Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #4 - IMPACT: A Memoir of a Car Accident and PTSD

IMPACT: A Memoir of a Car Accident and PTSD
Adult, memoir        
88,000  words

A car accident takes a few seconds of your life; the impact continues for years.
One sunny spring morning , on your way to an appointment, without warning a Jeep veers into your car, causing a four-vehicle collision. You are lucky—you emerge with nothing worse than severe bruising and a broken arm. But then you begin having nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks. You try to move on, but find your life spinning out of control as the terror keeps recurring in your mind...
Nine years ago, all I knew about post traumatic stress disorder was that it happened to war veterans. Then, following a car accident that trapped me in my car for over an hour, I learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about PTSD. I didn’t get a divorce, I didn’t become addicted to drugs or alcohol or end up on the street. I’m just a normal person with a normal family, who went through a terrifying experience and managed, together, to survive it.

First 150 Words:  CHAPTER 1: The Crash

 “Good for you, Mom.” Caroline says, grinning at me from the passenger’s seat as I turn onto the recent extension of Bridge Street. “You’re taking the new short cut without even being reminded.”
“Smart Alec,” I reply.
Caroline laughs. She gets her poor sense of direction from me, which makes our mock rivalry absurd to anyone who can turn three corners without getting lost.
“Laugh away,” I say, smiling. At least she’s going in for the doctor’s appointment I booked for her. Her allergies to dust and smoke have been acting up lately. Nevertheless, she didn’t want the appointment; she’d rather have sat in the sun reading a fantasy novel.
It’s Thursday, May 1st, 2003. The morning is brilliant with sunshine after a long winter, fragrant with an early spring breeze. Caroline has just returned home from her second year of university, with a month off before her summer job starts. At nineteen, a month is forever.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This was a spam post about lawyers for car wrecks.

  2. This isn't the genre I usually read so I'm not an expert, I would tweak the query just a little to emphasize the family angle. That seems to be what sets the story apart, and you open with a family scene, so make sure that comes out in the query.

    Good luck!
    - L (Jane Doe)

  3. Good luck with GUTGAA! I'm sure this is full of deep emotion.

  4. I still like this one, I like the whole idea and I feel like it appeals to those who have been through such an experience. Best of luck :)


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