Entry Name: Broadway Baby
Word Count: 88k
Genre: YA Contemporary
Seventeen-year-old Cadence Flemming fantasizes about a different life, one where her best friend Declan’s in love with her, her stepmonster hasn’t drained their bank account, her little sister Peyton stays cancer free, and her dreams of being a Broadway star are possible. Unfortunately, her real life has more drama than Les Misérables.
When Cadence and Declan land a spot on the new Broadway television competition, SHOWSTOPPER, which offers a $100,000 prize and a chance to be aBroadway star - her dreams suddenly seem within reach. But competition is fierce and her cutthroat cast mates make avoiding the elimination rounds harder than hitting a perfect high F. Even worse, halfway into production, Cadence’s nightmare comes true – Peyton’s cancer returns.
With things on set spiraling out of control and her home life becoming more complicated by the second, Cadence finds solace in Declan. He even appears to be falling in love with her, until he kisses their co-star Lyle on live television. Refusing to let go of her dreams, Cadence will have to claw her way to the top if she wants a shot at the spotlight and at granting her dying sister’s last wish of seeing her on Broadway. But one of the contestants is sabotaging the show and trying to get Cadence kicked off – and they’ll do anything to win. Cadence must expose them before they destroy Cadence’s chances and career, for good.
First 250 words:
There’s a moment when you’re watching a Broadway show and the theater goes dark, the music swells, and there’s this pause right before the curtain rises – a moment when anything could happen. If my life were a musical, this would be that moment.
A rainbow of people holding resumes and headshots snakes its way from the fabulous Fox Theatre, around the corner, and past Eighteenth Street into downtown Atlanta. Camera crews litter the streets, cars honk as they try to maneuver through the madness and a half-dozen police officers stand by, watching with interest. Everywhere you look, someone’s singing. I scan the area, my eyes landing on the clusters of people huddled together. Some of them are practicing their moves, some are screaming in excitement and a few are even crying.
But me . . . yeah, I feel like I’ve just done thirty pirouettes without spotting and I’m gonna puke.
My little sister, Peyton, tugs on my sleeve. “Come on, Cady!” she yells, darting around one of the cameramen, accidentally clipping his elbow.
“Hey watch it,” the guy barks.
“Sorry!” I yell over my shoulder. My dance bag bounces against my hip and I try to keep the box of cupcakes steady in my left hand as I chase after Peyton who weaves through another group of television crews with SHOWSTOPPER t-shirts. Even though she’s my half-sister, I’m glad Peyton inherited my family’s musicality and latched on to my Broadway obsession, or I might’ve missed out on today.