I’m querying my upper middle-grade novel, BEING THE QUEEN. When thirteen-year-old Sabrina Tate finds out she can compete to be crowned queen of her school’s medieval feast, she thinks this might be the chance she’s been looking for: away to stand up to mean girl Kayleigh Andrews, a way to show her parents she’s just as talented as her big sister Audrey, and, possibly, an opportunity to talk to the cute boy in her English class, Jameson Bradley. After all, the competition only asks her to read books, watch movies, and show up to a few rehearsals--how hard can that be?
The competition isn’t as straightforward as Sabrina thinks. Kayleigh’s also set her sights on the crown, and what Kayleigh wants, she gets. Jameson seems more interested in Kayleigh than he is in Sabrina, and other students might be cheating to get ahead in the competition. As Sabrina reads more and more about the Arthurian legends that inspired the feast, she finds herself increasingly identifying with her research subject, Elaine of Astolat, an outsider to Camelot. Sabrina can’t help seeing her own fate as an outsider reflected in Elaine’s story, and she worries that she’s not brave enough, smart enough, or creative enough to win this competition. However, she desperately wants to win, believing that winning will be the sign she needs to show herself, Kayleigh, and her family that she’s important and that she matters. Although the competition to be queen doesn’t turn out entirely as Sabrina expects (or hopes), in the process of competing for the crown, Sabrina discovers that stories--including her own--aren’t always straightforward, that revenge doesn’t always work the way you expect, and, finally, that she can be braver than she thinks.
As a junior high student, I participated in a similar medieval feast. Although the characters and most of the events in this story are fictitious, the backdrop for the story stems from real experience.
This story is complete at 61,000 words. Thank you for your consideration!
BEING THE QUEEN
Looking at me, no one would have thought that I had anything in common with historic royalty. But I did. Take, for example, King Arthur. He was an unknown boy called Wart when he pulled a sword from a stone and became king. Or Queen Elizabeth. She was an overlooked second daughter until she faced her father’s court armed with nothing more than words and her father’s red hair--and became queen. And while my dad didn’t marry my mom after killing her first husband (Arthur) or marry six different women (Elizabeth), like Arthur and Elizabeth, I was tired of being ignored. I wanted to matter. Winning a crown seemed like a good way to do that.
Arthur’s story started when he went to
It started like this. On Saturday, my mom took me to get a back-to-school haircut.