Thursday, May 24, 2012

Middle Grade Winner: GATSBY DELANEY AND THE 7TH GRADE IMPRESARIO


Name: Mary Vettel





Genre: Middle Grade





Query: GATSBY DELANEY - 7TH GRADE IMPRESARIO is the story of twelve-year-old Gatsby Delaney, the son of ├╝ber frugal hippies who run an indie bookshop. A recent growth spurt has left him looking like a scarecrow and there’s a school dance looming. Desperate for more money than soda can recycling brings to buy some new clothes, and at his eight-year-old sister Zelda's suggestion, Gatsby lists F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Muse for sale on eBay.

Gatsby survives a frenzied bidding war and discovers the winning bidder is not a kook but a legit author wrestling with writer’s block who desperately needs to channel Fitzgerald’s Muse to finish his book on Zelda Fitzgerald.

Just when Gatsby thinks he’s in the clear without his parents finding out, he learns that the author is coming to Gatsby’s parents’ bookshop for a book signing. And a recent blog on the author’s website reveals he can’t wait to meet and thank the person who sold him Fitzgerald’s Muse. Not wanting to disappoint his parents and be the brunt of teasing at school when his Muse scheme is exposed, Gatsby must devise a plan - short of burning down the bookshop - to squelch the publicity machine that's gearing up for this story.

I am a member of SCBWI. I was a founding member of the Writers Alliance of the East End (of Long Island). A number of my short stories have been published and The Naked Stage of Guild Hall, in East Hampton, NY produced a comedic play of mine (adapted from my novella) in 2010. I was a guest on The Play’s the Thing on LTV to discuss my various projects.









First 250 words:


Seventh graders Gatsby Delaney and Mugsy Tremaine hurried from their last period classroom, jostled through the crowded corridor and out of the building. They waited off to the side for Gatsby’s eight-year-old sister Zelda to arrive from her third grade class.


Mugsy gave her friend a quick once-over. “Dude,” she said quietly. “I’m not even kidding; you look like a scarecrow.”


“Gee, thanks.” Gatsby looked down at his high-water jeans and three inches of forearm exposed by the frayed edges of his shirt. His ears reddened as he pushed his sleeves up to his elbows and attempted to shimmy his jeans down a bit, but they were too snug. “It’s no use.”


“Wow, remember how you used to be shorter than me?” Mugsy held her hand up to the top of her head as though she were saluting, and then moved her hand upward to Gatsby’s forehead. “You’re mad taller than me now. Gats, your parents have to buy you some new clothes,” she whispered.


“Easier said than done. You know how tight they are with a buck; saving for Zelda’s and my college fund and a rainy day.”


“Gats, this is not a good look,” Mugsy assured him. “Listen, they're the ones who named you after some well-dressed rich dude. Remind them you've got that image to uphold. If they wanted you to look like a hobo they should've named you after some Dickens character. No offense."


Gatsby hung his head. “This is beyond embarrassing,” he mumbled.

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