Here’s my entry for the contest. Please comment!
Title: Outside In
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word count: 51,000 words
Perfect super-brain Alexis works hard for approval, but inside she’s a mess, hurting herself whenever she “fails.” When her boarding school and her parents find out her secret, she faces expulsion if she can’t stop.
First 150 words:
A bright red B. Oh my God. My lowest grade ever.
I rubbed my cheek as hard as I could and stuffed the paper into my binder before anyone could see it. I didn’t bother to check the comments—plenty of time to memorize those later.
My throat closed up and I couldn’t draw a full breath. One full grade less than an A. My G.P.A. would sink. Miranda would pass me in class rank.
One single B could ruin everything.
What would my mother say?
Miranda got her paper back and grinned in triumph. An A for sure.
How could I be such a fool? I clenched my teeth and my hands shook. I should have spent more time on the paper until it was flawless.
Dr. Shah handed out the last of the papers, but I barely noticed. Chairs scraped. Someone sneezed. There was a giggle from somewhere behind me. But all I could see was the afterimage of a—