Word Count: 88K
Genre: Contemporary YA
Seventeen-year-old Cadence Flemming fantasizes about a different life, one where her father’s home safe from war, her stepmonster hasn’t drained their life savings, her best friend Declan’s in love with her, 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 Miserablés.
So when Cadence and Declan land a spot on the new Broadway television competition, SHOWSTOPPER, which offers a $100,000 dollar prize and a chance to be a Broadway star - her dreams suddenly seem within reach. But competition is fierce and her cutthroat cast mate, Melody, has it in for her, which makes 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, that is until he kisses their co-star Lyle on live television. Refusing to let go of her dreams, Cadence must learn 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. Even if it means breaking the law and destroying Cadence’s career, for good.
First 250 words:
You know that 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 – that 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.
Entry Nickname: Fun Friday My Ass
Title: Walk and Roll
Word Count: 50K
Genre: Young Adult
High school senior Jake Alpert hasn’t thought about killing himself once in the last nineteen months. Those thoughts disappeared the moment he started dating Mia Fields. Her spunk and vivacity banished his depression in a way that years of therapy and medication never could.
That all changes when Mia gets accepted to her dream college nearly 3000 miles away. The long distance is not the only issue. The even bigger problem is that, shortly after receiving this news, Mia passes out without explanation or warning. As this fainting continues over the next few weeks, Mia is forced to go to the hospital, where she is diagnosed with a rare and incurable condition known as POTS.
In the time between this diagnosis and Mia’s discharge from the hospital, Jake grapples with questions he never expected to face. Did he cause Mia’s illness? How will her wheelchair impact their relationship? And, most importantly, can he love Mia through her sickness without becoming suicidal again?
First 250 Words:
Three hundred and fifty words?
You’re going to base my college admission on my ability to condense the most important day of my life into three hundred and fifty words?
I’ll tell you right now: it’s not going to happen.
Mia Fields deserves more than that.
And who, you may ask, is Mia Fields?
Well, you should know. Two years ago, when we were both seniors in high school, she sent your university an application so stellar that you accepted her into your prestigious pre-med program. I bet that someone there still has files listing her high school GPA and extra-curricular activities. Maybe someone even has a copy of how she answered this question. If, of course, you’ve been using this same dumb prompt for that long.
I don’t know what she wrote, but I can guarantee you that her answer would have changed by now. Why? It’s simple really.
Because whatever she wrote then occurred before that day in the hospital, that day when she was first diagnosed.
That day changed everything, not just for Mia but for all of us. For those of us who loved her most, that diagnosis cracked our worlds into before and after.
It seems to me that a day of this importance deserves a hell of a lot more than three hundred and fifty words.
So if you’re really interested in learning about the twenty-four hours that changed my life, all you’ve got to do is keep reading. And if you’re not, well, I’m sure there are a thousand other applicants eager to tell you about that time they volunteered at their local soup kitchen.