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.


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