Friday, May 2, 2014

MG QUERY/ 250 words: SUNNY BERINGER'S TOTALLY AWESOME PLAN FOR ROMANCE


MG Query: SUNNY BERINGER'S TOTALLY AWESOME PLAN FOR ROMANCE

Dear Writer's Voice Judges,

I am seeking representation for my 47,000-word middle grade novel, SUNNY BERINGER'S TOTALLY AWESOME PLAN FOR ROMANCE.

At a time when most eleven-year-olds are navigating first crushes, Sunny Beringer finds herself trying to ignite a spark... between her own parents. That’s when Sunny Beringer’s Totally Awesome Plan for Romance is born--a list of sure-fire ways to make her mom and Daddy Scott fall madly in love again.

By the time she gets to Number 5, cutting down the neighbor’s roses so she can give them to Mom as a gift from a Secret Admirer to make Daddy Scott jealous, life in a new city gets even more challenging.

Sunny has to choose between the eccentric girl on her Odyssey of the Mind team and the popular girl who’s invited her to sit with her at lunch because, according to middle school rules, it’s impossible to be friends with both. And building a relationship with the grandmother they’ve moved in with isn’t easy, especially when animal-lover Sunny finds out Grandma Grace sells fur coats at her store. To make matters worse, she uncovers secrets about her mom and Daddy Scott’s past that make her question whether she’s ever had a real family at all.

When everything spins out of control, Sunny can be certain of only one thing: romance--and preteen life--are more complicated than she thought possible.


I’m a teacher, a mom of two daughters, and an Odyssey of the Mind coach.
My debut middle grade, EXTRAORDINARY, will be published by Skypony Press in Spring 2015. I’m also an active member in SCBWI and in an online critique group.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best,

Miriam Spitzer Franklin


 First 250 words:

            Gravel crunched under the car wheels as we pulled into a long winding driveway. I stuck my hand in my jeans pocket, running my fingers over the tiny slip of paper I’d found in my fortune cookie at lunchtime.
You will have a pleasant surprise.
I’d had plenty of surprises in the last couple of months, none of them pleasant. The only surprise I wanted now was for Mom to back the car out of the driveway and tell us it had all been a big mistake.
            “This is our new home?” my younger sister Autumn said, bouncing up and down on the seat.
I stared out the window at a huge white house with black shutters and a porch that wrapped around the side. “This is not our new home,” I corrected her. “It’s our temporary residence.”
            Autumn giggled as she got out of the car. “It sure is awesome!”
The house may have looked like something out of one of those magazines you find at the dentist office, but that didn’t make it awesome. Moving in with our grandmother meant I was now dad-less, best friend-less, and cat-less, which was nothing to be excited about at all.
 “Oh, can’t you just feel that fresh mountain air!” Mom said, exhaling deeply to make her point.
I had no idea what she was talking about. It still felt hot and humid to me, seeing it was the middle of August. I stared at the hazy blue mountains off in the distance.
 

22 comments:

  1. "I’d had plenty of surprises in the last couple of months, none of them pleasant." <3!

    Good luck in the contest!

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  2. Great voice! And a really cute concept, too. Good luck with it in the contest.

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  3. Awesome concept. I was an Odyssey of the Mind kid back in school! :)

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    1. Thanks, everyone! :)
      And great to hear from another OM competitor- my daughter's team made it to State this year and we're having a celebration cookout tonite!

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  4. I'm blown away by the query and opening page! I feel for this girl, having to make a major move, leave behind a dad, her best friend, and the kitty. She's a very creative and resourceful girl to come up with a romance plan like this--and I see lots and lots of potential for fun mayhem that gets her into all kinds of trouble :)

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  5. Thanks, Lora! It's great to hear such encouraging comments. :)

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  6. I'm not much on MG but your query did it. I'd love to read this. Great start, good luck

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  7. You have such a fabulous, spot-on MG voice! I laughed out loud at several points during your query and first 250. Best of luck!!

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  8. This is fantastic! Your title is adorable and I LOVE your voice :) Good luck!!

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  9. Awww I love this one! Sounds awesome!

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  10. Thanks, everyone! I'll remember your kind words and encouragement even if I'm not chosen by the coaches so thanks so much. :)

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  11. I really enjoyed your first 250! I was pulled in by your MC's voice and the sense of coming conflict. Nice job! With the query, I wanted to see a bit more focus. It jumped around a bit between the Mom/Dad, moving, school, and then a Grandma and fur coats. Perhaps consider just giving us the most important plot points. Either way, I'd want to keep reading. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! The elements are woven together in the story but I agree with you about the query- needs more work. Thanks for the helpful feedback.

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  12. I love the title and you have a great voice! Really enjoyed it. :) good luck!

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  13. Great voice and details! I love the promise of some kind of pleasant surprise to come (and am intrigued by her comment about the surprises not being pleasant the last couple of months). I already feel bad for her being dad-less, best friend-less, and cat-less, and can't wait to see what her new life is like.

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  14. Hi Miriam, I WANT YOU ON MY TEAM! Your concept is cute, sweet, and endearing. I wanted to pick up SUNNY BERINGER’S TOTALLY AWESOME PLAN FOR ROMANCE and immediately start reading! I think your query is FULL of potential. There’s a lot of voice and hooks, but I do think things begin to get a bit jumbled toward the end. If you choose me as your coach, I’d love to be able to work on this with you. (Also- Why does Sunny call her dad—Daddy Scott?) Your opening 250 is spot on-- full of voice and character! You’re clearly a talented writer and I’d love to have you on the team!

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    1. Thanks, Kimberly, for your kind words! This is so great to hear. I'm thrilled about moving to the next stage of the contest!

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  15. Hey Miriam,

    It's time to get this show on the road! So thrilled to have you on the team! Will you email me your query and 1st chapter as an attachment to kpchase(at)gmail.com ?
    Thanks!

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