Dear Writer's Voice Coaches,
Twelve-year-old Prince Arthur’s dream of becoming a wandering minstrel requires The Sword in The Stone, so he can dash to Ye Old Pawn Shoppe and swap it for a guitar. To make this happen, Arthur must first lead Camelot’s pages to victory in paintegg combat against Prince “Big Ears” Elgbert of Cornwall. Even though the Cornish hench-hen is the reigning champion and renowned for foul play in the annual tournament, Arthur is determined to succeed. Because this year, if the captain of the winning team doesn’t get gobsmacked by an egg filled with paint, he’ll be granted a rare chance to withdraw the sword.
But before the prize is awarded, Saxons threaten Cornwall. Camelot’s King mobilizes the army to help his ally, unknowingly leaving Arthur and the pages pitted against a second invasion. Headless knights, driven by little green men from the planet Leprechaun, land on Stonehenge in a flying round table. With Big Ears’ help, they start abducting Camelot’s subjects, including Arthur’s sisters and his best friend princess Guinevere, seeking practitioners in the medieval science of magic. If Arthur doesn’t quash the conniving ankle-biters, guilt may drive his gleeman aspirations into the city’s empty streets to sing sad ballads of how he lost the kingdom’s princesses and let Camelot become Camefew.
ARTHUR & THE HEADLESS KNIGHTS OF THE FLYING ROUND TABLE is a standalone 61,000 word middle grade Arthurian retelling with series potential.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
First 250 words:
Stale sweat inside the executioner’s mask soured my nostrils, forcing me to breathe through clenched teeth. It stank, and so did Fay for making me wear this musty hood backward to keep her precious tunnel secret.
Rats squealed, drowning the trickling of water down slippery walls, as Fay jockeyed me through yet another puddle. They must have recognized her, because they scurried away faster than a fox leaving a henhouse with takeout.
A rumored shortage of rat tails, the key ingredient for spell-casting in my half-sister’s also-rumored magic practice, kept Camelot’s rodent community on high alert.
Inspired by blindness, I sang, “Three blind mice . . . see—ouch.” Fay’s elbow ribbed my dream of becoming a minstrel.
I rubbed my side. “Why drag me along?”
“To keep whatever’s stealing teenage girls from their beds at night from catching me.”
Goose bumpers. Collywobbles swamped my stomach as I remembered the haunting scream from the Stonemason’s wife upon waking to find her daughter missing yesterday. “But you’re not in bed. You should be safe.”
“Not if I’m hunting it, I’m not.”
I yanked off my makeshift blindfold. “How can I stop it from catching you without a sword?”
She ruffled my hair. “No worries. I’m a faster runner than you. Besides, you’re madder than a bag of ferrets if you think I’d let you wave a sharp object around in the dark.”
Horse apples! Hoodwinked into missing Saturday Night Juggling to become beast bait. I debated leaving, but recent chivalry lessons on Damsels in Distress dictated I stayed.