Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 15

Genre: YA Humour

It has been a year and a half since the day Guy Scotts’ heart was sucker-punched with the image of Tina Marlin in a tight The Kills t-shirt, and short little jean skirt. He’s been a hopeless sack of hormones, nervous perspiration, and misfiring synapses, ever since.
In their senior year, Tina’s boyfriend moves to Alaska to take up caribou herding, and Guy moves in on his girl. But when Tina’s meat-sack-of-an-older brother hits Guy with the craziest ultimatum, suddenly he doesn’t just have to worry about surviving the, ‘Tina Marlin Incident’ emotionally, but physically too. And it’s not going to be easy.

Between his best-friend’s tendency for giving crap advice, his gym teacher’s creepy personal agendas, and his mother’s flying-trapeze of emotions, Guy finds himself forced to volunteer at his senile Nana’s nursing home; and he’s pissed! He has more important things like A LIFE to attend to, and if he wants any shot at keeping it, he’ll need to seriously spend less time with old people, and more time thinking about himself.

I am a fourth year middle school teacher in Mississauga, Ontario. My literary accomplishments include co-authoring an action research journal on student engagement. ‘Engagement Through Choice,’ was published in the ‘Journal for Classroom Research in Literacy’ (2009).

During my undergrad (honours English) I submitted works that gained me entry into both creative writing fiction & creative writing poetry courses at Sir Wilfred Laurier University. Aside from my Bachelor of Education, I also hold additional teaching qualifications in English.

THE TINA MARLIN INCIDENT is a 54,000 word humourous YA novel for which I am seeking your representation. Hope you love this project as much as I do!


  1. This has so much enthuisiasm! I absolutely love the sucker punch line. Great job and good luck!

  2. There's a lot of great lines in here, and it certainly sounds like a breath of fresh air. I know there is a market for male protags right now, especially one who doesn't take himself too seriously.

    I do think there is room to tighten up some of this writing. Three story paragraphs is about as long as I've seen done, and you might be able to winnow this to two. Same for your bio paragraphs, which have some relevant accomplishments, but can easily be brought down to a sentence or two.

    Good luck to you--I'd love to see more contemporary YA getting the nod today.

  3. I second Liz, above me. And I also like this, the voice is a breath of fresh air. Good luck!

  4. Jamie Weiss ChiltonApril 28, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    Great first line -- an attention grabber. (Though wouldn't his heart be sucker punched BY the image?) I'd cut the second sentence, which is an example of telling something you've already shown.

    What's the ultimatum? I want to get a clearer sense of the plot arc of this story in the query. I want to know more about the ultimatum and the "Tina Marlin Incident."

    The sentence beginning with "Between" doesn't flow as well as it could -- I think you mean that between all these things, he's going crazy. Otherwise it seems like everything culminates in him having to work at the nursing home, which I don't think is the case.

    You have a strong opening here, with a good voice, but I don't see a strong story arc. I don't see the beginning, middle, and end of this story. I think fleshing out this query with more plot details will strengthen it and make it more effective.

    You're on the right track, and this seems like a very funny and unique story. Nice work.


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