Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Writer's Voice Query and First 250 Words

I just found out I won a spot in The Writer's Voice contest! Wooooohooooo!!! Below is my query, and the first 250 words of my MG Fantasy novel, The Princess Tournament.

Twelve-year-old Cordelia of Lavishton has never met a pirate. She's never tangled with a water sprite, or bandaged a troll's enormously smelly foot. She's led the prim and proper life of a princess, never needing to learn the best way to battle a dragon, or outwit an evil sorceress.

All that changes on the eve of a peace celebration, when the royal families from the Three Kingdoms of Darland gather. It’s the perfect time to make new friends, and for the kingdoms to commemorate their unity and harmony.

It’s also the perfect place for sabotage.

When a vengeful bard takes his revenge on the kings who mocked him, he informs the remaining royals that Cordelia and two other princesses, Maya and Dawn, must compete in a tournament. His goal is to create the story of the century, one that will keep his name famous for years to come.

Now the girls must survive three tasks in order to break the curse. Winning means their father will be freed from the curse. Losing means their king will be lost in a terrifying dream state forever.

The Princess Tournament  is 38,000 words. While it has been written to set up a trilogy, it can stand alone. The story is told from the perspective of Cordelia, Maya, and Dawn, and should appeal to fans of The Hero’s Guide to Saving your Kingdom and The Storybook of Legends

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Heather Strafuss

First 250 Words: 

Cordelia of Lavishton sat in a stagecoach, hands folded neatly in her lap. Her back was stiff and her left knee itched, but Cordelia didn’t dare move. Her maid, Gertrude, had spent hours pressing her gown and styling her hair, and informed her that if she moved one inch the wrong way, the dress would wrinkle and her hair would droop. 

Cordelia didn’t think anyone would mind if her gown had a few creases in it, or if her hair was less than perfect. But Gertie had turned a very dark shade of purple when she mentioned that, so Cordelia promised to remain as still as possible. 

Her little brother, however, was making that extremely difficult.

Toby bounced in the seat opposite her. While she was twelve and expected to be a perfect demonstration of a princess, Toby was six, and hadn’t started his lessons in Etiquette yet.

That never bothered her before, but now it made Cordelia bite her lip. How was she supposed to obey Gertrude and keep her dress perfect if he was rolling about the carriage like a dog?

When he stood abruptly, Cordelia pulled her dress back so his already-muddy shoes (how was he already dirty?) wouldn’t touch it. She could just imagine Gertrude’s gasp of horror if she discovered Cordelia had gotten dirt on the gown. If she showed up filthy and dishonored her mother’s memory, Gertrude would make her walk in extra-high heels for weeks.

Thank you for reading my entry!