Monday, September 17, 2012

Rd 1 Agent Pitch Contest #18 - EX-DRAMA QUEEN

Upper Middle Grade Contemporary


Ever since thirteen-year-old Casey Fitzgerald was cast as the apple in her kindergarten production of The Five Food Groups, she's known theater is her destiny.  But when her best friend Amanda wins the lead in the school musical, the curtains close on Casey's dream.

She can't get into the exclusive performing arts high school cast in a bit part as a nun.  And there's no way her crush, hot actor Trevor, will notice her hiding in an ugly habit costume.  Her life is over -- unless she can reinvent herself.  The new Casey does karate and plays poker, and she finally gets Trevor's attention.  There's just one little problem -- Trevor is Amanda's boyfriend.  Casey must decide if her great new life is worth losing Amanda's friendship.  So much for ex-drama queen.

First 150:

Wednesday, September 6th is the day my life will change.

I'll either land the lead role in The Sound of Music, get into Holland Performing Arts High School, and end up on Broadway before I graduate college.  Or, I'll bomb the audition, go to boring South County High where I'll have no friends, and end up waiting tables at some roadside diner in Nowheresville, Kansas.

So, I've decided to memorize the entire play before I even audition.  No drama teacher - not even Ms. Sharp - can possibly deny my dedication to theater.

"Casey, aren't you going to eat?"  Amanda pushes my lunch bag toward me.

"I can't marry him!" I recite with my eyes closed.  My voice carries across the lunchroom, drowning out the chatter and shouts and clattering of trays.

"Nice projection," Amanda says as I bow to the table of wide-eyed sixth graders next to us.


SugarMagnolia said...

Thanks for participating! My plan is to read through all the entries and then begin my comments and critiques. I will give out my top ten my votes when I'm finished.

Best of luck to you, and stay tuned!

Juliana L. Brandt said...

Honestly, theater is so huge these days that I think there'd be a big audience for this book. Very cute idea (and totally what kids go through in middle school!)

Katie Dunn said...

I majored in theater in college!! So, of course, I'm automatically interested. The first 150 are great and already show just how important acting is to Casey, but the query doesn't really strike me. I'd suggest doing a draft of it in Casey's POV instead of third (just as an exercise) to see what you can come up with. From there, incorporate the best parts of that into the actual query and you'd probably have a slam dunk=)

SugarMagnolia said...

(Hi again! I plan to give out comments during this round, and then I'll give out my top ten votes as soon as I have critiqued everyone's queries.)

Your voice is wonderful in the first 150 words, and I love what a huge deal everything is when you are thirteen years old.

Casey is sympathetic and engaging, and I can only imagine the trouble she is going to get into in the course of this book.

One tiny point about your query. I love it just the way it is, but I was a little thrown off by the mention that Trevor is Amanda's boyfriend. Did Casey know this the whole time? If so, it doesn't seem like she would go through all this trouble to get him to notice her. If not, I think you could add a detail about how devastated she was to find out about it. (This way, Casey looks like a good friend who is struggling, not a middle school home wrecker. ;))

Great job with this!

The Rooster said...

Your query is clear and concise. Has great voice. The 150 gives a nice feel for the characters. I didn't really feel like the character was 13 though. And the main conflict is a boy/girl relationship which isn't MG so much. But I could be completely wrong since I'm only reading the first 150. Either way this story sounds like tons of fun. Good luck with it in the future!!