Title: DON'T FALL DOWN
Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 50,000
Twelve-year-old Chloe Demirjian-Carter dreams of waving to the crowd from center ice, gold medal around her neck and bouquet of roses in her arms. She follows the perfect practice schedule, eats the perfect athlete's diet, and perfectly follows her coach's instructions. She even skates the perfect program. But when the judges award her less-than-perfect scores, Chloe lets them know exactly what she thinks – in not-so-perfect words.
Kind of a huge mistake.
Dumped by her coach and kicked out of her prestigious training rink, Chloe finds out that no one wants a skater with a big mouth – no one except the misfit Fallton Figure Skating Club. But joining Fallton may be the second-biggest mistake she's ever made. “Fall Down” is where skaters' careers go to die. Chloe's not ready to give up yet, and neither are her new teammates. They're more than ready for a comeback. Chloe has to find a way to change the judges' minds about Fallton or she can forget about winning Regionals. There's just one little problem.
She's not as brave as everyone thinks she is.
Complete at 50,000 words, DON'T FALL DOWN is a middle grade novel pitched as the movie STICK IT meets Kate Messner's SUGAR AND ICE. The manuscript won an honorable mention in the 2012 SCBWI Midsouth Fiction Contest. I am a member of SCBWI, and I have several years of experience in competitive figure skating.
I have my fingers crossed for a gold medal.
Not where everyone can see them, of course, but hidden in the sleeve of my maroon and white Ridgeline Figure Skating Club jacket. If I win this competition, it'll show the judges I'm the skater to beat at Regionals in October.
My stomach rumbles. It's almost three o'clock, and the last thing I ate before I performed was a bowl of Toasted Oats early this morning. The concession stand popcorn smells like something gourmet. I try to ignore it and stand on the tiptoes of my plastic blade guards to look for my friend Ellery. I can't spot her in the sea of girls in sparkling dresses crowding the hallway.
“Aren't you cold, Chloe?” Mom pulls her wool coat tighter around her.
I shake my head. I'm rolling back and forth on my blade guards. Heel. Toe. Heel. Toe. Mom and Dad got me the guards that light up for my twelfth birthday. Every time I move, the lights blink and reflect off my coach's shiny black boots.
Mom checks the time on her phone. “Where are the results?”
Like magic, a competition volunteer threads her way through the anxious crowd in the hallway and tacks the results to the bulletin board. Everyone swarms forward. The volunteer has to elbow her way to safety.
A tingling feeling shoots through my body. This is it.