes for the contest.

  26. Wow, congratulations! Really cool news! 🙂

  27. Hey Dannie,

    My interest is piqued! (Brenda gave me the green light to ask for pages). Would you send me a pitch letter with a one page synopsis and the 1st 50 pages to pooja@kimberleycameron.com? Looking forward to it.

    Pooja Menon
    Kimberley Cameron & Associates

  28. Apologies for the mix up for names, Katie (I blame my tired brain). I am so careless!

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