PW #219: YA Contemporary: MARGO TATE’S LIST (Of Things More Important Than Being Skinny)

 Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Jenni Walsh & Trisha Leaver
Mentee Name: Bethany Sampson
Title: MARGO TATE’S LIST (Of Things More Important Than Being Skinny)
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 69,000


After spending three months in treatment for an eating disorder, sixteen-year-old Margo Tate comes home to a life she no longer recognizes. Margo is content to slink back into the shadows of high school until she attracts two unexpected new friends: tattooed, swim team captain Will, and off-beat Livvy, whose outspoken nature landed Margo in treatment in the first place. For Margo, confronting reality means risking recovery, especially when Will harbors a secret that could shatter life as she knows it.


We’d been here once before.

In this same room, having the same conversation.

Mom to my left. Rob on the other side of his small brown desk. A MARGO TATE folder sitting open on top, their eyes focused on the contents inside.

I looked away from Rob, the counselor. Away from Mom, the optimist. Instead, I fixated on the chipping paint of the window’s blue border. They’d finally painted the office to match Rob’s personality. It was like an ocean in here, and I was trying desperately not to drown.

I’d been here before.

We’d been here before. Mom. Rob. Me.

Three weeks ago.

The windowsill was still white, as we’d discussed my discharge from the Vista Center, the inpatient eating disorder clinic where I’d spent the last ninety-seven days. The entirety of my summer vacation.

“Margo, the world is waiting!” Rob said now, gesturing to the windowsill, to the world beyond the safety of these indigo walls.

Just like last time.

Only now, he didn’t slap my file shut like I was a book he never planned to revisit. This time he left it open. And Mom, in her cheerful yellow cardigan, lingered in her plastic chair, going over the same conversation we’d rehearsed just twenty-one days ago—my originally planned departure date.


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. I’m intrigued! Please send the first 100 pages as a Word doc attachment to, with the subject line “Pitch Wars Request.” Thank you and I look forward to reading more!

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  2. I must read more! Please send your official query (subject line containing “Pitch Wars”) and first 50 pages in an attached Word doc to laura (@) triadaus (dot) com. Thanks!

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  3. This sounds so intriguing! I would love to see the first 50 pages, sent as a Word attachment, to querycaitie(at)lizadawson(dot)com, with the words “#PitchWars request” in the subject and your query pasted in the body of the email!

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  4. Love the voice here– I want to keep reading!


    Please send the full as an attached word document, with the pitch you used here pasted into the first page. Send it to


    Mandy Hubbard
    Emerald City Literary Agency
    (Formerly D4EO Literary)

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  5. There are few things I love more than body-image books. I’d like to see more. Please send the manuscript and a query letter (MS Word preferred, PDF okay) to carlie @ with the subject line PITCH WARS REQUEST: Title of Work.

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  6. This sounds SO up my alley, and I would love to see more. If you’re interested at all, please send the first 100 pages (as a .doc) along with your query letter and a short synopsis (pasted in the body of the email) to submissions(at)jaw-litagent(dot)com with the subject line “Pitch Wars request: MARGO TATE’S LIST”. Thanks so much, Julia

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  7. Hi, Bethany- I’d love to read more! Please email the first 50 pages to as a Word doc, and be sure to put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks!

    Melissa Nasson, Esq.
    Associate Agent
    Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC

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  8. Officially hooked! Please send the full ms as an attachment to query(at) and include “Pitch Wars Request for Jackie” in the subject line. Thank you!

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  9. Hi Bethany

    I’m keen to read this – could you send me the full MS as a Word doc and if possible, an expanded synopsis (ideally 500-700 words)? claire at rhaliterary dot com.

    Looking forward to reading more!

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  10. I’d love to see this! Please send query, synopsis, and full manuscript to ESubmissions at SarahJaneFreymann dot com. Thank you! 🙂

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  11. Hi Bethany!

    Brenda was kind enough to let me comment on the entries I loved, so if you’re able, I’d love to see the full please! Just send it along to!

    Thanks so much!

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